GHRA developing ‘green’ guidelines

Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association President Mary Rhodes (PNC file photo)

In efforts to improve the environment and change the way they conduct business, the Guam Hotel and Restaurant Association has partnered with the Guam Environmental Protection Agency on several projects to foster a sustainable tourism future.

Some of these include projects involving pollution, water, and waste management.

An example of a waste management initiative is GHRA’s food waste audit.

In addition, GHRA has been working closely with Guam EPA and other stakeholders for months to develop a green guidelines pilot program that they launched at the GHRA general membership meeting held June 25.

“We’re launching some of the guidelines that we’re putting in a book that we’re publishing. We’re holding a soft launch and we’ll pilot-test it for the next couple of months. We’re open to edits and changes and we’re hoping to get different case studies from all our members to submit what they have done to reduce their energy — from hotels, restaurants, and even some of our retail outlets. We’re asking them to submit the green practices that they have practiced,” said GHRA president Mary Rhodes.

In the early stages of research and development, GHRA reached out to the Hawaii State Energy Office to gather information on a similar model called the Hawaii Green Business Program.

“We’ve been working together with Gail Suzuki Jones who authored the green guidelines in Hawaii. She has created green guidelines for hotels, restaurants, events, retail outlets, and even grocery stores,” Rhodes said.

This new sustainability booklet sets the guidelines for GHRA members and is a resource for Guam companies to integrate into their business operations.

With the implementation of their green solutions, Rhodes said the goal is to “provide healthy clean and safe conditions for guests and tourists.”

With the news that tourism arrivals have gone up, GHRA will be discussing their push for green marketing at their next meeting.