OTTAWA — Green Key Global announced on July 15 that it has launched the first-ever experiential sustainable hospitality program — in New York — and could consider a Canadian school for a similar initiative.
Green Key partnered with the Benjamin Hotel New York City, the New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) and the Hotel Association of New York City (HANYC) to launch the experiential sustainable hospitality program with NYIT Hospitality Studies students.
Under the supervision of Dr. Robert Koenig, director of NYIT Global Center for Hospitality Management, a team of 10 students collaborated with The Benjamin Hotel in the capacity of a small-group consulting team to assess the property’s environmental initiatives and assist in completing the Green Key Eco-Rating certification program. “One of the many strengths of our curriculum is this type of partnership opportunity with industry leaders that allows our program to offer unique professional experiential learning to students in support of our academic course learning outcomes,” said Koenig in a release.
Five key areas were reviewed: Corporate Environmental Management, Housekeeping, Food & Beverage Operations, Conference & Meeting Facilities, and Engineering. Students collected and analyzed data, strategized alternative eco-solutions and delivered recommendations, which led to sustainability improvements and the awarding of a 4 Key Eco-Rating for The Benjamin.
Green Key Global and NYIT will be continuing the program for the upcoming semester.
“We would be happy to bring it into Canada if there was interest,” Linda Hartwell, Green Key’s director, marketing communications, told CLN. “In fact, we have already had an initial conversation with a school here in Canada. The program was brought to us as a proposal from NYIT and judging from its success, it is something we definitely would be interested in expanding on.”