According to a report issued by the World Commission on Environment and Development, sustainable development is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Got news or a story idea to share? Contact Glenn Hasek, editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at:

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More Than 1,100 Bird Sightings, 17 Bird Species Observed on Javits Center’s Green Roof in 2015


NEW YORK—New York Convention Center Operating Corp. (NYCCOC) President and CEO Alan Steel announced the results of a new study that shows more than 1,100 cumulative bird observations on the Javits Center’s green roof in 2015. Of the 1,124 bird sightings during the ecological study, 17 bird species were found, six more compared to the previous year. The green roof remains the only green roof in New York City with a colony of nesting Herring Gulls, which produced 14 chicks in 2015. The diversity of bird species using the roof from spring to fall demonstrates the importance of the building’s 6.75-acre green roof to the community’s ecosystem and its unique presence within New York’s dense urban landscape. The green roof was constructed as a part of the Javits Center’s recent renovation, which included major upgrades to its façade, flooring, and mechanical and technology systems. The Javits Center has partnered with New York City Audubon and other research institutions to explore and understand the impact of its sustainability initiatives on Manhattan’s West Side neighborhood.

JUST Water Bottle Now Includes Plant-Based Packaging


GLENS FALLS, N.Y.—JUST water, an ethically sourced 100 percent spring water in a paper-based bottle, announced a new, plant-based bottle. Kicking off production on April 22, the JUST water bottle is now made with 82 percent renewable resources that come directly from plant-based materials, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 74 percent compared to a range of PET plastic bottles.

World Animal Protection: TripAdvisor ‘Profiting’ from Wildlife Tourist Attractions


NEW YORK—TripAdvisor is promoting and profiting from some of the world’s cruelest wildlife tourist attractions, says global animal welfare organization World Animal Protection. World Animal Protection estimates that at least 550,000 wild animals are suffering at the hands of irresponsible wildlife tourist attractions around the world, many of which are promoted and sold via TripAdvisor to its 300 million visitors each month. Tourists who are buying tickets to ride elephants, handle sea turtles, watch dolphin performances, and take lion and tiger “selfies”, via the world’s largest travel site, are usually unaware of the abuse and suffering the animals experience in these venues. Despite TripAdvisor previously stating that they were “open to finding ways in which we can help travelers gain a better understanding of animal welfare and conservation practices,” TripAdvisor has so far failed to take any action even though World Animal Protection says it has made numerous attempts to work with the company. According to World Animal Protection, the animals at cruel wildlife tourist attractions are often taken from their mothers when young.

Las Vegas Sands Marks the Success of Its ‘I Will If You Will’ Campaign


LAS VEGAS—In celebration of Earth Day, Las Vegas Sands announced that more than 26,000 individual green actions were completed by its team members during the company’s annual “I Will If You Will” (IWIYW) global challenge. Initiated by Sands ECO360, Las Vegas Sands’ global sustainability program during the week leading up to Earth Hour on March 19, the challenge encouraged the company’s team members to take action to reduce their impact on climate change. “I am extremely proud of the participation we had from our team members this year,” said Katarina Tesarova, Vice President of Global Sustainability for Las Vegas Sands. “The challenge was a fun and effective way to demonstrate that by taking small actions, individuals really can make a positive impact on the environment. Team members shared pictures of themselves taking action such as using alternative transportation, reducing water use, or switching off their lights for Earth Hour. I’m confident that they will continue to incorporate these habits into their daily lives.”

What Makes a Floorcovering Sustainable?


In today’s marketplace, there is a plethora of product certifications, labels and declarations that manufacturers and builders use to communicate a product’s value to clients. However, owners, product specifiers and building occupants all have different interests and motivations. Just as each person’s background and experience varies, so do their beliefs when it comes to sustainability. The good news? Studies show we are all becoming more aware of and concerned with issues surrounding social and environmental health and sustainability. Making use of product labels, including declarations and certifications, is one way to make more informed choices; however, deciphering the claims behind the label can be challenging. So where to start? Everyone is interested in obtaining the most healthy and environmentally friendly products, but the criteria used to achieve these lofty goals must be defined and measured before any manufacturer or specific product can truthfully make these proclamations. Should a product be climate neutral or contain no volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?

