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BLOOMINGTON, IND.—Officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated they will recommend the adoption of a policy that allows suppliers to make valid claims of “environmental preferability” in relation to the marketing of disinfectants and sanitizers. This statement represents a significant departure from the Agency’s well entrenched policy that prohibits “green” claims to be made in conjunction with the promotion of any EPA registered product, including antimicrobial pesticides. Specifically, EPA officials are expected to recommend that the Agency allow suppliers to make factual claims of environmental preferability in conjunction with disinfectants and sanitizers, according to Marty Monell of EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs (OPP).
NASHUA, NEW HAMPSHIRE—Approximately 240 representatives of the hospitality industry in the New England area gathered at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, N.H., on Tuesday, April 14 for the first New England Eco Hospitality Expo. Almost 60 exhibitors participated in the event that was part conference, part expo. Educational sessions focused on topics ranging from green marketing to sustainable food purchasing. Exhibitors featured products such as guestroom energy management systems, window film and environmentally friendly amenities. A ribbon cutting ceremony featuring sponsors, representatives of the various New England state green lodging programs and other environmental officials opened the expo.
CHICAGO—Chicago is recognized as one of the nation’s leading green cities so it is fitting that owners of the Hotel Felix, the city’s first hotel designed to achieve a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver rating from the U.S. Green Building Council, announce the property’s opening during Earth Month. Originally designed in 1926 by Chicago architecture firm Levy and Klein, the former Hotel Wacker, a single room occupancy property, closed for redevelopment in 2007. Hotel Felix now provides an innovative, eco-friendly boutique hotel with efficiencies and key design elements that lessen the environmental impact of a newly built property.
BETHESDA, MD.—For the third straight year, Marriott International has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with its Sustained Excellence Award. Among a long list of “green” accomplishments, the EPA noted Marriott’s energy reduction strategy, through which the company and its owners avoided $1.3 million in costs; decreased greenhouse gas emissions by 3 percent per available room; and increased its total number of Energy Star hotels to 275, the most of any hotel company. “Now, more than ever, helping to preserve the planet makes good business sense and is vital to the future of our company,” says Arne Sorenson, CFO.
BETHESDA, MD.—Marriott International, Inc. announced that guest demand for newspaper delivery at more than 2,600 hotels in the United States has declined by about 25 percent. Marriott will become the first major hotel company to shift to a free newspaper delivery system based on customer preference, reducing waste at the same time. Beginning June 1, the company's full-service hotels, including Marriott Hotels & Resorts, JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Renaissance Hotels & Resorts, will deliver newspapers to guest rooms based on customer preference. The company’s 30 million Marriott Rewards members will be able to update their online profiles and receive their preferred newspaper automatically. Guests who are not Rewards members will be asked for their preference at check-in.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, CALIF.— The Hilton Waterfront Beach Resort, situated in the heart of Huntington Beach, Calif., recently opened “The Green Room,” a new concept in environmentally-friendly laundry facilities, available free to all guests of the hotel. This new self-serve facility provides guests the opportunity to pack less and wash their sun and sand-drenched beach wear and other items during their stay. It is one of many initiatives at the resort designed to contribute positively to the global environment. The Green Room is 100 percent environmentally friendly and all construction materials from floor to ceiling are made from post-consumer recycled materials. The washers and dryers are Energy Star rated units, the lighting uses all energy efficient light bulbs, the wall surface has been painted with low-VOC paint, all accessories are made from recycled materials, and the detergent selection includes a nontoxic, biodegradable option.
CHICAGO—In addition to being the right thing to do for the environment, going green can also have financial benefits—something the nation’s nearly one million restaurant and foodservice outlets are increasingly exploring. The 2009 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show (May 16 to 19 at McCormick Place in Chicago) will provide attendees with both inspiration and concrete tools to increase sustainability efforts, which in turn can save on operating costs, increase productivity, motivate staff and attract eco-conscious diners.
NATIONAL REPORT—Believe it or not, guestroom energy management systems have been around for almost 30 years now. According to Lodging Technology, it originated infrared occupancy sensor-based hotel energy conservation in 1980. It is only in the past few years, however, that wireless versions of the many hard-wired systems on the market have become available. Some vendors are just rolling out their wireless offerings. No two wireless systems are exactly the same but they all rely on thermostats, motion and/or passive infrared (PIR) occupancy sensors, along with door switches and transceivers/controllers to power down heating and cooling when guests have left the room or left a balcony or patio door open.
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF.—During the month of April, children across the United States, Canada, Europe and Latin America are encouraging their communities and each other to collect as many recyclable bottles and cans as possible to raise money for essential school and youth community programs. This school recycling fundraiser—appropriately named “Cans and Bottles for a Cause” is part of the award-winning Doubletree Hotels Teaching Kids to CARE community outreach program, which aims to raise awareness about the rewards of environmental consciousness in everyday life by fostering a sense of activism, empowerment and reward. The five schools or youth organizations that collect the largest number of cans and bottles during the month of April also will be eligible to receive one of five $2,500 grants.
OTTAWA, ONTARIO—The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) announced that it has been confirmed as a network member of the United Nations-backed Partnership for the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC Partnership). The GSTC are a set of 37 criteria organized around the four pillars of sustainable tourism: effective sustainability planning; maximizing social and economic benefits to the local community; reduction of negative impacts to cultural heritage; and reduction of negative impacts to environmental heritage.
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