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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA—Mario and Annemarie Delicio of Dematech are the owners behind Hotel Verde. Dedicated and passionate about sustainability, they have transformed what was initially just a sensible business proposition into a showcase for some of the most advanced environmentally conscious technological installations as well as construction and operation practices in the world. “We have a responsibility as a company, as an employer and as a visitor on this planet to live as sustainably as possible,” says Mario Delicio. “This is the only way we can survive long-term and hand over to our children in a responsible manner.” Construction on Hotel Verde, which is a part of the recently launched BON Hotels group, began more than a year ago just outside Cape Town International Airport. “If you look at what can be done from a green angle you look at energy, water and waste reduction,” Delicio explains. “You then take each of these areas and work out how to implement alternatives, generating your own electricity for example.”
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Hotel & Lodging Assn. (AH&LA) annual Summer Summit, held June 18 to 19 at The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa in Denver, will feature awards for eco-friendly practices. These Good Earthkeeping awards, to be presented at the Stars of the Industry Awards luncheon, are just some of the awards that will be presented. Other areas in which awards will be presented include: community service, guest relations, special events, diversity, and information technology.
PARIS—Accor Hotels announced that its Plant for the Planet program will fund 200,000 trees in the United Kingdom in a pioneering project designed to promote sustainable food production and nurture links between hotels, guests and farms. Europe’s largest hotel group marked the first anniversary of its PLANET 21 sustainability strategy by revealing plans to finance up to 50 projects across the United Kingdom by the end of 2015, planting trees on farms in smart ways that cut costs, raise yields and improve the environment. The program also aims to engage Accor’s employees and guests on sustainability. Plant for the Planet is financed by money saved when guests choose to reuse towels rather than send them to be washed. Since 2008, thanks to their responsible behavior, Accor has planted over 3 million trees worldwide—around 1,500 each day. In the United Kingdom 72 percent of the group’s hotels take part in the program and in five years they have funded more than 247,000 trees in Romania.
LONDON—The first international restaurant rating system that enables diners to choose restaurants that match their sustainability priorities wherever they are in the world was launched recently by the Sustainable Restaurant Association (SRA). Some of the best restaurants in the world have already completed the SRA rating and a number of others have committed to doing so. Narisawa, the two Michelin-starred restaurant in Tokyo, won the Sustainable Restaurant Award, sponsored by Zacapa, at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants this year, by achieving the highest score among the 50 Best Restaurants to complete the SRA’s new Global Rating survey. Noma, in Denmark and 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo BOMBANA, in Hong Kong, completed the top three in this award. The SRA’s Global Sustainability Rating means diners in New York, Paris, Tokyo or Sydney for example, who care about where their food comes from, how restaurants manage their energy, waste and water and how they treat their staff, can check their credentials.
ST. JOHN, U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. and NRG Energy, Inc. announced a new global alliance to expand the use of renewable energy systems at Starwood properties. The alliance will begin with three properties, including the installation of a 1.3 megawatt (MW) solar array at the Westin St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands where NRG will build, own and operate the project. This array will provide clean, efficient power to the resort and help to reduce local air emissions and the impact of shipping on the fragile Caribbean ecosystem by directly reducing demand for diesel fuel imports. NRG will own the solar arrays while Starwood will be the enabling partner.
WEST YELLOWSTONE, MON.—Three West Yellowstone properties owned and operated by global hospitality company Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts successfully graduated from the Yellowstone Business Partnership’s (YBP) UnCommon Sense Program. The Gray Wolf Inn & Suites, the Holiday Inn Conference Center and Branch Restaurant and the Yellowstone Park Hotel are known as the Park Gate Lodges.
CHICAGO—The McCormick Place convention center has become the largest convention center in North America to be certified to a new international sustainability standard. This certification was introduced in 2012 to promote responsible environmental and social practices in the event industry. McCormick Place achieved Level One Certification to the ASTM Standard pertaining to the Evaluation and Selection of Venues for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows, and Conferences. “We can all be very proud of this international honor for McCormick Place, which highlights how Illinois is on the cutting-edge when it comes to sustainability and the green economy,” Illinois Governor Pat Quinn said. “Here in Illinois, we understand that long-term economic development must be sustainable and respect our environment. This well-deserved distinction for McCormick Place will help attract even more conventions and trade shows, driving our economy forward and creating jobs.” “I congratulate McCormick Place on achieving the international sustainability standard certification,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “This highlights Chicago’s continuing efforts to be the greenest city in the world.”
SEATTLE—The DoubleTree by Hilton Seattle Airport and the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center have announced a partnership with Food Lifeline to secure food and reduce hunger in the Seattle communities. The collaboration will enable the DoubleTree and Hilton Seattle Airport hotels to collect safe, surplus food from events and conferences that would otherwise be thrown away and deliver it to those in need.
HALES LOCATION, N.H.—Golfers who took a drive up to the White Mountain Hotel for opening day at the Hale’s Location Golf Course on May 4 noticed something missing—the sound of gas-powered golf carts. “We have switched to an all-electric powered fleet,” said Wayne Sprouse, the new head professional at Hale’s Location Golf Course. Electric carts are much more environmentally friendly, not just because they don’t use gas or pollute the air but also because they are quiet. “Golf is a game that benefits from silence during play,” adds Sprouse. “These new, quiet carts make for a better experience for players on the course, Hale’s homeowners, and guests of the White Mountain Hotel.” Gary Sullivan, owner and general manager of the White Mountain Hotel, spearheaded the purchase of the 26 EZ Go Electric Carts now available at Hales as a way for the hotel to continue its reputation as an environmental leader in the sustainable lodging movement. “We are committed to environmentally friendly practices at the hotel,” says Sullivan.
LAS VEGAS—Registration is now open for the sixth annual WaterSmart Innovations (WSI) Conference and Exposition, scheduled for October 2 to 4 at the South Point Hotel and Conference Center in Las Vegas.
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