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SAN FRANCISCO—The Green Meeting Industry Council has announced highlights of their ninth annual Sustainable Meetings Conference taking place in San Francisco April 15 to 17, including a diverse array of sustainability leaders and activities exploring the best practices in the green event industry in San Francisco and beyond.
ATLANTA—PURE Solutions, a provider of allergy-friendly hotel rooms, will install 18 new rooms at the JW Marriott Atlanta Buckhead. “The JW Marriott brand provides a strong emphasis on health and wellness, from locally sourced and organic cuisine to our state-of-the-art fitness center,” said General Manager, Mike Giamundo. “We believe PURE Rooms will enhance that experience for visitors to Buckhead.”
DALLAS—The Ellis Hotel, downtown Atlanta’s premier boutique hotel, recently converted an entire floor to feature exclusively Beyond by Aerus allergy-friendly rooms. Well known for its private-access women-only floor, the hotel now offers a second private-access floor offering allergy-friendly rooms by implementing the Beyond by Aerus purification process. This patent-pending system includes 15 unique treatment programs. The Ellis Hotel partnered with Beyond by Aerus to provide a solution for travelers that suffer from allergies and asthma.
NATIONAL REPORT—Last year was a big year for national green lodging certification with the launch of TripAdvisor’s GreenLeaders program but at the state level there was still a lot of certification and recognition activity and that will continue through 2014. There are currently 27 state level programs that offer some degree of certification or recognition for lodging establishments actively working to reduce waste, energy consumption and water consumption. . Green Lodging News previously had listed 28 states but Montana has been removed from the list. Its partnership with Green Directory Montana is no longer active. Within the 27 states that have active programs are a total of 2,605 properties that have earned official certification or recognition for their green efforts. Common to state programs is funding challenges and lack of manpower. In one state the program is run by “one-fourth” of a person. Another state’s program was totally volunteer run. A telltale sign of a struggling state program is a website that has not been updated—in some cases, we found, not for several years.
TORONTO—Green Hotels Global, a system that provides metrics-based information on the environmental footprint of hotels, and TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, announced a partnership to add 1,375 Marriott properties, which are Green Hotels Global’s clients, to TripAdvisor GreenLeaders. The addition makes TripAdvisor GreenLeaders the largest program of its kind in the United States with more than 3,600 participating accommodations. TripAdvisor GreenLeaders helps TripAdvisor’s community of more than 260 million travelers plan greener trips by highlighting U.S. accommodations engaging in environmentally-friendly practices. Through the partnership, hotel properties participating in Green Hotels Global’s environmental sustainability benchmarking tool will now be automatically screened against the rating criteria of TripAdvisor GreenLeaders. Those properties meeting the minimum criteria will be enrolled in the program. “All the hotels participating in Green Hotels Global have demonstrated a commitment to environmental measurement and disclosure,” said Ian Lipton, President and COO of The Carbon Accounting Co., which developed and operates the Green Hotels Global program.
CHEVY CHASE, MD.—The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company recently announced the launch of new, exclusive Ritz Kids children’s programming through an expanded partnership with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society.
LAKE FOREST, CALIF.—For the first time, travelers who enjoy smoking have instant access to more than 100,000 hotels worldwide that cater to guests who smoke. Smoketels.com is a new online reservation service dedicated to smoking hotel rooms only. Bookings allow travelers the freedom to choose from more than 250,000 smoking hotel rooms across the country and around the globe. The site was designed to save travelers hours of surfing the Internet in their search for a smoker-friendly hotel. With this underserved demographic in mind, Smoketels.com provides immediate access to hundreds of rooms in many cities. It is becoming increasingly harder to find hotels that offer smoking rooms, and the majority of other online travel reservation sites make it difficult for users to even identify if a hotel offers smoking rooms. “You have to search through their site, click on a hotel, then see if they have a smoking room or not,” a Smoketel spokesman said. “It can be quite time-consuming and frustrating, and often this information is not made readily available.”
CLEVELAND, OHIO—Hasek Communications, the Cleveland, Ohio-based publisher of Green Lodging News, welcomes Garage Juice Bar as a Green Product & Service Directory partner. The Juice Bar Electric Vehicle Charger and Green Garage Oasis Amenity Center are an upscale, sustainable branded experience and environment for electric vehicle driving guests and visitors to upscale hotels and resorts.
PORTLAND, ORE.—MeetGreen has increased its bandwidth and announces the addition and promotion of several staff members. Della Green joined the team in May 2009, and has been working to expand business opportunities for MeetGreen. Recently promoted to Director of Business Development, “Della brings her unique customer-focus to our team, communicating our cutting edge sustainable conference management and consulting services to a wide range of existing and potential clients,” according to Nancy Zavada, MeetGreen Principal.
LOS ANGELES—Often lost in the conversation about green lodging certification in the United States and Canada is the Green Globe brand. There is good reason for it. Only one hotel in the United States—the Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle—is Green Globe certified. There are none in Canada. The InterContinental Chicago will soon be certified. A handful of non-lodging businesses in the United States are also certified but that is it. Yet, the Green Globe brand is thriving outside of the United States and Canada. Guido Bauer, CEO of the Los Angeles based Green Globe, says there are now 433 lodging establishments certified worldwide—primarily in the Caribbean, Europe, Middle East, and Asia. Supporting those properties is a staff of 13 full-time employees and a team in the field comprised of 200 accredited auditors, 50 of which, Bauer says, work for Green Globe on a regular basis. Powering the Green Globe brand is not only its staff but also a collection of websites.
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