Sustainability

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: editor@greenlodgingnews.com.


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Denihan Hospitality’s Naomi Mirsky Helps Company Take Holistic Approach to Sustainability

1/20/2015

NEW YORK—It is becoming a common story in the lodging industry: Executive passionate about sustainability convinces higher ups to create a full-time position dedicated to implementing best, green practices. Naomi Mirsky, Vice President of Sustainability and Innovation for New York based Denihan Hospitality Group, did just that in her company. She joined Denihan in 2011 but in 2013 she pitched the idea of Denihan moving her into a full-time sustainability position. A year later, the middle of last year, Denihan gave her the title and responsibilities she wanted. Now, a little more than half-way into her first year as Vice President of Sustainability and Innovation, Mirsky is helping to formalize Denihan’s commitment to efficiency and corporate social responsibility. Denihan, a nationally recognized, independent owner and operator of boutique hotels, currently has 14 total properties open with one under development.


Ecolab to Offset its Electricity Use in Minnesota

1/20/2015

ST. PAUL, MINN.—Ecolab Inc. is the first major corporate participant in Minnesota’s newest alternative energy program, which uses community solar gardens—shared solar panel sites with grid-connected subscribers—to offset electricity use.


UN General Assembly: Sustainable Tourism is a Tool for Poverty Reduction & Environmental Protection

1/15/2015

MADRID, SPAIN—A milestone resolution recognizing the contribution of sustainable tourism to poverty eradication, community development and the protection of biodiversity has been adopted by consensus by the United Nations General Assembly. Emphasizing the need to optimize the economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits stemming from sustainable tourism, particularly in developing countries, the resolution entitled “Promotion of sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, for poverty eradication and environment protection” calls upon the UN System to promote sustainable tourism as an instrument that can contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The resolution, significantly broader in scope than previous ones on the subject, builds on a 2012 UN resolution on ecotourism and draws on a report prepared by UNWTO. In line with UNWTO recommendations, it underlines the importance of appropriate national policies, guidelines and regulations for promoting sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, and encourages UN Member States and regional and international financial institutions to support sustainable tourism projects, enabling the creation of small and medium-sized enterprises, promoting cooperatives and facilitating access to inclusive financial services.


Parking Institute, Parking Council Collaborate with GBCI

1/15/2015

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In recognition of the importance of sustainable parking facilities and practices to the development of sustainable communities, the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), the certification body for the U.S. Green Building Council’s global LEED green building rating system, signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Parking Institute (IPI), the world’s largest parking association, and the Green Parking Council (GPC).


The Phoenician Adds 568 Kilowatt Solar Photovoltaic System

1/14/2015

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., in partnership with NRG Energy, Inc., through its wholly-owned subsidiary NRG Renew, unveiled its first project to integrate clean sustainable energy at The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection resort. Featuring approximately 2,000 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, the 568 kilowatt (kWdc) solar installation will offset a portion of The Phoenician resort’s energy demand—an amount equivalent to the energy needs of approximately 90 homes. Core to the project was the design-driven approach—from panel placements, which work with the terrain to create airflow, to the structure’s accent colors that blend into the natural surroundings. In addition to its sustainability benefits, the panels also provide shading and outdoor event space, a coveted amenity during the hot desert summer months. The project illustrates how Starwood and NRG together are advancing clean energy in a way that is design-led and experiential for guests. This project is the first of several between NRG and Starwood. The partnership will also incorporate solar installations at The Westin St. John Resort in the U.S. Virgin Islands and The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali.


EcoChic Lifestyles Moves Headquarters From Canada to U.S.

1/14/2015

LOS ANGELES—EcoChic Lifestyles, an eco-friendly wood and metal furnishings company founded in 2012 by Megan Risdon, has moved its corporate headquarters from Vancouver, B.C. to Los Angeles. The company designs and manufactures furniture and home furnishings from reclaimed wood sourced from tropical fishing boats and iron from former bridges.


Caesars Recognized for Commitment to Community

1/12/2015

LAS VEGAS—Caesars Entertainment was recognized this week as one of America’s most community-minded companies in The Civic 50, an annual initiative that identifies and recognizes companies for their commitment to improve the quality of life in the communities where they do business. Points of Light, the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service, conducted the survey in partnership with Bloomberg LP. All companies with $1 billion in revenue or more are invited to apply for The Civic 50.


Marriott Earns Perfect Ranking on Corporate Equality Index

1/6/2015

BETHESDA, MD.—Marriott International, Inc. recently was named among America’s top corporations for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, by earning a perfect 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) 2015 Corporate Equality Index (CEI).


Sustainability Tops Trends on What’s Hot Culinary Forecast

12/30/2014

CHICAGO—Environmental sustainability, sustainable seafood and food-waste reduction are among the top trends at restaurants in 2015, according to the National Restaurant Association’s annual What’s Hot culinary forecast. The NRA, as it does every year, surveyed approximately 1,300 professional chefs—all members of the American Culinary Federation—to determine the industry’s hottest trends, and in 2015 sustainability is going to be center of the plate, the respondents said. “We’ve been seeing strong trends toward sustainability in the food space for several years now and that’s going to continue to grow,” said Annika Stensson, the NRA’s Senior Manager of Research Communications. “Chefs and restaurateurs are realizing the benefits and cost savings that conservation and food-waste reduction bring, in addition to doing what’s good for the environment.” Among the survey’s top 20 trends, environmental sustainability came in third, sustainable seafood eighth and food waste reduction/management ninth. Food waste reduction and management also ranks as a new top trend for 2015, while environmental sustainability and sustainable seafood retained their status as steady, top food trends for the sixth consecutive year.


Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Action Plan to Include Sustainable Tourism

12/22/2014

ST. JOHN’S, ANTIGUA—Antigua and Barbuda will implement a new tourism action agenda, following consultation with more than 50 tourism stakeholders in the private and government sector. The action plan will focus on three destination stewardship initiatives: the development of a sustainable tourism strategy, new community-based cultural tourism products, and the mapping of cultural heritage sites. Stakeholders developed the action plan in August during a sustainable destination assessment workshop coordinated by the Ministry of Tourism, The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority and conducted under the banner of the Sustainable Destinations Alliance for the Americas (SDAA), supported through funding from Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s Ocean Fund. “Based on the assessment, Antigua and Barbuda is performing well as it relates to its prioritization of sustainable tourism,” said Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Tourism, The Honorable Asot Michael. “However, the findings did indicate that there are some critical areas we need to address to include: the need to establish quality and sustainability standards for key sectors of the industry, improving visitor management planning and monitoring and coastal zone management.”


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