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NEW YORK—The American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Sustainability Committee has added a session entitled, “Measuring Hotel Carbon Footprints Using HCMI Methodology,” to the lineup of sessions at the Hospitality Leadership Forum which leads up to the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show (IHMRS). The session will take place from 3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, November 8 at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City. IHMRS will take place at the Javits Center from Sunday, November 9 through Tuesday, November 11. Pat Maher, partner, The Maher Group, LLC, will moderate the panel discussion that will include: Randy Gaines, Vice President, Engineering, Housekeeping, Laundry Operations, Americas, Hilton Worldwide; Fran Hughes, Head of Programmes, International Tourism Partnership; Eric Ricaurte, founder & CEO, Greenview; and Nancy Scanlon, Ph.D., CHE, Associate Professor, Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, Florida International University. Those attending the session can expect to learn about the new industry-wide common unified language for hotels reporting carbon footprints on meetings and/or hotel stays.
HONG KONG—Cosmo Hotel Hong Kong has a newly launched green floor. All of the guestrooms located on the green floor are stocked with a range of natural in-room amenities. Cosmo Hotel Hong Kong is also one of the few certified green hotels in Hong Kong to have introduced a 100 percent indoor smoke-free policy in the entire hotel property.
BETHESDA, MD.—A Woman’s Nation (AWN), together with Marriott International, announced that Marriott International will be the first partner in AWN’s The Envelope Please initiative, which is designed to encourage and enable hotel guests to express their gratitude by leaving tips and notes of thanks for hotel room attendants in designated envelopes provided in hotel rooms. Hotel room attendants often go unnoticed, as they silently care for the millions of travelers who are on the road at any given time. Because hotel guests do not always see or interact with room attendants, their hard work is many times overlooked when it comes to tipping. The Envelope Please makes leaving them a gratuity simple and secure. Beginning this week, Marriott International will place signature envelopes in more than 160,000 guestrooms at participating Marriott-managed hotels in the United States and Canada, making it easy for guests to express their gratitude and leave a voluntary gratuity for their room attendants. Mar¬riott has also invited its franchise hotels to participate in this initiative.
SHAWANO, WIS.—The NEWH Sustainable Hospitality Committee announced the addition of four sponsors to support the return of its popular Green Voice Conversation Webinars on Friday, September 26. Thanks to the support of Global Lighting, JLF Lone Meadow Furniture, Northwest Carpets, and Valley Forge Fabrics, the live webinar sessions are easy to attend using any computer and phone. The webinars will feature two CEU-accredited panel discussions, one in the morning, and another in the afternoon.
PARSIPPANY, N.J.—Wyndham Worldwide, one of the world’s largest hospitality companies, continued to demonstrate its leadership in sustainability best practices in 2013, reducing its operationally controlled asset water usage globally by 16 percent per square foot and its carbon emissions by 13 percent per square foot from the 2010 baseline. In the company’s fourth year of formal sustainability reporting, its 2013 Sustainability Responsibility Report details its strong commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. Wyndham Worldwide is one of the first hospitality companies to use the progressive G4 Sustainability Reporting Structure to report its economic, environmental and social performance. “Our progress has earned us industry distinctions that recognize the value we aim to create for our shareholders, our partners and the environment,” said Stephen P. Holmes, Chairman and CEO, Wyndham Worldwide. “Recognizing the emerging global challenges, our sustainability focus remains on reducing our carbon footprint and water usage as well as supporting innovation and collaboration among our associates and stakeholders to drive change in the communities where we operate, and throughout the travel and tourism industry.”
ORLANDO, FLA.—It is hard to miss the lush, green tropical lemongrass and other plant life that adorn the green roofs that are sprouting on buildings throughout Central Florida and beyond. What you might not see at first glance, however, is the innovative soil media that keeps the grasses and plants firmly rooted and thriving. Developed by the University of Central Florida’s Stormwater Management Academy, the patented Bold & Gold soil media also provides significant filtration and reduction of stormwater runoff and is now deployed on more than 50,000 square feet of green roofs throughout Florida.
KA‘ANAPALI, MAUI, HAWAII—Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa is celebrating its LEED Silver EBOM (Existing Building Operations and Maintenance) certification, awarded as a result of a long term commitment to environmental sustainability. This certification is the first of any building in the state of Hawaii. The property recently completed renovations throughout the resort, including the pool area, Drums of the Pacific Luau, and dining outlets. Throughout the renovation process members of the Hyatt Regency Maui operations team worked closely with property owner Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. and with third-party consultants Green Building Hawaii to make the necessary environmentally friendly enhancements. “We are so pleased to have been awarded the LEED Silver EBOM status in recognition of our conservation and energy efficiency efforts, as well as our longstanding commitment to sustainability,” said Hyatt Regency Maui General Manager Allan Farwell. “We hope that as we preserve and protect our natural environment in Maui, our commitment inspires our guests to make similar conscious efforts in the various parts of the world where they live.”
ALPHARETTA, GA.— Emerald Expositions announces the launch of Design Americas, a new show catering to the hospitality, contract, kitchen and bath and retail design markets. Developed as a response to the evolving world of design, the show will serve as the definitive destination for designers looking to explore the latest products and services either from a respective sector or across the entire design industry.
NATIONAL REPORT—You need not take more than a quick glance at the U.S. Drought Monitor to see that something is awry in California. Much of the state is in dark red—exceptional drought. Other parts of the state are in either extreme or severe drought. Sources of water for the Golden State are shrinking—both above ground and below ground. According to University of Colorado geoscientist Brad Udall, drought, combined with overuse have produced some of the Colorado River’s lowest flows in more than 1,000 years. As many as 40 million people in the Southwest rely on the Colorado for drinking water. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, the loss of groundwater in the Western United States has been so great that the ground there actually rose one-sixth of an inch this year. The mountains of California rose three-fifths of an inch as the easing weight of the groundwater has caused the Earth’s crust to spring upward. California, for years, has dealt with frequent drought.
VISTA, CALIF.—What is interesting about the California drought currently impacting the area is not necessarily the severity of it. Instead, it is how the state seems to be handling it in stride, with relatively minor impact on communities. While some industry sectors are definitely being impacted—and we may not have seen the worst—compared to the last “major” drought in California (1976-1977), there have been considerable changes for the better.
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