The ECOTEL Certification¬†is based on five areas of environmentalism, each of which is designated by a Globe award. These five areas are referred to as the ‚Äėcornerstones of environmental responsibility‚Äô or simply as ‚ÄėGlobes‚Äô. These Globes are:
- Energy conservation This requires the existence of a formalized framework to actually reduce the energy consumption of the hotel. For instance, whether the hotel has been designed and constructed keeping in mind maximum energy conservation. Factors like whether minimum lighting is being used, the extent of involvement of the guests as well as the employees etc. also make a difference to the final score.
- Water conservationEvaluates the effective conservation of water in all departments of the hotel, across all levels. The extent to which water is recycled and utilized is also considered an important factor. Again, all employees are expected to be well-versed with the water conservation operations of the hotel.
- Solid waste management The hotel must effectively recycle and manage waste wherever generated. Proper systems for collection, recycling and disposal of these wastes in all departments of the hotel are a must for the ECOTEL Certification¬†. Moreover, all
employees of the hotel must undergo training in the basic solid waste management techniques.
- Employee environmental educationEvaluates how involved the employees are in the efforts of the hotel tocontribute towards the environment. The hotel should have training modules in place for employees at all levels to familiarize them with the eco-friendly
initiatives of the hotel.
- Environmental commitmentThe hotel/ resort/ inn must demonstrate the existence of a formalized commitmenttowards the preservation and enhancement of the natural environment. It must,through all operations, activities and written statements, communicate its commitment to the environment. For e.g. the mission statement of the hotel/resort must mention its environmental dedication. Additionally, every hotel should have a green team headed by a member of the top management ensuring that all departments are working in consonance with the hotel‚Äôs mission of environmental responsibility.
The inspection for each globe involves three levels of criteria and scoring- Primary, Secondary and Tertiary. Hotels applying for certification must satisfy the primary criterion before an inspection is scheduled. Once it is evident that all the primary criterion have been satisfied, inspections – unannounced as well as guided by the hotel staff – are conducted throughout the lodging facility to determine if the environmental programs that the hotel reports to have in place are actually part of the daily operations. Each department or function area of the hotel (i.e. main restaurant kitchen, banquet kitchen, kitchen, front desk and office area, executive office areas, etc.) is inspected and scored individually. A percentage score is calculated for the inspection of each department and each department must score above a certain level to be awarded the certification. If any department scores below that level, but above a minimum threshold, the tertiary criterion can boost that department’s score so that the hotel becomes eligible for the certification. The tertiary criterion is simply described as a bonus system. The hotel receives bonus points for environmental programs discovered in operation
that are not part of the primary criteria, and are considered to be above ordinary levels of environmental responsibility.