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BAY LAKE, FLA.—Harvest Power unveiled the Central Florida Energy Garden, an organics management and renewable energy facility that is the first of its kind in the United States, converting organic waste into renewable biogas and natural fertilizers. The anaerobic digester combines a unique set of proven technologies and will divert hundreds of thousands of tons of waste from Central Florida landfills. Located within the Reedy Creek Improvement District (RCID), the Energy Garden uses anaerobic digestion—a biological process that relies on trillions of naturally occurring bacteria—to produce renewable biogas. When operating at full capacity, the facility will process more than 120,000 tons of organic materials annually while producing 5.4 megawatts of combined heat and power. “We are immensely proud of the teamwork that transformed this technically sophisticated project from a vision to a reality,” said Alex MacFarlane, Vice President of Project Development. “As North American demand for recycling of organic waste grows, this anaerobic digestion facility is a revelation for what is possible.”
OBERLIN, OHIO—Oberlin College will soon construct a state-of-the-art hotel, restaurant, and conference center that will be named in honor of Peter B. Lewis, the late philanthropist and chairman of Progressive Insurance Co. The Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center will become the cornerstone of Oberlin’s Green Arts District, an ongoing development encompassing the northeast corner of North Main Street and East College Street. The Lewis Center project is a planned 100,000-square-foot, mixed-use development that will incorporate renewable energy systems, and it is designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum rating. In addition to a 65-room hotel and conference center, the complex will include commercial and office space, a culinary training facility, and a restaurant featuring locally grown and sourced fare. Oberlin College has recognized Peter B. Lewis for his $5 million gift toward the project, which is part of Oberlin’s $250 million comprehensive campaign. Lewis’gift is the single largest contribution in Oberlin’s campaign for support of the Green Arts District.
COOPERSBURG, PA.—Under a little-known requirement that went into effect at the beginning of this year, the last of the “general service” incandescent bulbs—descendants of the original light bulb invented by Thomas Alva Edison in 1879— can no longer be manufactured or imported into the United States.
ITHACA, N.Y.—The Statler Hotel at Cornell University received the 2014 Good Earthkeeping Award, the greenest award bestowed by the New York State Hospitality and Tourism Association. The award recognizes the Statler, which has developed a culture of integrating superior environmental management practices. The honor was given March 3 in Albany, N.Y., at the association’s 2014 Stars of the Industry Gala and Awards Banquet. “This is a very prestigious award, and all of our staff and our student-employees are very proud to have earned it,” says Rick Adie, the general manager of the Statler. “Our initiatives align with the university goals established by President David Skorton. We are very serious about protecting the environment. Here at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, we teach our students state-of-the-art, exemplary business practices, and in doing so, we’re keeping the Earth.” In partnership with The Hersha Group and Jay Shah, the group’s CEO, the Statler Hotel implemented EarthView, a triple-bottom-line sustainability program created by the group.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—According to the latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects, renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) accounted for 37.16 percent of all new domestic electrical generating capacity installed during calendar-year 2013 for a total of 5,279 MW.
ATLANTA—Ensuring sustainability of ecosystems through protection of plants, soil and water and increased habitat for native birds and insects is the goal of proposed requirements to the green building standard from ASHRAE, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). “The intent of the proposal is to maintain or restore a minimum level of biodiversity including bio-diverse plantings, native plants and limited turfgrass,” Anthony Floyd, a member of the Standard 189.1 committee, said. “Supporting and maintaining the biodiversity is critical to the long term health and sustainability of ecosystems of which humans and all life depend on for existence. Sustainable development recognizes and attempts to account for the interdependencies of ecosystems in the human built environment. Hence, Standard 189.1 addresses biodiversity at the building site level in recognition of these interdependencies.” ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, covers key topical areas of site sustainability, water-use efficiency, energy ef¬ficiency, indoor environmental quality and the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources.
OCEANSIDE, CALIF.—The 149-suite SpringHill Suites by Marriott in Oceanside, Calif., is oficially open for business. The SpringHill Suites San Diego Oceanside/Downtown will operate as a Marriott franchise, owned by GF Properties Group, LLC and managed by Sage Hospitality of Denver. The hotel has been designed to LEED? (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards.
LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA.—Orlando’s newest lifestyle hotel—B Resort, located in the Walt Disney World Resort—is offering local artists and galleries the opportunity to showcase original works in its hotel. The resort is accepting submissions, now through March 15, from artists who wish to participate in this innovative program. The new “B Artistic Exhibit” will showcase the vibrant local art scene to travelers who come from around the world to Orlando’s bustling Tourism Corridor. Selected works from Central Florida’s artists and galleries will be prominently displayed in the pre-function area of the expansive meeting spaces. Guests will be able to purchase the displayed works, and all proceeds from art sales will go directly to the artists. “We are looking for works that are inspired as well as welcoming and fun,” said Veronica Miranda, Director of Brand Services for B Hotels & Resorts. “Selected pieces will be part of an eclectic display that complements the hotel’s playful and contemporary design,” Miranda said.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The National Restaurant Assn. is calling on restaurant operators to participate in an online survey regarding how much unused food is donated, composted, or sent to landfills and other waste disposal facilities. The information gathered will be used to help develop new ways to reduce food waste in the industry.
SHAWANO, WIS.—The NEWH Sustainable Hospitality Committee announces the return of Green Voice Conversations during the upcoming HD Expo in Las Vegas, May 14 to 16 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. The live sessions will feature a combination of one-on-one interviews in The Social Hub booth #1955 during show hours open to all show attendees and a CEU-accredited panel discussion in the HD conference meeting rooms for paid conference pass holders. Green Voice is now in its third year, continuing to grow in scope and popularity each year. This year's sessions feature eight industry experts actively involved in sustainable practices across many facets of hospitality, lodging, dining, and business. Presenters, moderators and speakers will lead the audience through five conversations covering sustainable principles and practices that impact the hospitality industry from a unique range of perspectives. “The NEWH Sustainable Hospitality Committee has been addressing sustainability for a very long time and our Green Voice programs are one of the ways we get to share this with the expanded hospitality community,” said David Mahood of Olive Hospitality Consulting.
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