Virginia Green is a state program founded to encourage sustainable practices throughout the Virginia tourism industry. The Virginia Green Travel Alliance issues two levels of certification to qualified applicants from in the Virginia Tourism Industry. The Virginia Green Entry Level program requires applicants to meet certain basic sustainable practices (recycling, energy efficiency, water efficiency, waste minimization, and public outreach), while the Virginia Green Full Partner program requires a deeper level of commitment to sustainable practices. Certification status lasts for two years and is renewable.
Why should your business apply? It’s an easy way to demonstrate conscientiousness and illustrate your commitment to sustainable practices. A 2015 Nielsen online study revealed that nearly three fourths of Millennials are willing to pay more for products sourced from sustainable businesses, and they are not alone. Further, Forbes noted that with increased consumption of social media, businesses must be transparent on social media to communicate their commitment to sustainability to maintain consumer trust. In short, sustainable businesses stand out and build brand loyalty.
How do you take advantage of this marketing boost? The Virginia Green Entry Level program application typically takes less than an hour to complete and includes a minimal administration fee; notification of acceptance into the program is usually provided within a few days to a week. The Virginia Green Full Partner program application is more in depth but can often be completed within a few days to a few weeks, depending on staff availability to assemble the required documentation.
Once certified, participants have access to:
- Immediate social media recognition, including a featured link on the Virginia Green Travel Alliance website and inclusion in the VGTA newsletter
- Promotion of their certified green status through the use of the Virginia Green logo in their tasting rooms, on social media, and on their marketing materials (certificate, window decals, placard, and rack)
- Featured Virginia Green logo use in printed Virginia Restaurant, Lodging, and Travel Association travel guide and mobile app.
- Recognition on the Virginia Tourism Plan Your Green Vacation website
- Discounted registration for conference & workshops
- Staff education opportunities including the annual conference & webinars
- Recognition opportunities through the annual Virginia Green Travel Star Awards
- Media Kit
Curious to find out if your business qualifies? Need some help to put the application together? Click below for a 15 minute Quick Start Assessment consult at no cost or obligation to you.