Fairmont Hotels & Resorts — Fairmont has long been committed to sustainability, and in 1990 it developed a comprehensive Green Partnership program to minimize its hotels' environmental impact. The program focuses on improvements in waste management, energy and water conservation, habitat protection, purchasing, and community outreach. In 2007, Fairmont initiated Eco-Meet, a program option for meeting planners looking to green their events that outlines many green practices and includes a useful checklist. Early this year, Fairmont entered into a partnership with the World Wildlife Fund to help combat climate change by measuring and reducing its carbon dioxide emissions.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts — With a corporate commitment to operate its properties in an environmentally sensitive way, many Four Seasons hotels have aggressively implemented green policies. For example, the Regent Singapore received Singapore's inaugural Energy Smart Award last year for achieving outstanding energy efficiency without compromising indoor environmental quality.

Hilton Hotels Corp. — Hilton has introduced several companywide environmental initiatives, such as its “conserve to preserve” program, which gives hotels the choice of reusing towels and thus saving water. Hilton is also retrofitting its hotel rooms with lower-wattage compact fluorescent light bulbs and has initiated an environmental reporting system that allows hotel managers to benchmark environmental performance.

Hyatt Hotels Corp. — Hyatt recently created a new position — vice president, environmental affairs — who is tasked with initiating a companywide environmental sustainability program. The chain's new luxury brand, Andaz, plans to be especially green, with organic food and beverage and fully biodegradable products.

Marriott International — Marriott's Environmentally Conscious Hotel Operations program focuses on water and energy conservation, clean-air initiatives, wildlife preservation, waste management, and cleanup campaigns. The chain is a member of the EPA's Climate Leaders program, through which it has committed to reduce its energy use by 6 percent per guest room from 2005 to 2010. Marriott recently signed an agreement with the state of Amazonas in Brazil to help protect 1.4 million acres of endangered rain forest and collaborated with Conservation International to reduce its global environmental footprint.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. — Ritz-Carlton's vice president, community footprints, recently launched the Give Back Getaways program, through which guests can volunteer to help local communities. Programs with an environmental impact include one offered at the Ritz-Carlton Cancun in which participants join a biologist from the Cancun Department of Biology to help protect endangered sea turtles by searching for nesting turtles, gathering their eggs, and relocating them at “turtle camps” in safer locations.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide — Starwood's aloft brand features a “see green” program that promotes eco-friendly products and services, such as hotel parking lots with spots reserved for hybrid cars. Its newest brand, Element, is a working laboratory to test green construction. All hotels brandwide are required to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certification standards.

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts — Disney began going green in 1990 with its “Environmentality” initiatives. At Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, for example, many properties — including the BoardWalk Resort, Contemporary Resort, Coronado Springs Resort, Yacht and Beach Club Resort, and Grand Floridian Resort & Spa — have received Green Lodging Designation from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Walt Disney World Resort also received the 2007 Florida Energy Achievement Award for efficient use of energy, energy conservation, energy education, and renewable energy.