The AA has added two green categories to its annual hospitality awards. The AA Eco Hotel of the Year and AA Eco Hotel Group of the Year awards will be made for the first time at the AA's awards dinner on 27 September at the London Hilton on Park Lane.
Judges for the awards, which are being sponsored by British Gas Business, have looked at the reduction of consumption of utilities, carbon footprint, waste management and pollution, recycling programmes and the use of sustainable products and local suppliers in hotels.
They have also considered employee training and changes made to operations, development of accountability and ownership of environmental targets, as well as internal and external communication of environmental initiatives.
Simon Numphud, AA Hotel Services manager, said that that the changing attitude towards environmental responsibility has increased awareness of the need for sustainability and resulted in a rising number of travellers looking for eco-friendly establishments in which to stay.
"The benefits to a business of going green are numerous and can reduce impact on budgets as well as to the environment through simple and cost-saving expedients such as fitting time and movement sensors to control lights, reducing the towel and linen change policies and recycling leftover complimentary guest toiletries," he said.
"The introduction of the AA Eco Hotel and Eco Hotel Group of the Year awards recognises the eco credentials held by a number of our establishments and is a great way to promote and encourage a commitment to sustainability in other establishments hoping to follow suit."
By Janet Harmer
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