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SAN FRANCISCO—Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants has launched “Great Meetings, Great Causes,” an innovative program offering eco- and social responsibility incentives to meeting planners and clients. An out-of-the-box approach to traditional incentive programs, “Great Meetings, Great Causes” offers clients who book meetings at Kimpton hotels nationwide the choice of two of five incentives. One of the incentives is a $50 gift certificate to KimptonStyle, the online lifestyle retailer that donates all of Kimpton’s proceeds to its non-for-profit partners.
ALBANY, N.Y.—Audubon International has awarded The Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort, located on the shoreline of Mirror Lake in Lake Placid, New York, the prestigious Four Green Leaves Rating. Notification of the award was recently received after a lengthy review process. Over the past two years the Golden Arrow has worked hard to become a sustainable, earth friendly business. The Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort is the only property in New York State to have a certified Audubon Green Leaf rating and the only property in North America to have achieved the coveted Four Green Leaves status.
LOS ANGELES—Jim Burba, chair of this year’s Americas Lodging Investment Summit (ALIS), started the event this week by announcing that the travel of every one of the approximately 3,000 attendees would be offset by a donation to the Conservation Fund’s Go Zero program. That announcement set the tone for this year’s ALIS here at the Hyatt Regency Century City. Throughout the three-day event, green hotel development and operations most definitely were hot topics.
DALLAS—Motel 6, the largest corporately owned and operated hotel chain in North America, has completed the rollout of the first national fluorescent light bulb and battery recycling program within the hospitality industry. Motel 6, with more than 900 properties across the country, is the first U.S. hotel chain to implement this type of recycling program at its corporate properties nationwide without a federal mandate. The program, which launched in June 2007, is a continuation of Accor’s Earth Guest initiatives that demonstrate Accor North America’s dedication to preserving the environment.
KOHALA COAST, HAWAII—Mauna Lani Resort has been named one of the “World’s Top Earth-Friendly Getaways” by Conde Nast Traveler magazine in its January 2008 issue. The award winning Big Island green resort was recognized as one of the world’s top luxury, eco-friendly beach destinations, and is the only beach resort in the United States named in the collection. Mauna Lani’s eco-friendly solar energy innovations have earned the resort the distinction of generating the most solar electric power of any luxury resort in the world.
DENVER—As part of its ongoing efforts to set the pace in the travel and tourism industry, Xanterra Parks & Resorts has published the third edition of its Environmental Sustainability Report. The report is used to measure the progress of the company’s environmental program—called “Ecologix”—and track the company’s environmental impacts as well as steps toward meeting long-term environmental goals. “We have learned that tracking our performance helps us to better assess where to focus our efforts in the areas of resources and staffing, regulatory compliance and sustainability initiatives,” said Chris Lane, v.p. of environmental affairs for Xanterra Parks & Resorts.
ARCOLA, ILL.—Agri-Fab Holding Company (AFHC) and Bob McElwee announced that they are developing about 100 acres into a green village near Arcola, Ill. This resort, called Green Mill Village (GMV), is set to open in the fall of 2009 and will include a lodge/conference center, spa, restaurants, retail center and education center—all operated on wind power and solar power. The goal of the $30 million project will be to get off the local electricity grid as much as possible. The developers intend to pursue Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver—possibly LEED gold—for the project.
NEW YORK CITY—The importance of HVAC&R as it applies to a range of building types is highlighted in the winning entries for the ASHRAE Technology Awards. Designers of systems for a hospital, a community center, a school and a hotel were recognized for incorporating elements of innovative building design in the areas of occupant comfort, indoor air quality (IAQ) and energy conservation. Winners have applied ASHRAE standards for effective energy management and IAQ. The awards were presented at ASHRAE’s 2008 Winter Meeting held earlier this month in New York City.
SINGAPORE—Royal Plaza (RP) on Scotts, Singapore’s first completely smoke-free business hotel, continues to get positive results from its move to promote the health of its employees through its nonsmoking program first implemented in early 2007. When the hotel decided to go nonsmoking, 96 percent of its employees had successfully quit smoking or had cut down significantly. Employees were continuously encouraged to make a conscientious effort to either reduce the number of cigarettes smoked or kick the habit completely.
MINNEAPOLIS—Carlson Hotels Worldwide announced the appointment of Carmen Baker to the newly created role of vice president of Responsible Business. Baker, who served most recently as vice president of diversity for Carlson, will lead the company's initiatives in the areas of corporate social responsibility including environment sustainability, charitable giving and community relations. The appointment was announced by Jay Witzel, president and CEO of Carlson Hotels Worldwide.
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