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Certification via the Green Lodging Program

California is recognized throughout the nation for its environmental beauty and its environmental leadership.  Each of us has an important role to play in protecting this beauty and helping to conserve California's precious natural resources to ensure that its residents and businesses continue to thrive.

The California Green Lodging Program acknowledges and promotes lodging facilities that demonstrate water and energy conservation, waste minimization, recycling, environmentally friendly purchasing, program sustainability, and pollution prevention.  The program is committed to demonstrating the highest standards of integrity and environmental ethics for the State of California.

Beginning July 1, 2012, all Green Lodging Program participating properties will be required to pay an administrative fee to maintain their green certification from the State of California.  Membership in the Green Lodging Program must be renewed every three years in order to maintain status as a rated property and continue receiving the benefits associated with membership.  The fee is $500.  The benefits of being a member include:

  • Listing on the California Green Lodging Directory located on the Department of General Services travel website;
  • Program certificate and window decal;
  • Partnerships with AAA and Travelocity with placement of their hotel in their online directories;
  • Utilization of program logo to show commitment to sustainability, and
  • Property highlighted in Sabre as a green hotel. 

In addition, the California Green Lodging Program will require an ongoing recertification process every three years which is designed to: 1) evaluate the basic parameters of the program, and 2) certify that each participating property continues to meet the documented program requirements.  Each property will need to show an active initiative of sustainability improvements to be eligible for a recertification.  If each property meets the recertification requirements of the program, it will qualify for a three-year green certification for the program.


To apply for consideration for the Green Lodging Program, please fill out and return the hotel survey (PDF).  Once you complete the survey, DGS staff will contact you.  The next step is to perform a field survey (PDF) at your facility. Once the field survey is complete, program evaluation and scoring will be conducted.

Facilities that qualify for the program will be rated at one of three levels as noted below.  (Also see Green Lodging Directory.)

Environmentalist Level

Environmentalist Level



This is the highest level of program participation.  Environmentalist Level hotels achieved a field survey score of 351 or more points.

Leadership Level 

Leadership Level



This is the second highest level of program participation.  Leadership Level hotels achieved a field survey score of 326 to 350 points.

Participant Level 

Participation Level



This is the entry level for the program.  Participation Level hotels achieved a field survey score of 250 to 325 points.

Certification in Process 

Certification In Process



The hotel has submitted a hotel survey to apply for Green Lodging Program consideration and is in the process of being certified.

Thank you for your participation in this program.  We look forward to your support and commitment to reducing waste, saving energy, water and California's other valuable resources through environmentally friendly practices in the hospitality industry.