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ATLANTA—The Green Meeting Industry Council Sustainable Meetings Conference wrapped up in Atlanta last week. The annual event, which drew approximately 200 attendees, was held at the Westin Peachtree Plaza. Highlights included keynote speeches by Laura Turner Seydel, daughter of Ted Turner and chairperson of the Captain Planet Foundation, and Derreck Kayongo, founder of the Global Soap Project. Additional highlights included educational session discussions on topics ranging from the APEX/ASTM meeting standards to best practices at green hotels and venues. Seydel kicked off the event by addressing some of the topics she is most passionate about. Environmental education for children and air and water quality issues are two examples. She talked about the many organizations with which she is involved—the Captain Planet Foundation, Environmental Working Group, Mothers and Others for Clean Air, and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. Seydel serves on her family’s foundation boards including The Turner Foundation, Jane Smith Turner Foundation, the Turner Endangered Species Fund, and Ted’s Montana Grill. Seydel told a number of stories about her famous father.
TRAVELERS REST, S.C.—Commercial plumbing and foodservice products manufacturer T&S Brass and Bronze Works has redesigned and expanded its website to provide more detailed product information for its customers and a more comprehensive, user-friendly experience.
PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO—From fostering orphaned wildlife in the general manager’s private pool to diverting 750 pounds of raw food waste daily to a local hog farmer, Velas Vallarta is committed to environmental sustainability. So, in response to guest interest, Mexico’s Velas Vallarta has launched new complimentary tours showcasing the resort’s relationship with local ecology. “We are certified with EarthCheck and also with TripAdvisor’s GreenLeaders program,” said Donald Willis, Assistant Manager of Operations. “TripAdvisor developed the GreenLeaders program with help from national and international green industry experts including the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Certification Program and the United Nations Environment Program which is why we are so honored to have Gold Status, the second highest level of environmentally friendly practices activation.” Velas Vallarta is located on Puerto Vallarta’s Marina Vallarta beach where sea turtles nest from June to December. Volunteers come from around the world to help scientists find and protect turtle eggs, camping on the beach for weeks.
SINGAPORE—Hilton Worldwide announced that it will reduce the environmental impact of meetings and events held at more than 90 hotels and resorts in Asia Pacific through an expanded carbon emissions solution, the Clean Air Program. Starting on May 1, meeting planners and delegates can play their part in reducing carbon emissions and deliver more sustainable experiences to their customers.
LONDON—In order to be able to offer hotels the opportunity to position themselves within the market according to their CO2 emissions, Considerate Hoteliers announces a new strategic alliance with BookDifferent.com. The booking site BookDifferent indicates which of its hotels have been certified with one of the top green accreditations within the travel industry. It allows travellers to choose the right hotel according to their own sustainable standards, and further gives the opportunity to support a charity associated with BookDifferent.
FRANKFORT, GERMANY—A new dedicated Health and Wellbeing track and seminars in English and German on sustainability and diversity are among the features of the restyled education program at IMEX in Frankfurt from May 19 to 21.
ATLANTA—The Sustainable Tours part of the upcoming Sustainable Meetings Conference has been announced. The tours will take place on Friday, June 19 from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Friday is the final day of the Atlanta conference that begins on Wednesday, June 17. Tour options will include: Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta Community Food Bank, Atlanta Streetcar Adventure, Center for Civil and Human Rights, Georgia World Congress Center, Hands On Atlanta, Museum of Design Atlanta, Southface Eco Office, and Westin Peachtree Plaza. One can register for the tours as part of the conference registration process.
BRIDGEWATER, N.J.—R&J Public Relations, a full-service public relations agency with offices in Bridgewater, N.J. and Manhattan, announces the addition of John De Bellis to the agency as Director of Business Development. De Bellis comes to R&J with over 20 years of marketing and communications experience, including having served as VP of External Communications at JPMorgan Chase.
SAN FRANCISCO—Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants announced that all 65 of its hotels are now a part of the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program, making it the first major hotel brand to have 100 percent portfolio-wide participation in the program. Developed in partnership with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the United Nations Environment Programme, TripAdvisor GreenLeaders recognizes hotels’ leadership in environmental practices and helps travelers find and plan stays with eco-friendly hotels. Since the 1980s when Kimpton began implementing environmentally responsible practices, Kimpton has implemented more than 100 programs and amenities to make its hotels and restaurants more environmentally conscious. All of its properties use non-toxic cleaning supplies, extensively recycle, consciously minimize water consumption and serve organic coffee and sustainable or local wines during their nightly hosted Wine Hour. Kimpton also offers booking codes that donate a portion of the daily room rate to The Nature Conservancy or The Trust for Public Land organizations, all while offering guests a discounted rate as well.
JACKSONVILLE, FLA.—Pilot Pen has developed the Bottle to Pen (B2P) Line of writing instruments, which are the world’s first pens made from recycled plastic water bottles. The plastic from one bottle can be used to create approximately two B2P pens.
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