Travel Weekly is reporting that the U.S. Green Building Council is starting to develop a hotel-specific LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) track. The article quotes a USGBC spokesman at the Hotel Design Expo in Las Vegas last week who said the organization is beginning to talk to hospitality industry leaders about creating LEED standards tailored to hotel needs:
“Even though hotels are adopting LEED later than office buildings and other sectors, ultimately hotels could become a highly visible venue for LEED and for green buildings in general, [USGBC corporate/investment real estate manager Mark] Heisterkamp said. LEED hotels could have a significant educational impact because of hotels' highly visible exposure to vast numbers of consumers, he said, and provide ‘a powerful message we don't have in most other space types.’”
This is great news: Travel can be an incredible way to introduce green concepts to a wider public. Many of the hotel managers profiled here at Green Postcards use a wide variety of educational tools, from simple hand-outs to multi-day intensive workshops that function as learning vacations. I hope the USGBC can quickly move towards a LEED certification program for hotels – the faster the better. In the meantime, Green Postcards-worthy destinations will continue building and hosting sustainably and responsibly, standards or no.