June 22, 2011 09:31 ET

RCI Green Award Program Launches in North America

World's Largest Vacation Exchange Company Sets Out to Recognize Its Affiliated Resorts in North America That Commit to Environmentally-Friendly Practices

PARSIPPANY, NJ--(Marketwire - Jun 22, 2011) - RCI, the global leader in vacation exchange and part of the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands (NYSE: WYN), has created the RCI® Green Award to recognize RCI® affiliated resorts in North America that actively engage in sustainable practices and demonstrate a commitment to incorporating green measures into all facets of daily resort operations.

"Vacation destinations are defined by their natural settings, and we believe it's important to act in ways that help preserve those environments," said Gordon Gurnik, president, RCI. "With this award, we can acknowledge the great programs already in place at RCI affiliated resorts and inspire other resorts to adopt green initiatives."

Modeled after the successful RCI Going Green Award program launched by its Pacific region last year, the North American iteration calls on RCI affiliated resorts to evaluate the type and degree of environmental management practices being exercised at their properties. The affiliated resorts have the opportunity to fill out and submit a voluntary self-assessment questionnaire containing sustainability questions about resort operations. The major areas included within the questionnaire are energy, waste, supply chain and water management, site-nature and cultural environment, facility design elements, and community and guest engagement.

In September, after all the submissions have been collected, the self-assessment forms will be reviewed and scored by a third party expert to determine the award finalists. That group of select finalists will then undergo an on-site property inspection to validate that all aspects of the self-assessment were accurate.

The third party expert will utilize the results of the self-assessment questionnaire and the on-site inspection to determine which affiliated resorts will receive the inaugural RCI Green Awards in North America. The select group of winners will be formally presented the award at the 2012 American Resort Development Association (ARDA) Convention in Las Vegas.

Rohit Verma, Cornell University's Professor of Service Operations Management at the School of Hotel Administration, will take on the task of reviewing the self-assessment questionnaires and conducting the on-site inspection of the finalists in North America. In addition to his responsibilities as an Ivy League professor, Verma serves as the Executive Director for the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) where he examines hospitality functions such as new product and service design; quality management and process improvement; and operations and marketing interrelated issues. He has published over 50 articles in prestigious business journals such as the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, Journal of Operations Management, MIT Sloan Management Review, Production and Operations Management, among others.

"The hospitality industry is evolving to the environment-conscious guest and corporate customer who, in increasing numbers, will stay only with accommodations that reflect their same values," added Gurnik. "This award program is designed to recognize those affiliated resorts that embrace green initiatives that continue to impact the industry and make the world a better place to live."

The RCI Green Award program is strategically aligned with Wyndham Green, an initiative focusing on global sustainability practices across the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands.

About RCI

RCI is the worldwide leader in vacation exchange with over 4,000 affiliated resorts in approximately 100 countries. RCI pioneered the concept of vacation exchange in 1974, offering members increased flexibility and versatility with their vacation ownership experience. Today, through RCI® Weeks, the traditional week-for-week exchange system, and RCI Points®, the industry's first global points-based exchange system, RCI provides flexible vacation options to its 3.8 million RCI subscribing members each year. RCI is part of Wyndham Exchange & Rentals and the Wyndham Worldwide family of brands (NYSE: WYN). For additional information visit our media center or

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