The Canadian-based Green Key Eco-Rating Program has traveled south to the U.S. The program, which ranks and certifies hotels and resorts based on their commitment to green practices, comprises a 140-question audit that is self-administered by the staff at the participating property. The audit covers two categories. One is operational areas, which involves corporate environmental management, housekeeping, F&B operations, conference and meeting facilities, and engineering. The sustainable practices category includes energy and water conservation, solid and hazardous waste management, indoor air quality, community outreach, building infrastructure, land use, and environmental management.
Upon completion of the audit, Green Key tabulates the answers and awards the property a rating of 1 to 5 Keys and a corresponding display plaque. The property also receives a comprehensive report that includes recommendations, best practices, and potential areas for improvement and savings. In addition, Green Key includes random, on-site verification of audit results, mitigating the risk of score inflation.