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MADRID, SPAIN—The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and the Tour Operators’ Initiative for Sustainable Tourism Development (TOI) recently announced their merger, as approved by the boards of directors of each organization.
PORTLAND, ORE.—Viridian Reclaimed Wood announced the introduction of a new line of solid-strip paneling and flooring derived from reclaimed structural beams, according to Viridian co-owner Joe Mitchoff.
NEW YORK—It is becoming a common story in the lodging industry: Executive passionate about sustainability convinces higher ups to create a full-time position dedicated to implementing best, green practices. Naomi Mirsky, Vice President of Sustainability and Innovation for New York based Denihan Hospitality Group, did just that in her company. She joined Denihan in 2011 but in 2013 she pitched the idea of Denihan moving her into a full-time sustainability position. A year later, the middle of last year, Denihan gave her the title and responsibilities she wanted. Now, a little more than half-way into her first year as Vice President of Sustainability and Innovation, Mirsky is helping to formalize Denihan’s commitment to efficiency and corporate social responsibility. Denihan, a nationally recognized, independent owner and operator of boutique hotels, currently has 14 total properties open with one under development. Two hotels are fully owned, six are majority owned, and six are managed.
ST. PAUL, MINN.—Ecolab Inc. is the first major corporate participant in Minnesota’s newest alternative energy program, which uses community solar gardens—shared solar panel sites with grid-connected subscribers—to offset electricity use.
MADRID, SPAIN—A milestone resolution recognizing the contribution of sustainable tourism to poverty eradication, community development and the protection of biodiversity has been adopted by consensus by the United Nations General Assembly. Emphasizing the need to optimize the economic, social, cultural and environmental benefits stemming from sustainable tourism, particularly in developing countries, the resolution entitled “Promotion of sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, for poverty eradication and environment protection” calls upon the UN System to promote sustainable tourism as an instrument that can contribute to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. The resolution, significantly broader in scope than previous ones on the subject, builds on a 2012 UN resolution on ecotourism and draws on a report prepared by UNWTO. In line with UNWTO recommendations, it underlines the importance of appropriate national policies, guidelines and regulations for promoting sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, and encourages UN Member States and regional and international financial institutions to support sustainable tourism projects, enabling the creation of small and medium-sized enterprises, promoting cooperatives and facilitating access to inclusive financial services.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—In recognition of the importance of sustainable parking facilities and practices to the development of sustainable communities, the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI), the certification body for the U.S. Green Building Council’s global LEED green building rating system, signed a memorandum of understanding with the International Parking Institute (IPI), the world’s largest parking association, and the Green Parking Council (GPC).
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., in partnership with NRG Energy, Inc., through its wholly-owned subsidiary NRG Renew, unveiled its first project to integrate clean sustainable energy at The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection resort. Featuring approximately 2,000 photovoltaic (PV) solar panels, the 568 kilowatt (kWdc) solar installation will offset a portion of The Phoenician resort’s energy demand—an amount equivalent to the energy needs of approximately 90 homes. Core to the project was the design-driven approach—from panel placements, which work with the terrain to create airflow, to the structure’s accent colors that blend into the natural surroundings. In addition to its sustainability benefits, the panels also provide shading and outdoor event space, a coveted amenity during the hot desert summer months. The project illustrates how Starwood and NRG together are advancing clean energy in a way that is design-led and experiential for guests. This project is the first of several between NRG and Starwood. The partnership will also incorporate solar installations at The Westin St. John Resort in the U.S. Virgin Islands and The Westin Maui Resort & Spa, Ka’anapali.
LOS ANGELES—EcoChic Lifestyles, an eco-friendly wood and metal furnishings company founded in 2012 by Megan Risdon, has moved its corporate headquarters from Vancouver, B.C. to Los Angeles. The company designs and manufactures furniture and home furnishings from reclaimed wood sourced from tropical fishing boats and iron from former bridges.
LAS VEGAS—Caesars Entertainment was recognized this week as one of America’s most community-minded companies in The Civic 50, an annual initiative that identifies and recognizes companies for their commitment to improve the quality of life in the communities where they do business. Points of Light, the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service, conducted the survey in partnership with Bloomberg LP. All companies with $1 billion in revenue or more are invited to apply for The Civic 50.
BETHESDA, MD.—Marriott International, Inc. recently was named among America’s top corporations for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality, by earning a perfect 100 percent score on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) 2015 Corporate Equality Index (CEI).
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