The South Carolina Green Hospitality Alliance encourages hotels, motels, restaurants, and suppliers of those businesses to go green in the state of South Carolina. In regards to green building in Greenville, the group awards points for techniques regarding energy saving, air quality, water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, as well as setting up a green team and developing an environmental policy.
Businesses benefit by going green because:
- It helps the home state’s environment by saving energy, decreasing pollution and environmental impact, and conserving natural resources.
- It reduces disposal costs through reusing and recycling decreasing waste.
- It reduces water costs through water conservation practices and equipment.
- It can reduce energy costs with greener building techniques like exposing south facing windows to capture solar heat and natural light and shading them in hot summer sun.
- It can increase marketability when environmentally-concerned consumers identify the business as green. They look for restaurants serving fresh healthy locally produced foods. Travelers search sites for hotels listing green practices such as using non-toxic chemicals, having formaldehyde-free rooms, or not changing linens daily.
- It earns recognition with the South Carolina Green Hospitality Alliance where green hotels, motels and restaurants share their successes, where they appear as members of the environmentally conscious business community and their efforts are promoted, and with recognition yearly at the awards program.
- It can increase competitiveness when the green businesses display on smart phone apps such as the Fresh on the Menu™ app.
To join the S.C. Green Hospitality Alliance, a facility must submit an application either online, or by downloading the PDF and mailing it to South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, PO Box 7577, Columbia, SC 29202, or by faxing it to 803.252.7136. There are ten sections for which credits may be earned–Environmental Awareness, Environmentally Preferred Purchasing, Waste Reduction and Recycling, Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency, Air Quality, Green Cleaning, Green Meetings and Catering, Sustainable Food, and Additional Practices regarding operations like housekeeping, kitchen, office and grounds.
Checks must be made in each box for items the facility is already doing and the number of points awarded for each one is listed by the item. The score must be totaled and the application submitted each year to the association. The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control’s (DHEC) Best Management Practices fact sheets on the site can help with descriptions, examples and contacts for assistance.
- a membership certificate and decals to promote the facility’s certification
- use of the alliance logo for marketing
- a listing on the alliance web page and other green hospitality websites
- attendance at the annual awards program
- “free technical assistance and materials from DHEC’s Office of Solid Waste Reduction and Recycling and other partners.”
The alliance website covers the five cities in South Carolina of Aiken, Charleston, Columbia, Greenville and Myrtle Beach. Current restaurant members in Greenville are all beginners denoted by one “palmetto tree” symbol: California Dreaming, Chop House 47, Nantucket Seafood Grill and Rick Erwin Dining Group. California Dreaming and Chop House 47 are charter members. The three Greenville hotel members are all two “palmetto tree” symbols, with three trees earning the highest points: Hampton Inn & Suites River Place, Hilton Garden Inn, and Westin Poinsett Hotel. See the alliance website for addresses, websites, online reservations and phone numbers for each green establishment. Support local environmentally friendly businesses and thank them for going green.
The South Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association, based in Columbia, S.C., developed and manages the South Carolina Green Hospitality Alliance. They can be contacted by telephone at 803.765.9000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.