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The evening of Friday, May 8 was unlike any other for Ruben Hernandez, Security Supervisor at New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania. Ruben had just started his shift, which typically runs from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m., when he got a call that a guest was unresponsive in a fifth floor room. Ruben grabbed the hotel’s automated external defibrillator (AED) and started running. Fortunately, the elevator door on the ground floor was open. That alone could have meant life or death for the guest. When Ruben arrived at the scene, he and his fellow Security Officer, Danny Sandoval, began administering cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). When CPR failed to revive the guest, Ruben made the decision to activate the AED. The AED told Ruben to administer a shock to the guest using the AED.
I just returned from the annual HD Expo at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. For those of you not familiar with the event, it is primarily a trade show but with many educational opportunities as well. I had an opportunity to walk the entire trade show floor. More than 850 manufacturers and service providers were present. Many of those exhibiting offered products with some type of sustainability component. In lighting everything is LED these days and that was clear in what was offered by the many lighting-related suppliers. If I ever see a compact fluorescent at a trade show again, I would be shocked. LED pricing has come down, color quality has improved, and you can find an LED for just about every application imaginable. Incorporating recycled content in product is a growing trend.
Cold water is “hot.” Last month P&G Professional (not an advertiser of Green Lodging News), the away-from-home division of Procter & Gamble, announced that the Tide Professional Coldwater Laundry System was named a 2015 Award Winner by the internationally renowned Edison Awards. This laundry system enables hotel facilities to reduce the energy needed to heat the water in a commercial washer by as much as 75 percent and to reduce the water used in a commercial washer by up to 40 percent. According to P&G Professional, Tide Professional Coldwater features an advanced system using unique enzymes that are specially designed for lower wash temperatures which help effectively break down stains without the need for higher water temperatures.
The two conferences focused specifically on green lodging that took place in 2014 have yet to be rescheduled but there are a number of opportunities coming up to attend events at which there will be opportunities to learn about various aspects of lodging and restaurant sustainability. First, HD Expo, set to take place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas from May 13 to 15, will include four Green Voice Conversations organized by NEWH as part of its Green Voice Conversations series. Topics will include Biophilic Design, Futuristic Materials, Detoxifying Hotel Interiors, and Smaller Footprint Trends and Guest Experience. NEWH is also planning a Student Green Scholarship Awards luncheon on the first day of the Expo. I will be attending HD Expo and will report on it here in Green Lodging News.
This past week, Earth Week, was a busy week for news. Much of it has already been posted on Green Lodging News but some of it has not. First of all, I heard from Ryan Dillon, Responsible Travel Specialist with TripAdvisor, and he informed me that TripAdvisor has just extended its successful TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program into Australia and New Zealand. The program’s expansion comes exactly two years after the launch of GreenLeaders. Ryan told me TripAdvisor GreenLeaders is now “live” in Latin America and the Caribbean as well, although TripAdvisor has not yet officially released that news. More than 8,000 properties in 67 countries, including 170 in Australia and New Zealand, have been awarded the TripAdvisor GreenLeader status, making it easily the largest green hotels program.
As mentioned in a previous column, I recently participated in a Sustainability Roundtable at Cornell University. At that event there was some discussion about the progress, or lack thereof, of the APEX/ASTM Environmentally Sustainable Meetings Standards. For those of you not familiar with the standards, they are the result of years of collaborative efforts and delineate procedural requirements and environmental sustainability criteria for meetings, events, trade shows, or conferences. There are nine standards and different levels of achievement within each standard. One can obtain certification to a standard through an organization called iCompli. Within the meetings community the standards are a big deal.
It was just a matter of when. That is my take on this past week’s announcement that Clean the World and Global Soap have combined their operations and charitable efforts. It did not make a lot of sense for two organizations to be competing for donor dollars and basically doing the same thing: collecting, processing and distributing soap and other amenities. While separately the two organizations were making a huge difference, together the two will have an even larger impact on improving hygiene and reducing the number of children dying daily from diarrheal disease. Going forward, Global Soap will be a division—a brand—of Clean the World. (Clean the World considers its ONE Project another brand.) Clean the World will manage all soap and bottle collection and recycling.
I attended my third Sustainability Roundtable a little more than a week ago at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. For those of you not familiar with the event, it is a mostly annual gathering of industry representatives focused on sustainability. Folks attending tend to be corporate level sustainability leaders but there are also suppliers, students and those in academia who participate as well. The Roundtable is a forum at which research is often presented and where folks update their industry peers on their efforts to reduce waste, energy and water consumption. The event is also a setting where recent initiatives in other areas of corporate social responsibility are discussed. At this year’s Roundtable there was some news of note.
South Beach in Miami Beach was the site last week of the opening of the first 1 Hotel. The opening was a long time coming; the eco-conscious “1” concept was first introduced by Starwood Capital Group in 2006. The recession put a temporary stop to development. Today, in addition to the South Beach hotel, which was designed by Meyer Davis Studio, there are 1 Hotels in development in Central Park (to open in late spring) and Brooklyn Bridge Park (opening end of 2015). Each of the hotels will be LEED certified. Starwood Capital Group is the parent of SH Group, a lifestyle hotel brand management company that will manage the hotels. The 426-room 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach (includes 163 private residences) is the result of the renovation of an existing 1970s building.
People, Planet, Profit…Pups? In case you missed it on Green Lodging News, McKibbon Hotel Group, located in Tampa, Fla., has come up with one of the coolest community service projects I have heard about. McKibbon, which owns and manages the Aloft Asheville Downtown in Asheville, N.C., paired up with a local animal shelter last August, Charlie’s Angels Animal Rescue (CAAR), in an effort to increase the dog adoption numbers in the community. When guests arrive at the Aloft hotel, they are met by a dog (located behind the registration desk) in an “Adopt Me” vest. Guests can interact with the dog during check-in as well as at the hotel lounge and additional designated areas. And, if they so choose, can move forward in a process of adopting the dog. Since last August, more than 20 dogs have found permanent and loving homes.
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