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PORTLAND, ORE.—The Oregon Convention Center (OCC) has been certified to the highest level of a new international sustainability standard. OCC achieved Level Four certification for the ASTM Standard pertaining to the evaluation and selection of venues for environmentally sustainable meetings, events, trade shows and conferences. The venue standard is one of nine standards introduced by the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry in 2012 to provide event planners and suppliers with specifications for producing events in a more sustainable manner. Scott Cruickshank, Executive Director of the OCC, commented, “We are proud and excited to be the first convention center to attain Level Four of the ASTM Venue certification. Certification to the industry’s global standard at its highest level is further evidence of OCC’s ongoing commitment to sustainability.” Earlier this year, the Convention Center earned LEED Platinum re-certification as an existing building and, in 2013, it was re-designated a Salmon Safe facility based upon its design and use of storm water runoff.
OTTAWA, ON.—Green Key Global (GKG), in partnership with MPI Foundation Canada, announces the release of version 2.0 of the Green Key Meetings Program, a comprehensive environmental assessment tool for facilities, both lodging and non-lodging, that host meetings of any scale. Developed with the assistance of senior meeting planner professionals, the Program has been updated to ensure incorporation of current meeting practice elements as well as to complement the well-known APEX/ASTM Green Meetings Standards.
NATIONAL REPORT—Prior to one of her recent trips, Judy Smith* called the motel where she was going to be staying and requested that no chemicals, air fresheners or room deodorizers be used in her room. Unfortunately, housekeeping only got the message about not using cleaning chemicals and not the part about not using air fresheners or room deodorizers. Upon entering her $110 room, Judy said a flowery fragrance of artificially scented products hit her immediately and her throat began to close. “I became hoarse and had to leave the room, sit outside for an hour or longer while my own room air purifier worked,” Smith said, adding that the bathroom was truly the only safe place for her in her guestroom. Like millions of other travelers, Smith suffers from multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). MCS involves an unusually severe sensitivity or allergy-like reaction to many different kinds of pollutants including solvents, VOCs (volatile organic compounds), perfumes, pesticides, petrol, diesel, smoke, petrochemicals in general and often encompasses problems with regard to mold, pollen, dust mites, and pet fur and dander.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK—Featuring a lineup of top architects, historians and preservation specialists, Yellowstone National Park will be the site this fall of a two-day event focused on the preservation of outstanding rustic architecture. Scheduled for September 30 to October 3, 2014, the Conference on Preservation & Stewardship of Historic Places will be presented through a partnership between the National Park Service, Yellowstone concessioner Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the Montana Preservation Alliance and American Institute of Architects Historic Resource Committee. The conference will become an annual event.
STAMFORD, CONN.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced plans for a dual-branded hotel development in Columbus, Ohio, featuring its Aloft and Element brands. Owned by Indus Hotels, the 136-room Aloft Columbus and 123-room Element Columbus will be located adjacent to The Ohio State University, minutes from downtown Columbus. Marking the debut of both the Aloft and Element brands in Columbus, the hotels are slated to open in early 2017. “Our fast-growing Aloft and Element brands are a perfect fit for the lively city of Columbus and will help meet the demand for high-caliber lodging generated by The Ohio State University and the city’s thriving business community,” said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “An industry leader in the eco-space, Element promotes a life in balance with its emphasis on wellness and sustainability, while Aloft resonates with the next generation of travelers who appreciate its distinctive urban design, intuitive technologies and live music scene at the W XYZ Bar.”
W. CONSHOHOCKEN, PA.—The ever-increasing cost of resources and the threat of adverse environmental impacts indicate that the time for sustainable manufacturing processes to emerge is now. A proposed new ASTM International standard will help industry adopt more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices by informing manufacturers how they can incorporate sustainability into their daily operations.
NEW YORK—Green Lodging News has finalized its speaker lineup for the five green seminars it is coordinating at the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show. The seminars will take place over three days beginning Saturday, November 8 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. The following are the session titles: Crafting a Career in Sustainability in Hospitality & Tourism—Sustainability Trends in Hospitality Education; Hotel Energy Management All Stars; Gone Platinum! A First-Time Ever Gathering of Leaders of Three LEED Platinum Hotels; The Power of Green Certification—Updates from Lodging’s Leading Certifiers; and Waste Management Champions Making a Difference. The 99th annual International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show will run Saturday, November 8, through Tuesday, November 11, 2014, at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. Following a full day of conference and networking activities on Saturday, November 8, the IHMRS will feature three full days of exhibits from Sunday, November 9, through Tuesday, November 11. The market will present 650 exhibitors and attract more than 16,000 industry professionals. This year’s show, for the second year in a row, will feature a Hospitality Green Division.
BANGKOK—The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism (The Code) announced its Top Members for 2014. Forty-three tourism companies from around the world are recognized as Top Members for their exceptional work to integrate child protection practices into their business and help protect children from sex tourism.
LAS VEGAS—Relax and recharge has a new meaning for visitors at Caesars Entertainment resorts. While guests enjoy their stay, they can now conveniently plug in and charge their electric vehicles thanks to new EV charging stations at 13 Caesars’ resorts and casinos. In partnership with NV Energy, nearly all of Caesars’ Northern and Southern Nevada resorts and casinos now have operational EV charging stations on site, in addition to Harrah’s Resort Southern California. A total of 48 charging ports have been installed in guest parking lots as well as valet areas, and are available for guests to use at no cost. Caesars is working to expand the availability of EV charging at its domestic resorts, with the next round of deployment planned for the following locations: Harrah’s New Orleans Hotel & Casino, Harrah’s Philadelphia, Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, and Horseshoe Casino Hammond. Once completed, the gaming-entertainment company will provide a wide network of charging stations spanning across the country from east to west.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the launch of an expanded online data visualization resource that will allow any user to access aggregated LEED green building project information in the more than 150 countries with LEED projects under way.
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