Jeffery Smith Joins Six Senses as Director of Sustainability


BANGKOK—Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas announced that Jeffery Smith has joined the group in the role of Director of Sustainability. In his new role, Smith will ensure that Six Senses remains at the leading edge of sustainable tourism practices. These include environmental performance of each property, support for the preservation of natural and cultural heritage, and enhancing social and economic benefits to local communities in destinations where Six Senses operates. Smith joins Six Senses with 11 years of broad experience of delivering green programs, with internal and external engagement. His most recent role was in the delivery of solar energy solutions for Canadian company Solar Brokers. Prior to this position, he was based in Thailand as Projects Director for Global Vision International where he provided leadership to meet regional objectives for sustainable development. This followed a four-year tenure in the progressive rolls of Sustainability Consultant, Manager and Project Manager for Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary with tourism components located in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Smith’s wide experience also includes roles in environmental engineering.

AccorHotels Releases Planet 21 Results, Unveils 2020 Commitments


ILE-DE-FRANCE—AccorHotels recently released the results of Planet 21, its sustainable development program, and renewed its commitments looking to 2020. Sébastien Bazin, the Group’s Chairman & CEO, stated, “The commitment and energy demonstrated by our teams in deploying Planet 21 worldwide, are both valuable levers for our sustainable performance. After five years, the results of the first phase of the plan are very encouraging. Today, we want to scale up our ambitions by banking on innovation and accountability. Planet 21 Season 2 must enable us to create wealth sustainably and curb our negative impacts through the mobilization of our employees, guests, partners and local communities. Our vision is to drive the change towards positive, more responsible and inventive hospitality, wherever we are.” As part of a policy of progress and transparency, the Group asked its customers for their views on these issues, updated its environmental footprint and assessed its socio-economic footprint for the first time to assess the challenges it faces and construct its new five-year program. The program for 2020 was drawn up in consultation with the teams. It reinforces some of the Group’s fundamental commitments, such as curbing its environmental footprint, and identifies new objectives which dovetail with both the changes to the business model and its strategic priorities, such as food & beverage and the sustainable management of its property portfolio through HotelInvest.

LEED Platinum Hotel at Oberlin Readies for May Soft Opening


OBERLIN, OHIO—One of the world’s most innovative green hotels—The Hotel at Oberlin—is just one month away from its soft opening in Oberlin, Ohio. The hotel is owned by Oberlin College and eventually will qualify for the rare LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The 70-room Hotel at Oberlin is the first LEED Platinum hotel owned by a college and anchors the Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center, the cornerstone of Oberlin’s Green Arts District, an ongoing development conceived by the city and college to transform Oberlin into a model for environmentally aware economic development based on education and the arts. The Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center also includes a conference center, commercial and office space, jazz club, and restaurant that features locally grown and sourced fare. The name of the restaurant, 1833, honors the year the college and town of Oberlin were founded. “Our path to LEED Platinum is based on energy efficiency more than anything else,” says Christopher Noble, Project Developer, SMART Hotels LLC.

Humanscale Commits to Living Product Challenge


NEW YORK—Humanscale, a company long dedicated to incorporating sustainable practices in their manufacturing processes, will be committing to the International Living Future Institute’s Living Product Challenge with their Float sit/stand desk and Diffrient Smart task chair in 2016. The only contract furniture brand to participate in the challenge, this represents a significant undertaking on behalf of the manufacturer and signals a message to the industry that a net positive impact is not only an important and achievable aim for the brand, but something the industry as a whole should be working towards. While taking on only a part of the Challenge is an option, Humanscale is demonstrating their commitment to the cause by pledging to complete the Challenge in its entirety.

Ecova Publishes 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report


SPOKANE, WASH.—Ecova, a leading global energy and sustainability management company, announced that it has published its 2015 Corporate Responsibility Report. It details the company’s impact on clients, the environment, employees and communities. The report also shows significant reductions in Ecova’s carbon footprint, important investments in new solutions and improved performance in climate change reporting.

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