You are viewing items 1-10 (Page 1 of 54)
Hilton’s decision this past week to make discarded soap and amenity recycling a brand standard among its All Suites brands is a “game changer” for Clean the World, the organization doing the repurposing/recycling, according to Shawn Seipler, Founder and CEO of the Orlando, Fla. based nonprofit. Hilton’s decision is significant in several ways. It is the first major hotel company to make soap and amenity recycling a brand standard. Second, the commitment that includes Embassy Suites by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton will elevate Hilton’s participation to 1,370 hotels. Third, the addition of the 750 All Suites hotels represents a 20 percent growth in hotels represented for Clean the World, proving that it can take on large groups of hotels in one fell swoop. Once the All Suites Hotels are participating in the program (by early December), Hilton will have more than 200,000 hotel rooms on board.
Just one month remains before this November’s annual HX: The Hotel Experience (formerly International Hotel, Motel & Restaurant Show) and Boutique Design New York (BDNY). I posted an article about the shows this past week. HX will take place from November 13 to 15 and BDNY from November 13 to 14. I strongly encourage you to attend. Together, the trade shows will feature approximately 1,000 companies. Many of those suppliers will feature products and technologies to help you dramatically reduce waste, improve profitability, and conserve water and energy. I have been attending HX, BDNY and HX’s predecessor show for more than 20 years and have always found them to be highly educational and great networking opportunities. Together, this year’s shows will include eight educational sessions on the trade show floor that are focused on one aspect of sustainability or another. I will be moderating two of those sessions.
I recently wrote an article about the Olas Verdes Hotel in Playa Guiones, Costa Rica. One of the things that impressed me most about the property—aside from the fact that it had earned LEED Platinum—was how its trees and plants were purposely not cut down during construction. The property is an easy walk to the beach and could have had a great view of the ocean but the trees and plants were intentionally left in place to block that view. How attentive were you to tree and plant preservation when you built your property? Mankind has done a terrible job taking care of trees on this planet. Since man started chopping trees down, the Earth has lost about half of its trees. Rainforests once covered about 14 percent of the planet; now they cover only 6 percent. If not protected, rainforests could be gone in 40 years. I was thinking about trees this past week when writing my article about two organizations that sell carbon offsets that support tree planting programs. Be sure to read that article.
Typically, the rooftop of an urban hotel is a missed opportunity when it comes to potential power generation or the lessening of the urban heat island effect. San Francisco wants to change that. Earlier this year the city made adding solar—for electricity or heating—a requirement for new buildings 10 stories or less. Hotels are included. The ordinance states that the solar zone shall be located on the roof or overhang of the building, or on the roof or overhang of another structure located within 250 feet of the building or on covered parking installed with the building project. San Francisco is the first major U.S. city to have such a requirement that requires a building owner to set aside 15 percent of rooftop space for solar. This past week I spoke with Steven Peck, Founder and President of Toronto-based Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), about new legislation approved by the San Francisco Planning Commission that builds on the existing solar roof mandate.
Last month saw the official powering up and blessing of one of our industry’s largest single-property solar photovoltaic installations—a 500 kilowatt, 1,528 panel system at the Fairmont Kea Lani on Maui in Hawaii. The panels will generate 845,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, enough electricity to power 139 homes on Maui. The project is expected to reduce the resort’s current energy demand by more than 10 percent and reduce CO2e emissions by 462 metric tons of CO2e annually. This reduction in CO2e emissions is the equivalent of removing 97 passenger cars from local roads per year. I spoke with Charles Head, General Manager of the 22-acre property owned by Host Hotels & Resorts and he said, “Our company values are aligned with this. The solar project is a game changer for us. We are very pleased with the results.” The hotel that is part of the resort is broken into seven sections. The panels cover the majority of six sections on the rooftops that are exposed to the sun.
As I have learned over the years I have been publishing Green Lodging News, the kitchen can be a hub for inefficiency. Leaky freezers, fans that don’t stop running, and wasted food are just a few examples. Of course the kitchen is also a place with plenty of potential for significant water waste. Where there is a faucet, there is waste just waiting to happen. This past week I posted an article about a study that was conducted by Pacific Gas and Electric Company Food Service Technology Center (FSTC). The study, entitled “Conveyor Dishwasher Performance Field Evaluation Report,” documents the energy and water savings and economic benefits of replacing an old inefficient dishwasher with a new efficient or best-in-class dishwasher. The study also highlights how dishwashers become less efficient over time and how many dishwashers (at any age) fail to operate to their design specifications. When was the last time you had your dish machines checked to see if they are operating as they should?
Last week was an important one for the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and our industry. ITP, a membership organization with the mission of facilitating collaboration between some of the world’s leading hotel companies, unveiled the Hotel Water Measurement Initiative (HWMI). The result of 18 months of work by 18 global hotel groups, ITP and others, HWMI is the industry’s first jointly developed and consistent water measurement tool. It will enable hotel companies and individual properties to measure and report on water consumption in a consistent way. The tool is free for you to use. The problem with water measurement in the past has been that each hotel group has had its own way to measure water consumption. Building on ITP’s earlier success with the universally recognized tool for measuring the carbon footprint of a hotel room, stay or meeting—HCMI (Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative)—now used by over 24,000 hotels globally, HWMI will allow any hotel anywhere in the world to measure and report on the water footprint of a hotel stay or meeting/event in exactly the same way.
August 31, 2016 marks the deadline for the first annual Green Lodging Survey. Have you completed it? You certainly still have time. Just click here to access it. The survey is a production of Green Lodging News and Greenview and is being conducted with the support of Travelife, Green Key Global, Mekong Tourism Office, Horwath HTL Asia Pacific and Clean the World. The Green Lodging Survey is sponsored by The Arbor Day Foundation at the Silver level and Pineapple Hospitality, Aquawing Ozone Laundry Systems, PragmaTech Ltd. and reCollect2 Co. at the Bronze level. Once the survey closes, the analysis of the data and best practices will begin. The survey includes more than 100 questions and covers topics ranging from recycling bin placement to hand dryers to the amount of space allocated on a property’s website for its green practices. Once survey answers are analyzed, a Trends Report will be produced.
“Is there science to back it all up?” That was a question posed by one of the company spokespersons interviewed for the article I recently posted on guestrooms sold at a premium for being healthier, “green” or allergy-friendly in one way or another. Many of you are probably at least somewhat familiar with Stay Well rooms, PURE Rooms, and maybe even EcoRooms. I explore these as well as a new room package called the Elite Room in my article. I trust that there was indeed a good amount of scientific research done in preparation for the rollout of these premium room programs. What I wonder is how often the rooms are tested after the programs have been put in place. Stay Well rooms, PURE Rooms and Elite Rooms all incorporate air purification systems. Of course that is good news for travelers with allergies or chemical sensitivities. Similarly, these three room programs also include mattress and pillow encasements.
During attempts to arrange interviews for articles, I am occasionally asked—usually by suppliers—if they will have an opportunity to review the article before it is published online. I always tell them no and if I should happen to make an error I will gladly correct it. That is the great thing about the Internet—you can make changes after the fact. After hearing my “no,” in most cases the person will agree to move forward with the interview. Such was not the case the past couple of weeks when I attempted to get Ecolab to participate in an article on cold water washing for the laundry. After numerous calls trying to chat with the right person, I was finally e-mailed. Ecolab at first wondered who else would be featured in the article—it was P&G Professional, a competitor, but I did not tell them that. I guess Ecolab wanted all of the glory—if there is such a thing in a Green Lodging News article. Their final e-mail to me said (I never got a reply after): “One last question, will we be able to proof what you write before it is published?”