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OTTAWA, ONT.—The Hotel Association of Canada’s Green Key Eco-Rating Program reached a milestone as the signing of a group of properties brought program participation to just over the 1,000-member mark. Earlier this month Lakeview Hotels & Resorts, a hotel company based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, began enrolling all their properties in the Green Key Eco-Rating Program. Today, with their final few hotels in the system, program participation has officially tipped the scales over into the thousands. “This is a landmark day for the Green Key program and a testament to our industry’s commitment to improving their environmental performance,” stated Tony Pollard, HAC president.
LONDON—The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) announced its agreement with the Government of Santa Catarina and the Government of Brazil to hold its forthcoming Global Travel &Tourism Summit in Florianopolis (the capital of Santa Catarina) from May 15 to 16, 2009. Located in Southern Brazil, Santa Catarina and its capital, Florianopolis, is acclaimed for its outstanding natural beauty—50 percent of the total land area of Florianopolis is conserved as natural reserves. The national and regional governments’ commitment to the conservation of the natural environment and local culture of Santa Catarina was one of the key factors considered by WTTC’s board who agreed, by unanimous vote, on the destination as the host of the 2009 Global Travel &Tourism Summit.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced that its flagship Element hotel—Element Lexington—is the first Starwood hotel to earn Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program and the first hotel in Massachusetts to achieve this prestigious rating.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) annual Greenbuild conference welcomed nearly 30,000 attendees in November at its show in Boston, the most robust crowd in the show’s seven year history. Greenbuild is the world’s largest conference and expo dedicated to green building, and convenes the building industry for three days of educational sessions, renowned speakers, green building tours, seminars and networking events. This year’s show offered a slate of educational offerings, covering a diverse array of current topics, from green jobs, green building technologies, to biodiversity and social equity.
ATLANTA—As a part of the effort to find real-world solutions to the growing problem of climate change, IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), the world’s largest hotel company by number of rooms, announced that it is one of the 23 companies selected to participate in the ground-breaking Net-Zero Energy Commercial Building Initiative (CBI), sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The CBI brings leading commercial real estate firms, retailers, financial institutions, and two of the DOE’s National Laboratories—Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)—together to produce building design solutions that yield significant and measurable energy savings in commercial buildings.
ALBANY, N.Y.—The Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort in Lake Placid, N.Y., recently received a New York State Environmental Excellence Award. The awards were announced by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and were presented in Albany by DEC Commissioner Pete Grannis at a reception to acknowledge the winners. Now in their fifth year, the NYS Environmental Excellence Awards honor businesses, non-governmental organizations, educational facilities, government/municipalities and individuals that have made great strides in improving and protecting New York’s environment through innovative and environmentally sustainable practices or creative partnerships.
COLLIER COUNTY, FLA.—Twelve hotels to date in Collier County, Fla., have received the official Green Lodging certification from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). To further Collier County’s green lodging initiative, the Collier County Hotel & Lodging Assn. has formed a Green Committee to grow and enhance the benefits of sustainable lodging practices in the region and assist other hotels that wish to gain certification. Jack Wert, executive director of the Naples, Marco Island, Everglades Convention and Visitors Bureau issued a challenge to the Collier County Hotel & Lodging Assn. last year for at least 10 hotels to be designated as certified Green Lodging properties in calendar year 2008.
SAN FRANCISCO—Toward the end of the movie “E.T.: The Extraterrestial,” E.T. tells the young boy Elliott to “be good.” Guests waking up at the Good Hotel in San Francisco’s SoMa district are getting the same message just about everywhere they turn at the recently opened 117-room boutique property. On one of the walls in each guestroom, the words “begood” appear.
MIAMI—Cambean Hospitality, a Miami Beach-based hospitality group that owns and manages four boutique hotel properties in the historic South Beach area, announced the relaunching of the historic Clifton South Beach. The 35-room hotel is currently undergoing a multi-million dollar renovation and is scheduled to open in early 2009. When complete, the hotel will seek to become
the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified hotel in Florida and the first LEED-certified historic hotel in the nation. The building has been designed to achieve LEED Gold level certification.
Built in 1948, the post-war architecture of the Clifton also incorporates distinct elements of the unique Art Deco style that has defined the popular tourist and nightlife area for more than six decades.
ST MARTIN, CARIBBEAN—Carlson Hotels Worldwide has opened the 1,000th hotel in its worldwide portfolio, the Radisson St Martin Resort, Marina & Spa, dedicating the achievement of this growth landmark to a global initiative of environmental sustainability and responsible business. At opening ceremonies, top company officials joined with representatives of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Plant for the Planet: Billion Tree Campaign and The Carbon Neutral Company to officially dedicate this $80 million resort. The company is planting 1,000 trees worldwide and making a financial donation to the UNEP program plus partnering with The CarbonNeutral Company to offset the carbon equivalent of 10,000 room nights.
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