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SAN FRANCISCO—Joie de Vivre, California’s largest boutique hotel collection, has launched Joie De Vivre Green Dreams, a dedicated portal on its website that allows consumers to track the company’s ongoing efforts to preserve the environment. Joie de Vivre Green Dreams, also the name of the company’s environmental program, features the company’s green policies and practices, a green certification “scorecard” for hotels, green travel tips, and links to environmental resources. “Joie de Vivre has made a long-term commitment to incorporating sustainability into its business operations through the Green Dreams program,” said Joie de Vivre’s senior vice president of operations, Karlene Holloman, who chairs the company’s Green Committee.
PORTLAND, ORE.—With the approach of New Year’s Eve, Shilo Inns’ owner, Mark Hemstreet, announced that Shilo Inns would usher in the New Year by making all Shilo Inn hotels and restaurants 100 percent smoke free. “We care about our customers as well as our employees’ health and comfort,” Hemstreet said. “We consistently get more and more requests from our guests for smoke-free rooms and since we have already had 95 percent of our rooms and suites nonsmoking for many years, we felt it was the best decision to finally turn the entire hotel and restaurant environment to “smoke free.”
CHICAGO—The Talbott Hotel, a luxury boutique in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast, has been bestowed the distinction of being one of the first Green Seal Certified hotels in the United States. Striving to meet the city of Chicago’s Green Hotels Initiative, the hotel worked diligently for months and at great expense to meet the environmental lodging standard, which brings with it requirements in waste management, energy efficiency, water conservation, waste water management and green procurement. The Talbott operates on a platform of “Sustainability without Compromise” as staff there insist that green initiatives only enhance the already high standards for guest comfort and convenience. The 149-room property achieved the Green Seal feat in a rigorous nine months compared to the other hotels vying for the recognition that took twelve.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) announced that Portland, Ore., will be the host city for the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference 2009 (ESTC). The event will be held from November 1 to 3. The ESTC is the annual bi-national conference focusing on greening the tourism industry in the United States and Canada. Travel Portland and Travel Oregon, the city and state’s destination marketing agencies, respectively, will co-sponsor the 2009 conference as the ESTC 2009 Destination Host. The conference will take place at the Hilton Portland and Executive Tower, the first Hilton property ever to be Green Seal certified. The 2008 conference, held from October 27 to 29, 2008, in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, attracted more than 400 participants.
ATLANTA—As ASHRAE, USGBC and the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA) move forward in developing the nation’s first standard for high-performance, green commercial buildings, membership on the committee developing the standard is being reconstituted. Proposed Standard 189.1, Standard for the Design of High-Performance Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, will provide minimum requirements for the design of high-performance new commercial buildings and major renovation projects, addressing energy efficiency, a building’s impact on the atmosphere, sustainable sites, water use efficiency, materials and resources, and indoor environmental quality.
LUDLOW, VERMONT— Okemo Mountain Resort’s Jackson Gore Inn was recently designated as a Green Hotel in the Green Mountain State by the environmental business partnership between the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation and the Vermont Small Business Development Center.
ITHACA, N.Y.—Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and the Johnson Graduate School of Management have joined forces with HEI Hotels & Resorts to create a course in which students will work with hospitality industry leaders to devise innovative and more cost-effective solutions to social and environmental issues. This pioneering collaboration is being led by the Leland C. and Mary M. Pillsbury Institute for Hospitality Entrepreneurship at the Cornell Hotel School and by the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at the Johnson School. Funding and strategic guidance is being provided by HEI Hotels & Resorts, a hotel investment and operating group led by brothers Gary Mendell and Steven Mendell.
BOSTON—LEED 2009, the long-awaited update to the internationally recognized LEED green building certification program, has passed member ballot, and will be introduced in 2009 as the next major evolution of the existing LEED rating systems for commercial buildings. It includes a series of major technical advancements focused on improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions, and addressing other environmental and human health outcomes. LEED 2009 will also incorporate highly anticipated regional credits, extra points that have been identified as priorities within a project’s given environmental zone. LEED has also undergone a scientifically grounded re-weighting of credits, changing allocation of points among LEED credits to reflect climate change and energy efficiency as urgent priorities.
NEW YORK—At its recent Women in Lodging (WIL) luncheon, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) and Dress for Success announced a national partnership to build awareness of and solicit donations to support the organization’s primary mission of promoting the economic independence of disadvantaged women. Joi Gordon, CEO of Dress for Success Worldwide, and Vicki Gordon, chair of AH&LA’s Women In Lodging Executive Council, officially kicked off the new flagship initiative of AH&LA’s WIL Connect membership category, which will include a series of fundraising events and suit drives at hotels across the United States in 2009.
OTTAWA, ONTARIO—The Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) announced that Green Key rated hotels can now include their Key ratings in AAA/CAA travel guides. AAA/CAA will now be supporting green certified hotels that are also “Diamond-rated” properties by encouraging promotion of their Key rating in TourBook advertising both in Canada and the United States. “We are very pleased that AAA strongly supports environmental management and sustainability throughout the lodging industry and we look forward to extending this benefit to all Green Key
hotels in North America,” said Tony Pollard, HAC president. “The consumer numbers show that the greening of hotels across North America is becoming more significant than ever and demonstrates why all hotels should make Green Key an important component of their overall greening efforts.”
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