In the last few years, many states--and some cities--have launched their own green lodging certification programs (click here for list). Some locations have been more successful than others. Florida, for example, just announced that it has added its 600th designated green lodging property. Kudos to Florida. Business models vary by location; in most cases the cost to participate is nothing or a small amount that is very reasonable. In at least one state, however, South Carolina, a business owner must be a member of the state hospitality association to get certified as a green property as part of the South Carolina Green Hospitality Alliance. Is that fair?
I recently received an e-mail from a gentleman whose company owns and operates 1,400 rooms. To become a member of the South Carolina Hospitality Association, his company would have to pay $7.50 per room. The total: $10,500. So, in other words, in a roundabout way, it would cost him $10,500 to have his properties certifed as green. Not exactly an incentive to participate in the South Carolina Green Hospitality Alliance, is it? The gentleman I corresponded with intended to check out national certification programs instead.
If you were in his position, what would you do? I will look forward to your comments.