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LONDON—World Travel Market will host a major United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Ministers’ Summit on Tourism and Climate Change, a key part of an international program to widen and deepen the debate on one of the biggest challenges facing the industry. Ministers will be asked to consider and ratify a Declaration recommended by environmental experts at the UNWTO’s Summit on Climate Change in Davos, Switzerland in October.
ATLANTA—Healthy and sustainable buildings are the talk of the building industry, but what exactly defines what a healthy building is? ASHRAE will discuss this and other topics at its IAQ 2007: Healthy and Sustainable Buildings conference in Baltimore. The event will be held Oct. 15 to 17. IAQ 2007 will address what tools and metrics can be used to quantify buildings’ health and sustainability and how indoor air quality can be certified as sustainable. Plenary session speakers will compare the functionality of rating systems, how they can be improved and what information other than the ratings can developers, designers and public entities use to distinguish high-performing buildings.
LEXINGTON, KY—With nearly 100 million active spa-goers globally, the spa community casts a large net. Affecting society, the economy, culture and the environment, spa is synonymous with healthy lifestyles. And the eco-conscious roots of the industry are growing deeper still. Everywhere you look, companies are jumping onboard the “go green” concept and are offering sustainable alternatives for the conscious consumer.
LAGRANGE, GA.—Milliken & Co., a carbon negative manufacturer, has launched an Energy Conservation Initiative focused on four action areas—People, Alternative Sources, Innovation and Green Building—to reduce energy consumption along with related emissions and water use.
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND—Key players in real estate and construction misjudge the costs and benefits of green buildings, creating a major barrier to more energy efficiency in the building sector, a new study by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) reports. Respondents to a 1,400-person global survey estimated the additional cost of building green at 17 percent above conventional construction, more than triple the true cost difference of about 5 percent. At the same time, survey respondents put greenhouse gas emissions by buildings at 19 percent of world total, while the actual number of 40 percent is double this.
AMERICAN CANYON, CALIF.—Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa—the United States’ first and only LEED Gold-certified hotel—has commissioned a 36-kilowatt solar project that produces electricity to help run the hotel. The system is projected to meet approximately 12 percent of the hotel’s annual energy needs and contributed two points toward the hotel’s LEED Gold certification. The Gaia project will generate 49,000 kWh of clean renewable energy annually, reflecting the priority that the Atman Hospitality Group, Inc. has placed on utilizing renewable energy and energy efficiency to promote environmentally responsible tourism.
NATIONAL REPORT—If the growth of the Sustainable Furniture Council (SFC) is any indication of the current level of interest in sustainable furniture manufacturing, you can expect to read a lot more about this trend in the coming months. The Council, which was incorporated in March, already has 100 members. While the majority of all furniture purchased for lodging in the United States is not sustainable, that appears to be changing—albeit slowly.
DANVERS, MASS.—Osram Sylvania announced its participation in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Climate Leaders program. By participating in Climate Leaders, Sylvania has pledged to reduce its corporate-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
SAINT LOUIS, MO.—Seeking to provide support and guidance regarding environmental responsibility, the board of directors of the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) has commissioned a Green Task Force to help educate and inspire IACC-member conference centers to conserve natural resources while recognizing the current successes at individual member properties. This is consistent with the association’s commitment to providing an exceptional meeting experience at every level.
OAKLAND, CALIF.—A new global survey by Lonely Planet reveals that travelers are keen to make significant changes to their behavior to travel sustainably. Lonely Planet’s annual Travelers’ Pulse survey, which polled over 24,500 people worldwide, showed 84 percent of respondents said they would consider offsetting their emissions in the future, whereas only 31 percent had done so in the past.
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