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DULLES, VA.—In the spirit of inspiring and promoting environmental responsibility, the Washington Dulles Airport Marriott’s all-green meetings initiative has taken root now that the Virginia Department of Environmental Equality has awarded the hotel its Certificate of Environmental Commitment.
PORTLAND, ORE.—The 8th Annual Sustainable Meetings Conference 2013, organized by the Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC), convenes in Chicago April 7 to 10, 2013 at McCormick Place West Hall. The West Building is the largest new-construction facility in the country to be LEED certified and McCormick Place is committed to initiatives designed to conserve energy, protect vital resources and promote ecologically-efficient policies and procedures. The annual GMIC conference is the pivot point for the thought leaders, decision-makers, and hands-on practitioners who are working to transform the global meetings industry through sustainable meeting practices. The entire event, from education sessions to the expo to the networking events will combine solid, state-of-the-art knowledge with a format that is interactive, experiential, and fun. This year’s conference and expo theme is “Creating Sparks.” Conference topics will be explored through education sessions, field learning, interactive team exercises and case studies: green standards development, green audio/visual, sustainable destinations, facilities, food and beverage, offsets, exhibitions, marketing and communications, transportation, on-site office, learning design, and the future of sustainable meetings.
DENVER—The Colorado Convention Center (CCC) has become the first event and conference venue in the world to be certified to a new international sustainability standard introduced earlier this year to promote responsible environmental and social practices in the event industry. CCC achieved Level One certification with the ASTM Standard pertaining to the Evaluation and Selection of Venues for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows, and Conferences (E2774-11). E2774-11 is one of nine formal, voluntary standards developed by the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry to provide event planners and suppliers with specifications for producing events in a more sustainable manner. The standards were created in partnership with ASTM International, an ANSI-accredited standards development organization. The E2774-11 Venue Standard delineates the procedural requirements for venue selection—the practice of researching, evaluating and choosing the facility for an environmentally sustainable event. The standard specifies specific performance criteria for staff management, communications, waste management, energy, air quality, water, procurement, and community partners.
CINCINNATI—Hospitality Media Group LLC (HMG) has been awarded the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show (IHMRS) management contract beginning in 2013 and continuing through 2015, according to Michelle Finn, president of HMG.
PORT ORFORD, ORE.—“It feels like you are on another planet.” That is how Michelle Duarte describes the WildSpring Guest Habitat that she and her husband own along the coast of Oregon in Port Orford. Their small, eco-friendly resort sits on five acres of 100-foot trees and includes five cabins. “The cabins are built like small homes,” Duarte says. “They are not rustic.” Just about everything possible was done to minimize the environmental footprint of the five cabin suites. Duarte’s husband, Dean, who once worked on Hollywood sets in construction, played an integral part in the building of the cabins. Only two trees were removed during construction of the cabins that now have been open for 8.5 years.
PORTLAND, ORE.—The Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC) announces the official launch of the GMIC Greater Washington Area Chapter. The Greater Washington Area Chapter is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and serves GMIC members and the meetings and events community in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia. The chapter’s mission is to improve the sustainability of events held within the Greater Washington Area.
CHICAGO—In an effort to maintain its position as one of the world’s leading green certification organizations, Green Seal has retained Chicago-based AlturaSolutions Communications to help promote the company within the professional cleaning (jansan) industry as well as the paint and coverings industry.
LAS VEGAS—Green Key Global, the largest international certification body evaluating sustainable hotel operations, has awarded the prestigious “5 Green Keys” rating to four MGM Resorts International properties for its Green Key Meetings Program, including Bellagio Resort & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino, Mandalay Bay Resort and MGM Grand Las Vegas. The four MGM resorts are the first in the United States to receive “5 Green Keys” for meetings, and among an elite group of only six total in North America.
GAITHERSBURG, MD.—Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center has an energizing offer for guests who arrive in eco-friendly electric and hybrid electric vehicles to celebrate the installation of its new electric vehicle charging station. Gaithersburg Marriott’s Charge Up! Eat Up! Green Up! package highlights its commitment to energy-efficient practices that protect the environment.
NATIONAL REPORT—Just as the lodging industry has made significant strides toward sustainability since 2008, so too have two promotional product companies, each launching in that year and since expanding their green product offerings to thousands of items. The two companies include Green Promotional Items, Danvers, Mass., and Eco Promotional Products, Inc., Vernon Hills, Ill. The two distributors carry pads of recycled paper, pens, USB flash drives, mugs, apparel, water bottles, solar powered calculators, awards/plaques, magnets, name badges and many other items. Each item makes its own unique green statement—whether in a guestroom, at the front desk, during a trade show or meeting, or as rewards or gifts for employees or customers. Green Promotional Items, Eco Promotional Products, and other companies like them go beyond gimmicky—think bouncy balls with lights and batteries inside, or foam stress squeezies—to sell products with a “conscience.” “A more sustainable way of doing business is something you see every way you turn,” says Gerri Weiner, president, Corporate Accents Unlimited.
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