Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Virginia Green
Hotels & Lodging Facilities

Virginia Green

Sevenoaks Retreat Center
Madison, VA


Virginia Green is the Commonwealth of Virginia’s campaign to promote environmentally-friendly practices in all aspects of Virginia’s tourism industry. Virginia Green has established "core activities" specific to each sector of tourism, and these practices are considered the required minimum for participation in the program. However, Virginia Green encourages its participants to reduce their environmental impacts in all aspects of their operations, and this profile provides a full list of all their “green” activities. These are the activities that guests / customers can expect to find when they visit this facility.

Sevenoaks Retreat Center

Sevenoaks Retreat Center is a full service retreat center providing meeting spaces, lodging, meals and services to individuals and group events. We offer a serene and beautiful sanctuary where mindfulness and healing can occur.

Sevenoaks has practiced green standards for decades and we feel this is a natural progression for our center to be certified as a green facility.

Sevenoaks purchases locally produced food products and supplies, grows and maintains organic gardens, helps to protect and enhance the wildlife on Sevenoaks property by using natural products on our grounds and in our buildings, and we help educate our guests about our eco-friendly processes.

Virginia Green Activities

This facility pledges that they:
Offer optional linen service
- Have signage in each guest room explaining the linen reuse procedures 
- Change linens only upon request 
- Train housekeeping staff on our process for optional linen service  
- Track optional linen participation rate 
- Purchase water- and energy-efficient washers and dryers 
- Use non-phosphate, non-toxic and biodegradable laundry detergents 
- Minimize the use of bleach and chlorinated chemicals 
- Use a service that has environmentally-preferable wet cleaning for dry-clean only items 
- Line dry linens whenever possible 
- Other Activities: We lease linens from VA Linen Co., a eco-friendly linen service

Recycle
- Have in place clearly marked recycling bins or provide convenient drop-off locations for guests to recycle: 
- Glass Bottles 
- Plastic Bottles 
- Aluminum cans 
- Steel cans 
- Newspaper 
- Office paper
Other items recycled by the facility:
 
- Printer/ copy machine toner cartridges 
- Cardboard 
- Fluorescent lamps 
- Batteries 
- Electronics equipment such as computers, etc. 
- Other Activities: We use a reputable company who offers one-stream recycling and trash

Reduce solid waste
- Track overall solid waste costs 
- Use bulk soap dispensers instead of individual soaps/shampoos in guest rooms 
- Instruct housekeeping staff to save and reuse unopened items 
- Donate excess food from events 
- Compost food waste and other compostables 
- Have an effective food inventory control system to minimize waste 
- Use disposable foodservice items that are made from renewable materials (not petroleum-based) 
- Use disposable foodservice items that are made from recycled content 
- Use disposable foodservice items that are recyclable (in your area!) 
- Use non-bleached napkins and coffee filters 
- Use water pitchers to minimize the use of single-use bottles 
- Use bulk soap dispensers in public restrooms 
- Purchase recycled-content paper-towels and toilet paper 
- Remove facility and staff names from junk mail lists when possible 
- Reuse scrap paper for notes 
- Reuse or donate shipping and packing supplies (peanuts, bubble wrap, etc.) 
- Use refillable pens and toner cartridges 
- Purchase recycled paper with a high-percentage recycled content 
- Make double-sided photocopies and avoid making extra photocopies 
- Use electronic correspondence and forms when possible 
- Install carpet with sustainable or recycled content and low-VOC adhesives 
- Use reused building materials or those from sustainable sources 
- Use latex, low or no-VOC paints 
- Re-use paint thinners 
- Properly recycle and/or dispose of thinners and solvents 
- Perform preventative maintenance on all appliances, HVAC systems, plumbing, and vehicles 
- Use integrated pest management (IPM) 
- Minimize use of pesticides and herbicides in landscaping 
- Other Activities: We use no chemical pesticides on our grounds.

Use water efficiently
- Track overall water usage and wastewater costs 
- Perform preventative maintenance to stop drips and leaks 
- Use water-flow metering to discover leaks and areas of high use 
- Have installed low flow faucets and showerheads (use less than 2.5 gallons per minute) 
- Have installed low flow toilets (use 1.6 gallons per flush or less) 
- Use microfiber technology mops 
- Have landscaping that utilizes native species 
- Have minimized our lawn area 
- Have installed rain gardens to manage storm water 
- Have installed pervious pavement to reduce storm water runoff 
- Have minimized impervious areas (paving, concrete, etc.) 
- Have installed drip line irrigation 
- Maintain vegetative buffers around streams and ponds 
- Use a nutrient management plan that minimizes the use of fertilizers 
- Other Activities: We use water/rain barriers to prevent sediment run-off into our pond.

Conserve energy
- Track overall energy bills 
- Have established a numeric goal to reduce energy usage over time 
- Have installed ceiling fans 
- Have installed ENERGY STAR-rated windows and doors 
- Regularly perform preventative maintenance on HVAC system 
- Have installed a high efficiency HVAC system 
- Keep office doors and windows closed if HVAC system is on 
- Use natural lighting (i.e., open draperies and raise shades whenever adequate light from windows is available) 
- Use lighting sensors to turn on/off lights 
- Have adopted a policy/practice to turn off lights in unoccupied rooms 
- Have installed high efficiency fluorescent ballasts and lamps (T-5 and T-8) 
- Have installed compact fluorescent light bulbs in all rooms and canned lighting 
- Have installed directional (downward-facing) lighting in parking areas and other outdoor areas 
- Use ENERGY STAR qualified appliances (commercial kitchens, heating and cooling, consumer electronics) 
- Use ENERGY STAR qualified office equipment (computers, monitors, copiers, printers, etc.) 
- Use alternative fuel, hybrid-electric, or electric vehicles 
- Other Activities: We shut down buildings after every event to conserve energy.

Offer a green events package
- Include the availability of "green meetings/conferences" in marketing packages (see the factsheet on Environmentally-Responsible Conferences & Events) 

Sevenoaks Retreat Center    Sevenoaks Retreat Center

For more information on Sevenoaks Retreat Center, see www.sevenoaksretreat.org or contact Paul Klinger, Ctr. Director at pklinger@sevenoaksretreat.org or 540-948-6544.

For more information on the Virginia Green program, see www.deq.state.va.us/Programs/PollutionPrevention/VirginiaGreen.aspx.

Virginia GreenVirginia Green is a partnership supported by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Hospitality & Tourism Association, and the Virginia Tourism Corporation.

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