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WASHINGTON, D.C.—As part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is increasing the options for refrigerants used in various kinds of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment in the United States that offer better climate protection without harming the ozone layer. This final action addresses refrigerants under the Climate Action Plan that calls on EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program to identify and approve additional climate-friendly chemicals.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI—The new Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel has checked in its first guests. Among the 200 new Haitian hotel workers who welcomed them were young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and Haitian-Americans who want to share their hospitality skills to help boost Haiti’s tourism economy. The stories of these new associates include Luccardo, who was recruited to work at the hotel’s front desk from the Nos Petits Frères et Soeurs orphanage, and Hermine, who was part of the hotel’s intern program and will be an entry-level supervisor. In addition to members of a Haitian-American executive team, the Haiti Marriott is led by a veteran Marriott general manager who was previously at the Marriott Champs Elysees in Paris. Joined by Haiti President Michel Martelly and former U.S. President Bill Clinton at a celebration ceremony, Digicel Group Chairman and Founder Denis O’Brien and Marriott International President-Caribbean & Latin America Region Craig S. Smith thanked the Kier Construction Company workers, sub-contractors and skilled Haitian construction workers who built the hotel and the Marriott associates who will host its guests.
TORONTO—Fairmont Hotels & Resorts announced that it has achieved World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Climate Savers Program targets, reducing its operational CO2 emissions by 20 percent below 2006 levels. In doing so, the luxury hotel brand known for its industry leading sustainability programming becomes the first hotel brand to meet this ambitious environmental goal. WWF’s Climate Savers Program was designed to inspire companies to change their thinking about climate solutions, while also encouraging them to transform themselves into low-carbon leaders. This leaves member companies better placed to avoid carbon-related risks while realizing opportunities within their long-term business strategies. Fairmont joined Fortune 500 companies and other top businesses like The Coca-Cola Co., Johnson & Johnson, and Nike to develop practical, cost-effective strategies that reduce emissions of CO2 and achieve energy efficiency solutions. “According to the United Nations, emissions generated directly from the tourism sector account today for 5 percent of global CO2 emissions but may be higher,” said Jane Mackie, Vice President, Fairmont Brand.
LOS ANGELES—Energy Smart Lodging has launched a website to cater to multi-hotel operators who want to reduce their energy costs. Energy Smart Lodging provides guestroom HVAC and lighting controls, Energy Star rated LED lighting fixtures and Energy Star rated LED light bulbs.
QUINCY, MASS.—Next Step Living’s EcoThermal Filter System has earned the Green Restaurant Assn. endorsement by meeting its rigorous environmental endorsement standards. The EcoThermal Filter System can earn a restaurant up to nine GreenPoints towards becoming a Certified Green Restaurant. This one step can help restaurants achieve 90 percent of their energy requirements.
NATIONAL REPORT—Green walls, also known as vertical gardens or living walls, increasingly are being used in interior and exterior areas of hotels to make a green design statement. Aside from being aesthetic symbols of a property’s commitment to sustainability—perhaps even a means to earn LEED credits—green walls offer many other benefits. They can help deaden sound in large spaces, absorb and clean toxins from the air, reduce carbon dioxide levels, keep air temperatures down, improve employee alertness and energy levels, increase humidity, reduce airborne dust levels, and even help increase the property values of commercial buildings. According to Ambius, a green walls design expert, exterior green walls can reduce wall surface temperatures by as much as 50 degrees F, resulting in significant energy savings and air-conditioning costs. Green walls can be massive in size and expand over multiple floors, or as small as a framed piece of art—what Ambius calls its LivePicture.
REDMOND, WASH.—To help building owners and operators easily manage their heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) energy consumption while maintaining a comfortable indoor environment, Alerton has released an updated version of its Ascent Compass Software. The solution provides users a cleaner, simpler interface that reduces the steps required to optimize building systems and energy efficiency.
MILWAUKEE, WIS.—Telkonet, Inc., whose complementary business divisions include EcoSmart, a leading energy management technology platform featuring Recovery Time technology, and EthoStream, one of the largest hospitality high-speed Internet access providers, announced that its EcoSmart Solution was selected as the winner of the Holiday Inn Express Stay Smart Business Challenge at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
ATLANTA—The Westin Buckhead Atlanta has implemented an INNCOM Energy Management System as part of a comprehensive strategy to support its Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ “30/20 by 20” environmental initiatives. The 358-room property installed e4 Smart Digital Thermostats with the patented ecoMODE feature, INNcontrol 3 Central Room Management software, and a full INNCOM property management system interface.
HONOLULU—Hawaii Energy’s largest incentive for a hotel to date was recently awarded to Hawaii’s largest hotel—the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort. Hawaii Energy, the ratepayer-funded energy conservation and efficiency program for Hawaii, Honolulu and Maui counties, presented a $471,192 incentive check to the Hilton after the completion of phase I of a multi-phase, multi-million dollar energy efficiency upgrade project. Phase I included a major lighting retrofit in 1,839 guestrooms and the installation of energy-saving fan coil motors in all 2,860 guestrooms. The incentive will help Hilton offset its phase I project costs of more than $1.91 million. Hawaii Energy’s incentive covered 24 percent of these costs.
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