The American Hotel & Lodging Association is putting the final touches on guidelines to help hoteliers become more green, but it is abandoning plans to create a hotel-specific certification program.

Joe McInerney, president and CEO of the trade association, said the group has decided -- at least for now -- that getting involved in an independent certification process is too complicated and costly.

"You really need a third party -- a disinterested party -- to do this. And the costs of that third party are pretty significant," he said.

Plus, many new projects are already required by municipalities or lenders to follow LEED recommendations or some other environmental certification, he said. Trying to add a hotel-specific certification process on top of that "gets complex."

"So what we are putting together are some minimal environmental guidelines, some simple things to start with," McInerney said.

The guidelines, developed as part of member task forces that have been meeting all year, will be presented to the AH&LA board Nov. 8, he said. They will include basics like towel and linen reuse programs, waste management and the installation of digital thermometers and fluorescent lamps.

Additionally, the trade association will publish a book based on an AH&LA foundation-funded research project at the University of Michigan that details best practices in the industry, he said.

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