news & features

7/30/2015

EcoChi 180 Program Considers Elements of Space, Design That Other Certifications Do Not

NEW YORK—A certification program incorporating guidelines in unique areas such as Classical Feng Shui and environmental pyschology is beginning to gain traction within the hospitality industry. Launched by Certified Eco Designer Debra Duneier, Founder and President of New York-based EcoChi, LLC, the EcoChi 180° seal confirms that 18 guidelines have been met. In addition to the aforementioned Classical Feng Shui and environmental psychology, guidelines cover topics including energy efficiency, non-toxic materials and finishing, ergonomics, representing nature indoors, improved lighting, sound attenuation, creative workspaces, and green practices. Unlike other certification programs, guidelines can vary by project and are customized for each client. There are always 18 guidelines that have to be met. Until now, the EcoChi 180° seal has been sought only for projects on which Duneier’s company has been involved as a designer. That is beginning to change, however, as other companies are expressing interest in the program. According to Duneier, fees for certification vary per project. The system can be applied to new construction, renovation or finished spaces.

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publisher's point of view
Classical Feng Shui, Environmental Psychology a Part of EcoChi Certification

I have often heard speakers cite figures about the number of green certification programs available to businesses. Typically the inference is that there are too many of the programs. That may very well be true but there should always be room for one more in our industry if it has been thoughtfully developed, is innovative, of value to the user, and of benefit to guests. This past week I spoke with Debra Duneier, Founder and President of New York-based EcoChi, LLC about her company’s EcoChi 180° certification program. It is just beginning to be adopted by hospitality businesses. What interested me about EcoChi 180° is that it addresses some issues that other lodging certification programs do not address.

guest column
Sustainability is the Core of an Authentic Hospitality Experience

Hospitality is not just about offering a place to sleep. It comprises the entire experience of travel, from transportation to lodging, dining, shopping and entertainment. Leaders in hospitality recognize a guest’s experience begins when planning their trip, before a single reservation is booked. This is the ideal time to start making an impact on their traveling decisions, and sustainability can and should be a core part of the message to guests. At Paladino, we approach our work in sustainability through an abundance lens. We first evaluate the abundance of resources and opportunities within an environment or situation to determine the prospect for change and then center a sustainability strategy around these opportunities.

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green hotel focus
Wyndham Signs Agreement with Ramada Eco Beach Broome

BROOME, AUSTRALIA—Wyndham Hotel Group has announced the signing of a franchise agreement for the 55-key Ramada Resort Eco Beach Broome, an eco-friendly property in Australia that adds to the company’s growing Ramada brand portfolio in the South Pacific. The four-and-a-half-star resort, located just over an hour’s drive south of Broome in Australia’s Kimberley region, provides guests with a beachfront location boasting outstanding views of the Indian Ocean. With a strong focus on conservation, Ramada Resort Eco Beach Broome practices sustainable energy and water use throughout the property, including the use of solar power, fluorescent lighting and recycled water to maintain the property’s expansive landscaped grounds.

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personnel profile
Joe Velasquez Appointed General Manager of Shore Hotel

SANTA MONICA, CALIF.—Shore Hotel, a leader in sustainability among Santa Monica’s luxury hotels, announces the appointment of hotel veteran Joe Velasquez to its executive team as General Manager. Velasquez brings more than two decades of experience in the luxury hotel business, including success at brands in California, Arizona, and Hawaii. “We know that Joe will bring the expertise and experience Shore Hotel needs to continue providing the highest level of service on which the hotel prides itself,” says CEO Steve Farzam. “Shore Hotel is an extraordinary escape destination where we value our guests and know that Joe will further our commitment to providing personable five-star customer service.” Velasquez was most recently the Director of Sales and Marketing at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. Prior to that, he was acting General Manager during the ownership transition at Fairmont Scottsdale Princess in Arizona, which included being responsible for high profile events.

blog post
Addendum to Article on Energy Storage Systems
4 days ago

During the research for my article on energy storage systems (article posted last week on the Green Lodging News website) it was my intent to chat with Nick Bozych, Vice President and General Manager of the Lafayette Park Hotel and Spa in Lafayette, Calif. The Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa is a French Chateau-style property centrally located in Lafayette near the business centers of Walnut Creek, Concord, San Ramon and Oakland, and a 30-minute drive from San Francisco. The Lafayette Park Hotel has 138 guest rooms, European style day spa, restaurant, bar and over 10,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor meeting space. The property installed an energy storage system earlier this year to help reduce demand charges. Unfortunately, I did not receive the answers to the questions posed to Nick until after the article was posted. Here then are the questions followed by the answers.

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