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Architects, designers and anyone else interested in the construction, renovation and design of interior lodging spaces should read “Sustainability in Interior Design,” a book recently released by Siân Moxon. Moxon is an Associate at the architecture and interior design practice Jestico + Whiles in London. She teaches sustainable design at London’s South Bank University and the Royal College of Art. The book is published by Laurence King Publishing Ltd., London. Sustainability in Interior Design is separated into four chapters that guide interior designers through the sustainable design process. The first chapter, “Context,” introduces the principal environmental issues, and explores how today’s interior designer can learn from historic examples of sustainable design.
As reported on Green Lodging News late last month, Hilton World announced the 2011 results of its LightStay sustainability measurement system. LightStay was officially launched back in 2009. All Hilton hotels—now more than 3,900—are participating in LightStay, reporting data back to Hilton headquarters regarding waste generation, and energy and water consumption. Since the introduction of LightStay, the company has reduced its carbon output by 10.9 percent, waste output by 23.3 percent, energy use by 9.7 percent, and water use by 7.5 percent. Using 2008 as the baseline year, Hilton’s goal is to reduce energy consumption, CO2 emissions and waste output by 20 percent, as well as reduce water consumption by 10 percent—all by 2014.
For those of you counting the number of LEED Platinum certified lodging establishments in the United States, the current number stands at four thanks to the recent certification of The Crash Pad, a hostel in downtown Chattanooga, Tenn. The other three U.S. properties include The Skyler Hotel in Syracuse, N.Y., the Bardessono Hotel, Restaurant and Spa in Yountville, Calif., and the Proximity Hotel in Greensboro, N.C. LEED Platinum is the highest of the four LEED certification levels offered by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Crash Pad is the second hostel Green Lodging News has reported on in the past several months. It opened in June of last year but it took more than a year to receive word of its LEED certification. The other hostel is located in downtown Boston and is pursuing LEED Gold.
For the second week in a row I attended a hotel opening ceremony—this time the TownePlace Suites Denver Airport at Gateway Park in Colorado. The hotel is the first TownePlace Suites property to open as part of Marriott International’s LEED Volume Program. Be sure to check out the press release and blog report to learn more about the hotel. It is an interesting project and in a great location. While attending the ceremony I had an opportunity to sit down with some folks from Marriott to catch up on their green progress. The first bit of news, as referenced in Marriott’s recent 2011-2012 Sustainability Report, is that Marriott is well on its way in rolling out its Green Hotels Global tool, an online environmental sustainability dashboard (developed and managed by The Carbon Accounting Co.).
If you are a golf fan and interested in green building, be sure to stop by the SpringHill Suites Pittsburgh Latrobe hotel the next time you are in the Pittsburgh area. The 109-room hotel is highly unique in that its majority owner’s likeness and memorabilia are evident throughout the hotel. The majority owner is none other than Arnold Palmer, the golfing great whose career includes 92 national and international championships. I attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony this past week at the hotel where both Palmer and Marriott International executive chairman Bill Marriott were in attendance. The hotel is a joint venture of Palmer Hospitality, L.P., Concord Hospitality Enterprises, one of the nation’s leading hotel developer/owner/operators, and Keith H. McGraw of Sewickley, Pa.
Few books on green travel or green hotel operations cross my desk. When I do receive a copy of this type of book I like to highlight it. One such book that I recently received is “Green Growth and Travelism: Letters from Leaders.” I highly recommend reading this book that was published by Goodfellow Publishers Limited and edited by five green travel experts: Geoffrey Lipman, director of Greenearth.travel; Terry DeLacy, a professor in sustainable tourism and environmental policy at Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia; Shaun Vorster, special advisor to the South African Minister of Tourism; Rebecca Hawkins, director of the Responsible Hospitality Partnership; and Min Jiang, a research fellow at Victoria University, Melbourne. The book includes letters written by 47 travel industry leaders from around the world.
Every now and then I chat with who I consider to be a green lodging all star. I have featured many of them on Green Lodging News in the past six years. That person is not always the owner or general manager of a property but it is often the case. This past week I spoke with Susan Cawley, general manager of the Concord Suites in Avalon, N.J. Susan definitely makes my all star list. What makes Susan so special is what she has been able to accomplish at the 90-suite Concord Suites. It was her idea five years ago to pursue a solar photovoltaic installation for the rooftop of the seashore property. Not many green champions have to convince 90 owners to do something but that is what Susan did. You see, the Concord Suites is a condotel and each suite is owned by a different owner.
I suspect you have all seen QR codes (abbreviated from Quick Response Codes) by now. They are the two-dimensional square barcodes that are being used in signage and advertisements. Because most people today have smartphones that include barcode readers, companies are increasingly using QR codes to direct clients and potential clients to helpful information. For those of you with smartphones who have not yet downloaded a QR code reader, one can easily be found through the application store on your phone. When a QR code is scanned by your phone, a browser is activated and you are taken to a specific website for more details. I mention QR codes because they have the potential to be used to educate your guests about anything on your property or off property related to sustainability.
Every two years the American Hotel & Lodging Assn. (AH&LA) releases the results of its Lodging Survey. This year’s survey was funded by the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation (AH&LEF) and conducted by STR. An impressive 52,155 U.S. hotel properties were polled and there was a response rate of 23 percent. I have written about previous surveys numerous times on Green Lodging News (search using “lodging survey” on the Green Lodging News website). This year’s survey certainly indicated that green lodging is alive and well. The percentage of respondents indicating that they either have or are working toward a green certification is 49 percent. That is up from less than 30 percent in 2004. When asked if their properties have a water saving program, 75 percent said yes.
How much thought do you put into your purchase of bathroom tissue (toilet paper)? I am in the middle of doing research for an article on bathroom tissue and am learning that there is a lot to consider regarding the environmental impact of a roll of TP—from how it is made to what its ingredients are and where those ingredients come from. Really, do you use any screening process whatsoever when buying TP? I would love to know. Eric Ricaurte, writing for HotelNewsNow.com, recently cited a World Wildlife Fund Report that found that some toilet paper sold here in the United States that ends up in hotels and restaurants can be linked to destruction of tropical forests. As the CEO of one paper company told me this past week, be skeptical of product made outside of North America.
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