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BANGKOK—Soneva Fushi’s 70-kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant system has achieved eight months of successful operation. It is the largest renewable energy plant currently operating in the Maldives, a country that has brought international attention to the issue of global warming and rising sea levels. Soneva Fushi is Six Senses’ flagship resort. “This is a significant first step in achieving our commitment of a net zero carbon footprint for Soneva Fushi by 2012 as well as supporting the carbon reduction goals of the Maldives government,” said Sonu Shivdasani, CEO and chairman of Six Senses. “We are hoping that our example will lead other resorts in the Maldives and other island grids around the world to also pursue solar PV as a low cost clean energy alternative.” The “grid parity” system, the first in the region to use best of breed thin film PV panels, was fabricated in easy-to-assemble kit form by Beck Electric of Germany. The entire system, including tools required for assembly, was shipped to the Maldives in a 40-foot container.
NEW YORK— Recognizing that climate change is at a critical juncture, Designtex has cemented its commitment to operate as a carbon-neutral company. The New York-based textile and surface solutions company announced that it has reduced the greenhouse gas footprint of its operations to net zero.
TORONTO—The Carbon Accounting Company has officially launched Green Hotels Global, a standardized, comprehensive online source of information on the environmental performance of hotels worldwide. Standardized metrics and data on participating hotel properties are available free of charge to meeting/event planners and corporate travel professionals.
COHOES, N.Y.—Mohawk remains one of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s top 50 Green Power Partners, currently ranking as No. 32 on the list, as well as ranking number nine on the list of 100 percent Green Power Purchasers. Mohawk joins other leading renewable energy purchasers such as Intel Corp., Kohl’s Department Stores, Whole Foods Market, City of Houston, Dell Inc., Johnson & Johnson, Cisco Systems, Inc., Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, U.S. Air Force, and City of Dallas.
NASHVILLE—As part of Tennessee’s ongoing Sustainable Tourism initiative, five green certification workshops will be held in 2010 across the state. Sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Tourist Development (TDTD) and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), the workshops will facilitate discussions and solicit partner input regarding the development of a state green certification program for the tour and travel industry. In addition, the events will provide continued sustainable tourism resources, case studies, best practices and access to leading experts.
ROSEMONT, ILL.—U.S. Foodservice, one of the nation’s largest food distributors, announced a new initiative that helps restaurants and other food establishments bring local and regional products to their customers. U.S. Foodservice’s restaurant customers can now easily determine if a product is locally sourced through the company’s online ordering system. Local products will be identified by a special “local” icon and will include detailed product information.
MCLEAN, VA.—An inspiring new trend emerging from many tourism and hospitality industry leaders is the incorporation of environmentally conscious practices in their properties or destinations. As strong supporters of this trend, the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI), along with National Geographic Traveler, has created the inaugural “Leader in Sustainable Tourism Award” in conjunction with the 2010 HSMAI Adrian Awards competition.
CHICAGO—Cintas Corp. announced the availability of a new eco-apparel option for the housekeeping department. Designed with the environment in mind, Cintas’ Velocity collection has been reinvented to include a 60/40 recycled polyester/polyester blend fabric. This is one of several eco-friendly collections by Cintas to be introduced for housekeeping this year. “Housekeeping is often the largest department in a hotel,” said Todd McKeown, vice president of hospitality at Cintas.
PETER ISLAND, BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS—Boaters have known for decades how to harness the power of wind, and, this past spring, Peter Island Resort & Spa followed their lead by becoming the first to install wind turbines in the Virgin Island territory. “We’ve studied the idea for years as a method to better manage our energy needs while maintaining the beautiful, undisturbed landscapes that Peter Island is known for,” said Van Ande, CEO of the property.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named the 50 green power partners using the most renewable electricity. The Green Power Partnership’s top purchasers use more than 12 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of green power annually, equivalent to the annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electricity use of more than 1 million average American homes.
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