Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Fight Global Warming On Vacation

September 19, 2010

Since it was first published in 1999, the Green Seal Environmental Standard for Lodging Properties (GS-33) has represented leadership in the lodging industry.

This spring, Green Seal conducted a study to quantify the minimum of greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions of hotels implementing the fundamental environmentally preferable practices outlined in GS-33.

The study focused on GHG savings for a single, typical hotel in Chicago, Illinois.

  • The total GHG reductions in a single hotel implementing a few simple measures specified in GS-33 is equal to 398.26 tons of CO2.

  • This GHG savings from a single hotel is the equivalent of the annual GHG emissions of 73 passenger vehicles or the CO2 emissions from the energy use of 35 homes for one year.

  • These GHG savings are just the beginning since the study included only some of the key measures GS-33 Bronze-certified properties implement so … as more efficiency measures are taken, more savings will be seen (as is required for continued certification and to reach the higher certification levels of Silver and Gold).

  • The simple measures that resulted in this GHG savings included:
    • Using energy-efficient lighting for areas that keep lights on for 24-hours (the study modeled a 50 percent replacement of lighting on for 24 hours)
    • Use of occupancy sensors in areas such as meeting rooms, housekeeping closets and laundry rooms (the study modeled sensors in 10 percent of the hotel’s square footage)
    • Implementing effective preventive maintenance of the HVAC system
    • Using water-efficient fixtures
    • Setting the default on copy machines to double-sided
    • Establishing recycling programs for common areas and administrative areas.

  • These measures for a single hotel also produced the following water savings and waste reduction:
    • 536 thousand gallons of water saved per year
    • 122 tons of waste diverted from the landfill per year.

For more information on GS-33, visit

The complete study is available upon request, followed ISO 14044 and was peer-reviewed.