Chattanooga/Tennessee Green Hospitality

Chattanooga/Tennessee Green Hospitality


In 2010, The Greater Chattanooga Hospitality Association introduced a Green Certification for the Hospitality Industry in Chattanooga. The intent of the program was to work with local hotels to improve their environmental footprint and then to certify participants when they meet guidelines outlined in the program. The goal was to make Chattanooga a more attractive destination for visitors for whom sustainability was an important criteria when deciding on trips or meetings. 

Chattanooga Green Hospitality became an immediate success with virtually all of the downtown hotels becoming certified quickly. Due to the enthusiastic response to the program, it was made available to restaurants and attractions.

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development became very involved in the program and suggested that it be made available statewide, which the Chattanooga Association quickly agreed to. The Tennessee Hospitality and Tourism Association offered to be the vehicle taking the program statewide and it is now promoted statewide through that association and is on its website. 

  • The program won a Tennessee Governor's Environmental Stewardship Award in 2010.
  • The Tennessee Hospitality Association won an ISHAE award for the program in 2014.
  • Over 80 hotels, restaurants and attractions have now been certified statewide. Chattanooga has the majority of participants.
  • All Tennessee Welcome Centers are certified.
  • Six State Park Inns and Restaurants have been certified.
  • An EPA funded study determined that an average of over $14,000 in annual savings will be recognized by hotels that adopt the practices in the program.
  • Multiple participants report that being certified to Chattanooga/Tennessee Green satisfied requests of meeting planners asking for a demonstration of a commitment to sustainability.

Lessons Learned:

  • For credibility, it is essential that all certified participants undergo a thorough, in person, on-site audit. Most other state and similar programs only require the applicant to fill out a self-assessment form. 100% of participants in this program have undergone an on-site audit.
  • Environmental Improvement must be ongoing. All participants must have a specific written plan for continued improvement.
  • For the Hospitality Industry, "going green" has proven to increase guest satisfaction and to improve the financial bottom line.

Program: Chattanooga/Tennessee Green Hospitality

Developed and Introduced by: The Greater Chattanooga Hospitality Association

Administered by: Skye Con