Accor North America, a division of Accor Hospitality, will pilot the Green Key Eco-Rating Program (Green Key) within its portfolio in the United States in 2010. Green Key is the first program of its kind to rank, certify and inspect hotels and resorts based on their commitment to sustainable "green" practices; the Accor North America pilot will involve 20 properties.
The ANA pilot will include representatives from the Motel 6, Sofitel and Studio 6 brands; those properties selected for the pilot will participate in the entire Green Key certification process, which includes:
· The comprehensive 150-question online self-audit covering a broad range of operational areas and sustainable practices;
· Being ranked from 1 to 5 Keys based on responses to audit questions;
· Receipt of a performance report with recommendations, best practices and potential areas for improvement and savings;
· Listing on the www.greenkeyglobal.com  website, a valuable resource for environmentally-conscious travelers;
· Access to online member resources and tools;
· On-site verification of self-audit responses by Green Key auditors.
In the course of the pilot, ANA corporate leadership will evaluate the program and decide whether to move forward with a larger rollout throughout the United States.
"Accor is widely recognized within the global hospitality industry as being a leader in sustainability initiatives," said Tony Pollard, Managing Director of Green Key Global. "We are confident that Green Key will become an important part of Accor North America's efforts to protect and preserve the environment."
The cornerstone of the Green Key program is its focus on sound sustainable practices specifically for the lodging industry. The audit was developed by two leading environmental engineering firms with support from the Canadian Government to withstand the scrutiny of a wide-range of environmental experts; the program had been operating exclusively in Canada since 1997 prior to its launch in the United States this September. There are currently more than 1,200 Green Key members, including 21 Accor properties in Canada.
"Our Green Key properties in Canada have touted the environmental, financial and marketing benefits of the program for several years," explained Renée Swoger, Manager of Energy & Environment Services for Accor North America. "We have been waiting for Green Key to migrate to the United States for some time; needless to say, we are eager to launch the pilot."