Doctors start by going to med school,
Teachers start by getting ed degrees,
Attorneys start by going to law school,
Environmental professionals start in dozens of
BGT’s mission is to help hotels improve their
environmental performance, lower their
operating costs and attract more guests.
BGT’s original vision in 2005: establish Boston as the
east coast green destination, led by green convention
centers, hotels and restaurants.
BGT’s current vision: spur the green hotel movement in
Boston and elsewhere; influence hotel guests and staff
to lead greener lifestyles.
BGT helps hotels identify the newest and most
important green technology and practices; understand
and adopt to green trends; adapt to new environmental
laws; and achieve green certification.
is a membership organization for ~30 Boston
area hotels improving their environmental
performance. We provide for them 8 workshops
per year, newsletters and technical assistance.
We organize green hotel workshops and webinars
for U.S. hoteliers.
We consult with hotels and green vendors who
We work with Boston’s Green Ribbon Commission
to help achieve the city’s climate change goals.
BGT helps hotels:
.... reduce energy, water and waste
.... improve indoor air quality
.... choose greener transportation alternatives
.... cccchoose greener food options
.... attract visitors based on their excellent
A part-time webmaster
A partner on a grant
Occasional part-time help
Many hoteliers and green vendors help by
hosting meetings, giving presentations, etc.
Many of our hotel members have cut energy
and water use by over >30% and have
recycling rates of >50%.
Boston has the highest proportion of
TripAdvisor GreenLeaders of any city.
BGT represents hotels on Boston’s Green
With Whom Does BGT Interact?
Hotel engineers, green team leaders, GM’s
Green product and service vendors
State and City environmental officials
Leaders from other industry sectors
Why Hotels Go Green: ↓ Costs and ↑ Revenue
↓ energy, water and waste bills
Attract meeting planners, corporate accounts and leisure
guests with green certifications (TripAdvisor, Energy Star,
Green Key, etc.) and practices
Score well on city or state websites that display commercial
buildings’ Energy Star scores
Impress guests wanting to live green (recycling bins, allergy-
friendly rooms, green cleaning products, local food, etc.)
Offer green meetings and green weddings
Stay ahead of government regulations
Achieve the mandate of your chain (Starwood: ↓ 30% energy, ↓
20% water by 2020)
Who Greens Hotels?
Hotel GM’s, Directors of Engineering and Housekeeping,
Green Team leaders from any department
Hotel chain and hotel group executives and
Government officials and legislators
Utilities that administer the Mass Save Program
Green product and service vendors and consultants
Green hotel certifiers
Meeting planners who favor green hotels
Green hotel journalists
Where do you fit in?
The Trend: Hotels are Becoming Greener!
It makes business sense.
There is an explosion of green tech: LED lights, more efficient
motors, better building management systems with advanced
analytic capability, more water efficient water technology, less
toxic products, etc.
Stricter regulations, like the MA food waste ban
Customers are demanding greener facilities.
My Career Path
Masters in Health Services Administration
Health care administrator for 17 years;
administrator of a Harvard Community Health Plan
Harvard Pilgrim Health Care’s environmental
Manager, WasteCap of Massachusetts
Executive Director, Coalition for Environmentally
Executive Director, Boston Green Tourism
Why I Switched from Health Care to Environment
Improving the environment is my calling
I think, read and talk about the environment much
more than health care
I believed that my skills as an administrator would
help me succeed as an environmentalist—even if
nobody else did
I didn’t switch for the money!
How I Switched from Health Care to Environment, 1
◦ Greened my life (↓ energy use by 78%, etc.)
◦ Coached 30 Household Ecoteams
◦ Green Decade Newton: President, VP, Chair of Board, etc.
◦ Mass Energy Consumers Alliance, VP of Board
Saved money for the lean times
Harvard Community Health Plan owed me a favor—and I
asked them to create an environmental position for me
After HCHP laid me off, I took a risk: abandon my health care
career and embark on an environmental career; my first job
search took a long time…
How I Switched from Health Care to Environment, 2
I took a giant step backward and accepted a job with
WasteCap of Massachusetts—to get my start in this new field
After WasteCap laid me off, I took a risk: lead an organization
(CERC) with mission to green the 2004 Democratic National
Convention in Boston
◦ I had to raise my own salary—and it wasn’t a good living
◦ I spent > one year as a workaholic
◦ With luck and effort, CERC was a major success, and I made dozens of
connections; I became a somebody in the environmental community
The Reluctant Entrepreneur: Starting Boston
Green Tourism, 1
No good job prospects.
Tired of competing against dozens of applicants
for jobs I didn’t want.
Decided to start my own business instead.
The Reluctant Entrepreneur: Starting Boston
Green Tourism, 2
I wrote a concept paper: Growing Boston’s Convention and
Tourism Industry by Making the City a Green Convention and
Tourism Destination; I used it to get people behind my vision,
and to create the organization
I met with hoteliers, convention center officials, restaurateurs
and tourism officials, and asked them to join the organization
Enough said that they would pay to join, so I formed Boston
Implications of Running My Own Business
Freedom / no boss.
No paycheck. I’m paid when a check arrives in the mail. For
someone who hates to ask for money, this is not ideal!
I patch together a living from unpredictable revenue streams:
hotel membership dues, grants, consulting jobs and speaking
Customers come and go. They don’t have to pay me.
I pay my own benefits and earn less than I once did.
I do mostly the work I want to do; I love my job!
I have become a big fish in the tiny green hotel industry
I have had a bigger impact by creating my own position than
if I was hired to do a preexisting job.
Some funding sources are drying up: hotels
turn over, possibly no more EPA grants for
the hospitality field.
I will make a push for new Boston hotel
I will seek more consulting work.
Business conditions change, so I must keep
adjusting and find new sources of income.
I created a great, meaningful, long-term job
for myself in the environmental field by:
◦ gaining skills in another field.
◦ volunteering with environmental organizations.
◦ taking risks.
◦ making frequent course corrections.
◦ accepting less pay and an unpredictable income in
return for job satisfaction.