news & features


Earthkeeping Becomes Passion for Associates at Historic Brown Palace Hotel

DENVER—The piece-of-pie shaped Brown Palace Hotel, a fixture in the heart of Denver since 1892, has been undergoing a green transformation the last couple of years that has caught the eye of many. The 241-room property won the Good Earthkeeping Award in 2013 from the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Assn. and the Good Earthkeeping Award in 2014 from the American Hotel and Lodging Assn. While dabbling in sustainability for a number of years—bee hives have been on the hotel roof as part of the hotel’s Bee Royalty Initiative since 2009—it was in October 2012 when good things really started to happen. That is when Brenna St. Onge was hired as Executive Housekeeper. She brought a passion for sustainability to her job and it was a year ago that she was promoted to Assistant Director of Rooms and Chair of Sustainability. As anyone who owns a historic structure more than a century old knows, adding efficiencies is not always easy. Take the Brown Palace Hotel’s shell as one example.

featured vendor video
Hotel Laundry Made Easy With UniMac®

Length: 3:57

Hotel laundry made easy with UniMac--a Hampton Inn case study from Boulder, Colo.

publisher's point of view
Value of Third-Party Certification Re-Emphasized in New Report

While geared toward gauging consumer reaction to green product claims, a study recently released by UL Environment and conducted by Shelton Group also sheds light, I believe, on how consumers are most likely to react to hotel property green certification claims. In the study, “Under the Lens: Claiming Green, The Influence of Green Product Claims on Purchase Intent and Brand Perception,” 1,017 consumers were presented with a series of visual comparisons in which a problematic claim was paired with a legitimate claim or a certified claim. An example of a problematic claim was language on a product that can easily be perceived as greenwashing. A legitimate claim included credible language on a product but the information was not certified by a third party. A certified claim was one substantiated by a third party.

guest column
Development & Operations Lessons from Three LEED Platinum Certified Hotels

NEW YORK—The common misconception that LEED is too hard and too expensive was dispelled a few weeks ago at the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show in a panel entitled, “Gone Platinum! A First-Time Ever Gathering of Leaders of Three LEED Platinum Hotels.” The only three LEED Platinum certified hotels in the United States at this time (not including the one LEED Platinum hostel) were represented. The panel was truly the pinnacle of sustainably developed hotels in the United States, with Jim Treadway, General Manager at Bardessono (Yountville, Calif.), Lynee Sauer, Business Manager, Hotel Skyler (Syracuse, N.Y.) and Dennis W. Quaintance, CEO, Proximity Hotel (Greensboro, N.C.) discussing how and why they achieved this level of verified sustainable development.

featured product
Experts Agree On Sterling's Sustainable Modular Mattress

Max H. Tucker, CHA, General Manager, Best Western Big America: “Sterling mattresses are an important part of our strategy for meeting guest comfort and working towards a more sustainable hotel operation.” Brian Keller, Director of Property Services, Oakwood Worldwide, LEED Green Associate: “One definite advantage is the concept of replacement components…this has been a great find for Oakwood.” The top three reasons buyers are choosing the Sterling Hospitality Sustainable Modular Mattress: 3) Shows guests you care about their comfort. 2) Reduces maintenance and replacement costs and downtime. 1) Reduces your carbon footprint. For more information, call (888) 281-2817 today!

green hotel focus
Centara Grand Resort Krabi Launches Water Bottling Plant

BANGKOK—Green tourism has become an important trend in recent years, with travelers and hospitality operators alike all doing their best to minimize the impact that tourism can have on the environment. Centara Grand Beach Resort &Villas Krabi, which is set directly on the beach in a small bay that can only be reached by boat or along a pathway through the national park that surrounds the resort is especially aware of its environmental responsibilities. Last year it was awarded EarthCheck Silver Certification for its environmental management programs. As part of the resort’s ongoing commitment towards environmental responsibilities, Centara Grand Krabi has launched its own water bottling plant using a reverse osmosis system. Also known as hyper filtration, this process allows the removal of particles as small as ions from a solution.

upcoming events
Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo
Orange County Convention Center, Orlando, Fla.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Virginia Green Travel Conference
Greater Richmond Convention Center

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

AHR Expo
McCormick Place, Chicago

Monday, January 26, 2015

Hotel Association of Canada National Conference
Hilton Toronto Hotel

Monday, February 02, 2015

personnel profile
Harith Wickrema, Wearing Many Green Hats, is ‘Visionary’ in More Ways Than One

ST. JOHN, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS—As Chief Visionary Officer and owner of the eight-suite Eco Serendib Villa and Spa on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, Harith Wickrema is adamant about providing luxury experiences for guests that “excite, educate, and entertain.” “Eco Serendib Villa and Spa is proof that you do not necessarily have to sacrifice luxury and modern conveniences to live a greener existence,” Wickrema says. Wickrema, who grew up in Sri Lanka where “eco” efforts were standard out of necessity, readily admits that his property is not perfect when it comes to sustainability but he has gone far beyond what is standard to reduce the property’s environmental footprint. The list is very long and can be seen on Eco Serendib’s website but some of the property’s most significant initiatives include: 69 rooftop solar panels, kitchen appliances that use less energy than a 100-watt bulb and are made from as much as 75 percent recycled materials, a gray water system for irrigation, and three separate 20,000-gallon cisterns to collect rainwater.

blog post
Study Shows Best Way to Engage Employees in Energy Conservation
6 days ago

A recent Carnegie Mellon University study of PNC Financial Services Group employees provides some fascinating insight into how best to engage employees in energy efficiency measures. In December 2013, PNC installed Plugwise meters, which measure plug load, or the energy drawn by devices from an electrical outlet, at 80 Pittsburgh employees’ workstations. These 80 employees were divided into four groups, each of which received a different amount of information and control. The first group knew they were being monitored but received no information about their energy consumption. The second group received information through an energy dashboard that collected and displayed plug-load data in real time. The third group also had access to the dashboard and could manually turn on and off specific devices through the use of a switchboard. The fourth group had access to the dashboard and could automate when specific devices turned on and off.

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