International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show in New York City to Feature Unlocking Green Key Panel Presentation

Panelists to Discuss North America’s Leading Green Lodging Certification Program

The Green Key Eco-Rating Program, North America’s leading green lodging certification program, will be the focus of a panel discussion at the 2010 International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show® (IHMRS) on Sunday, November 14 at 3pm at the Javits Convention Center in New York City.
Recent industry research indicates that travelers are not only more likely to consider a hotel’s environmental practices before booking a room, but also tend to provide more favorable consumer reviews to eco-friendly properties. The panel discussion will focus on how individual hotels and entire brands have utilized Green Key to run a more sustainable operation, save money and resonate with environmentally-conscious guests.
Moderator Pat Maher, formerly with Marriott International and now the green consultant for the American Hotel & Lodging Association will be joined by:

  • Zach Conen, vice president sales & marketing, Green Key (U.S. Region)
  • Jeff Brainard, general manager, Embassy Suites at the Chevy Chase Pavilion
  • Renée Swoger, manager of energy & environment services, Accor North America
  • Sheila Geary, human resources training manager, Grand Hyatt New York

Brainard’s property is currently Green Key certified, and he is on the Destination Hotels & Resorts “Green Task Force” that recommended Green Key adoption for the entire portfolio. Swoger is in the midst of assisting hundreds of Motel 6 properties in their effort to become Green Key certified. And Geary is representing one of the first hotels in the United States to join Green Key; the Grand Hyatt New York joined nearly two years before the official U.S. launch.
“We’re excited about this opportunity to present and share the benefits of Green Key,” said Tony Pollard, Green Key Managing Director. “But the real value for those attending the show will come from interacting with the various panelists who have real life experience with Green Key and can best explain how the program helps them run more sustainable hotels, every day.”
Earlier this year, AH&LA announced that it had partnered with Green Key, making Green Key the de facto green certification program of the lodging industry in the United States. The program currently has nearly 1,500 members in North America, representing more than 230,000 rooms.
“With its focus on hotel operations, Green Key holds the most universal appeal for our membership,” said Joe McInerney, AH&LA president & CEO. “Panel attendees will learn how they can get up and running on the Green Key program quickly and begin making changes in the day-to-day operations of their hotel that will lessen their environmental footprint and save money.”
There is still time to register for the 95th annual IHMRS, which will run from November 13-16. For more information on Green Key, visit, call +1.888.752.7061 or email
About Green Key: The Green Key Eco-Rating Program is the first of its kind to rank, certify and inspect hotels and resorts in North America based on their commitment to sustainable “green” operations. The program was originally developed for the Hotel Association of Canada by a leading environmental engineering firm. Designed specifically for hotel operations, the Green Key Eco-Rating Program is a comprehensive environmental audit that will allow each participating property to benefit on several fronts – cost savings, increased bookings from environmentally conscious consumers and meeting planners and responsible corporate citizenry. In the United States Green Key is a joint partnership between the Hotel Association of Canada and LRA Worldwide, Inc.; for more information, visit