The Commonwealth of Virginia Promotes Green Initiative for State Tourism Industry: Virginia Green

Date: March 17, 2010

With the increased emphasis on the environment, businesses are looking for ways to improve their environmental practices and to achieve marketing recognition for those efforts. Virginia Green provides that opportunity.

Virginia Green is a partnership between the Virginia Tourism Corporation and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality with a goal of reducing the environmental impacts of Virginia's tourism industry. The program is a self-certifying designation for tourism-related business such as hotels, restaurants and attractions taking voluntary actions to reduce harmful impacts on the environment. Those businesses that qualify are awarded Virginia Green Certification and are entitled and encouraged to advertise with the Virginia Green logo.

The Department of Environmental Quality has created a Virginia Green Home page within its website which includes the application for Certification as well as giving a list of those businesses that bear the Virginia Green Certification. Categories of businesses qualifying for certification include restaurants, hotels and lodging, convention and conference centers, wineries and breweries, golf courses and other businesses commonly related to the tourism industry. If you are an environmentally conscientious tourist in Virginia, look for the Virginia Green logo.

Under the program, qualifying hotels agree to take at least the following steps to minimize their impact on the environment:

  • Optional Linen Service
  • Recycling
  • Eliminate/minimize Styrofoam Disposables
  • Water and Energy Conservation
  • Green Event

In addition, restaurants seeking certification under the program must meet similar minimum qualifying requirements, which include:

  • Minimize the use of disposable food service products
  • Recycle Grease
  • Recycle and Reduce Waste by increasing recycling
  • Use Water Efficiently
  • Conserve Energy

A variety of businesses throughout Virginia have earned the Virginia Green Certification. With increasing emphasis on the environmental needs of the community and Commonwealth, earning the Virginia Green Certification is a great marketing opportunity for business and benefits the environment.