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DOVER, DEL.—When the two-day Sustain 2016 green lodging conference kicks off on March 14, it will be held at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, a venue with a long list of green initiatives. The 80-acre property, which features a 500-room hotel, casino, horse racing, entertainment, and multiple restaurants, is a Delaware Green Lodging Program participant and dedicated to reducing waste, improving energy and water efficiency, and supporting local farmers. According to Ed Sutor, President of Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, the reasons for pursuing sustainability have been many but one reason has certainly been to keep costs under control. Dover Downs Hotel & Casino operates in a state with a gaming tax rate of 62 percent. At one time that was 25 percent. Dover Downs Hotel & Casino also operates in a highly competitive gaming region. In 1996 there were 15 casinos in the Mid-Atlantic region. Today there are 28 with more opening this year. From a waste management perspective, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino has seen significant improvement in recent years.
SPRINGFIELD, MO.—John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts (JQH) announced the company was recently awarded Marriott International, Inc.’s 2015 Spirit to Preserve Award. Debbie Marriott Harrison, Marriott International’s Global Officer—Culture and Business Councils, presented the award to Joe Morrissey, JQH’s Senior Vice President of Operations, who accepted the honor on behalf of the company at Marriott International’s Full Service Owners conference. JQH was recognized for continuing to show support and focus on sustainability. Spirit to Preserve has been an award category since 2012, and JQH also won the award for 2013. Springfield, Mo.-based JQH is a leading private, independent owner and manager of hotels in the United States, including operating more than 1 million square feet of meeting space. Marriott’s Spirit to Preserve Award recognizes those groups who have the highest percentage of activated hotels and highest level of environmental practices based on Green Hotels Global data and company-wide sustainability programs. Every JQH Marriott property is activated in the Green Hotels Global tool and holds a TripAdvisor GreenLeaders rating.
LOS ANGELES—Cachet Hotel Group (CHG) announced the debut of its first resort development in Asia. Located in Guizhou Province, China, the dual-branded resort development Cachet Resort Wanfeng Valley is set to open with both URBN and Cachet Resort concepts in October 2016.
STAMFORD, CONN.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts announced plans to source 100 percent of its eggs from cage-free chickens across its supply chain by 2020. “Animal welfare is important to our customers and our company, and many of our hotels around the world already use cage-free eggs,” said Andrea Pinabell, Starwood’s Vice President of Sustainability. “By transitioning to 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2020, we further our commitment to doing the right thing. Our commitment also involves our suppliers and we call on them to make this important change as well. We’re excited about our commitment and look forward to helping foster a more humane food system.” Matthew Prescott, Humane Society of the United States Senior Food Policy Director said, “We welcome Starwood’s commitment to animal welfare. People just don’t want chickens confined in cages, making Starwood’s decision better for animals and its bottom line.” Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 1,270 properties in some 100 countries and over 180,000 employees at its owned and managed properties.
ROCKVILLE, MD.—Goodwill has joined forces with Interstate Hotels & Resorts to connect qualified candidates with jobs in hospitality, a unique collaboration with the industry. Interstate Hotels & Resorts, a leading U.S.-based global hotel management company, offers diverse career paths and growth opportunities in the hospitality industry, providing flexibility with full- and part-time opportunities and positions in every area of hotel operations, from guest services and sales to food and beverage and finance.
LOS ANGELES—The Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel, a Green Seal certified property, announced that it will recycle 1,768 bed sets. The move is in accordance with criteria in Green Seal’s Environmental Standard for Hotels and Lodging Properties (GS-33), which calls for material recycling. The hotel is also preparing for compliance with California law SB 254, which takes effect this year. The decision by the Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel will result in approximately 219,760 pounds of mattresses being diverted from landfills. The Hilton Los Angeles Airport has been Green Seal-certified (Bronze) under GS-33 since 2012. Green Seal is the nation’s first independent nonprofit certifier of sustainable products and services. “This Hilton has always been involved in sustainability, and it is only natural to recycle the mattress and box springs as part of our ongoing program to make the world and Los Angeles a better place,” said Grant Coonley, General Manager. “The Hilton’s decision to recycle their mattresses is a great example of what hotels can do to reduce waste and increase the sustainability of their property,” said Green Seal’s President and CEO, Arthur Weissman, Ph.D.
EDENTON, N.C.—The Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2016, and will mark the important milestone with a series of educational events, special promotions and industry-wide celebrations. From its early days—nascent meetups of environmental enthusiasts and like-minded professionals—to a now 400 member-strong association of suppliers, manufacturers, retailers and interior designers, SFC is a leading industry advocate for healthy environments.
NATIONAL REPORT—According to Emerson Electric Co., owner of the InSinkErator brand of food waste disposers, each year in the United States, nearly 34 million tons of food waste is trucked to landfills. Once there, it quickly decomposes and produces methane, an environmentally harmful greenhouse gas at least 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. While open air composting facilities and on-site waste decomposition machines are ways to manage food waste, kitchen food waste disposers and related systems remain a viable, convenient way to reduce the volume of waste sent to landfill. These systems also quickly reduce costs related to labor and waste hauling. Workplace injuries related to moving heavy food waste are also eliminated. Walk around any major trade show in the hospitality industry where there is foodservice equipment and you are likely to find at least Salvajor and InSinkErator represented. “InSinkErator and Salvajor control 80 percent of the market,” says Chris Hohl, President and owner of Salvajor. Hobart, Franke Kitchen Systems and Joneca Corp. also manufacture food waste disposers.
SAN FRANCISCO—Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. announces the opening of the new Axiom Hotel in San Francisco. Opening at the famed Cable Car turnaround at the nexus of historic Union Square and innovative Mid-Market, the boutique hotel offers 152 rooms and tech-forward amenities. Axiom Hotel is managed by Kokua Hospitality with design from New York City-based Stonehill & Taylor. As a LEED certified boutique hotel, Axiom has sustainability efforts that coincide with the green city of San Francisco. Convenient filtered ice and water stations on every guest floor are not only eco-friendly, but also allow guests unlimited and complimentary fresh water in lieu of purchasing bottled water. To limit paper waste, in-room dining can be ordered through the television, and every room features a recycling bin. The hotel’s guestrooms also feature a whisper quiet, high efficiency HVAC system with integrated energy management; LED lighting throughout; a high efficiency instantaneous hot water system; and dual-flush toilets. “We are thrilled to open our doors to the streets of San Francisco,” says General Manager Garry Cox. “Our team has worked tirelessly to transform this historic building into a cutting-edge property that’s literally at the axiom of history and the digital revolution.”
MANILA, PHILIPPINES—The Peninsula Manila General Manager Sonja Vodusek recently announced that the “Hope for the Philippines” The Peninsula—Gawad Kalinga (GK) Village in Maribi, Tanauan, Leyte, Philippines welcomed its first 50 residents just before Christmastime on December 8, 2015, with the last 25 houses scheduled for completion by January 27, 2016. The village will house 75 families from the coastal town of San Roque who were displaced when Super Typhoon Haiyan, named “Yolanda” by Filipino authorities—one of the most powerful storms on record to make landfall—barreled into the coastal provinces of Leyte and Samar in the Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines on November 8, 2013.
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