LA Hotels Meet Green Standards

Los Angeles, 6 February 2011 - A new program was initiated this month in the Gateway to L.A. business district that is helping hotels reduce waste, meet green certification standards, and provide assistance to an area homeless shelter: InnGage Hotel Amenity Donation Program.

The Gateway to L.A. business district contains over 7,100 hotel rooms, with an average length of stay of approximately 1.2 nights. Every day, hotel guests depart having used only a small portion of the toiletries provided for their stay. These bottles of shampoos and lotions often go to waste, while there are people in the community in need of these very items. “Hotels in the LAX corridor have the ability to make a big contribution to help provide for the basic needs of those less fortunate,” states Julie Baylor, originator of the InnGage program.

Baylor, a hospitality consultant and LEED Green Associate, has provided assistance to hotels in the Gateway to L.A. business district to achieve Green Seal™ certification under the GS-33 Standard for Lodging Properties. “Part of the Green Seal standard includes donating used amenities to charity, and in working with the hotels I recognized a need for an organized donation system. Because I have a connection to the hotels and also volunteer at the Union Rescue Mission through my church, I felt a calling to establish the system that brings them together.”

Los Angeles is the homeless capital of the United States. In fact, L.A. has 3% of the overall U.S. population, but has 10% of the U.S. homeless population. According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, up to 141,000 men, women, and children in L.A. experience homelessness over the course of a year and up to 73,000 people are experiencing homelessness each night in Los Angeles County. “Hotels are in a unique position to provide assistance at no cost by simply collecting, packaging and donating partially used shampoo, conditioner, lotion and shower gel bottles,” states Baylor.

The program is available to hotels in the Gateway to L.A. business district at no cost. Participating hotels collect partially used amenities and separate them by type into boxes. The boxes are picked up according to a set schedule and delivered to the Union Rescue Mission.

Established in 1891, Union Rescue Mission (URM) is one of the largest rescue missions of its kind in the United States and the oldest in Los Angeles. In the last year, the URM has provided 407,919 nights of lodging, well over 1,000 people per night on average. The new donation program is a welcomed addition to the URM. “The hygiene products are much needed and will be a huge blessing to our guests,” states Mindy Vanderhoeven, Gifts-In-Kind Specialist at Union Rescue Mission.

About Gateway to L.A. Gateway to L.A. is a property-based business improvement district with 12.3 million square feet of hotel, office, parking, retail and restaurant space, including the largest concentration of hotel rooms in the City of Los Angeles. Situated just east of the entrance to Los Angeles International Airport, the business district includes 13 hotels, 11 office buildings, and 9 parking garages, plus restaurants, health clubs and retail shops that cater to the fast-paced business customer.

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