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NEW YORK—The creation of a Sustainable Tourism Stewardship Council (STSC) moved a step closer to becoming a reality recently as a coalition of international organizations agreed to establish a body that will increase credibility around sustainable tourism certification programs, and ultimately help protect the environment, rights and livelihoods of local communities. The United Nations Environment Program, the United Nations World Tourism Organization and the United Nations Foundation are among the supporters of this initiative.
LAS VEGAS—Harrah’s Operating Company, Inc. and NativeEnergy announced an agreement to provide Harrah’s guests the opportunity to mitigate the global warming impact of their travel to Harrah’s managed resorts by purchasing carbon offsets.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—More than 150 hospitality leaders from industry, academia and the trade media gathered last month to hear a panel of experts address the need to further develop sustainable business practices. Hilton Hotels executive and panel member Christopher Corpuel framed the discussion by presenting his definition of sustainability. “'It is addressing your needs today, without negatively impacting your needs for tomorrow,” said Corpuel, vice president of global sustainability for Hilton. “As we question why we do what we do, we must always ask, ‘Is there a better way?’ said David Stipanuk, associate professor at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration and a panel member.
SANTA CRUZ, CALIF.—Environmentally-conscious furniture design company Maria Yee, Inc. marked its first shipment of select products made with 100 percent Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified hardwood last month. The FSC is an international organization that promotes responsible forest management.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.—The Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority (ACCVA) announced that it has awarded Pepco Energy Services, a subsidiary of Pepco Holdings, Inc., a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Atlantic City Convention Center (ACCC) to install the largest single roof-mounted solar array in the United States. Under the 20-year contract, Pepco Energy Services will build, own, operate and maintain the 2.36-megawatt solar array for the Atlantic City Convention Center. Construction began last month and will be completed by December 31, 2008. The Convention Center is operated by the management company SMG.
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIF.—Doubletree Hotels announced that it has received the prestigious 2008 “Promise to the Earth Award” from the Arbor Day Foundation. The Promise to the Earth award is presented annually by the world’s largest nonprofit tree planting organization to corporations for outstanding commitments to environmental stewardship and education. The award also recognizes organizations that support the Arbor Day Foundation’s mission to “Inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.” The Arbor Day Foundation acknowledged Doubletree for their continued and growing dedication to three major projects.
WATERFORD, N.Y.—Cascades Tissue Group announced an agreement to offset all the electricity used to manufacture North River commercial towel and tissue products with wind-generated energy, supplied by Community Energy.
GREENSBORO, N.C.—The Proximity Hotel will give a free presentation to share its journey of the design and building of the “greenest” hotel in the country. The Sustainable Practices Symposium will be held on Wednesday, July 9, from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the hotel. Dennis Quaintance, president, developer and chief design officer, will lead the discussion that will include the step-by-step process of gaining LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) from the U.S. Green Building Council. The symposium will end with a behind-the-scenes guided tour.
ANN ARBOR, MICH.—NSF International announced that Mannington is the first floor covering company to be independently certified to NSF Draft Standard 332-2007 Gold Certification for commercial inlaid resilient flooring. The Standard provides a means to evaluate the sustainability of floor coverings.
DENVER—National park and resort concessioner Xanterra Parks & Resorts has just completed one of the largest solar photovoltaic (PV) energy systems in the United States. Covering five acres of Southern California’s Death Valley National Park—a 3.3 million-acre park that is the sunniest place in the country—the one megawatt (MW) system will generate more than one-third of the total annual electricity needs of Xanterra’s operations in Death Valley, including the historic Furnace Creek Inn, Furnace Creek Ranch, Furnace Creek Golf Course, employee offices and housing.
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