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PORTLAND, ORE.—McMenamins has built a reputation in Oregon and Washington for revitalizing aging structures by converting them into useable spaces. It began its journey back in 1983 and now has 70 pubs and restaurants, 25 breweries, two distilleries, a winery, and 10 hotels. The hotels once had other uses. For example, McMenamins Anderson School in Bothell, Wash. was once Bothell Junior High. The historic Edgefield in Troutdale, Ore. was built in 1911 as the county poor farm. The Hotel Oregon in McMinnville, Ore., built in 1905, was once home to a restaurant and lounge, banquet hall, Greyhound bus depot, Western Union, soda fountain and beauty parlor. Next on McMenamins’ list for renovation is the old Elks Lodge in Tacoma, Wash. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was purchased by McMenamins along with the adjacent annex building in July 2012. Shannon McMenamin, General Manager of Lodging, Gift Shop and Spa Operations, says McMenamins is still in the “trying to recruit investors” stage. “The building is spectacular,” she says.
Food waste continues to be a global crisis. Globally, an estimated 133 billion pounds of food ends up in landfills every year, contributing to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming while negatively impacting valuable natural resources such as land and water. As the earth’s population continues to grow toward nine billion people by the year 2050, we continue to place an enormous burden on our natural resources and our environment while struggling to feed a growing population. In the United States alone, food waste makes up a staggering amount of landfilled waste. Thirty-four million tons of food waste is sent to landfills every year. To put that number into perspective, that’s over 200 pounds of food waste per person in the United States, every single year. As greenhouse gasses and global warming continue to become bigger problems in today’s world of globalized industry, new ideas and technologies are needed to deal with this ongoing environmental crisis. Managing waste more responsibly is an effective way to have a meaningful impact.
In today’s marketplace, there is a plethora of product certifications, labels and declarations that manufacturers and builders use to communicate a product’s value to clients. However, owners, product specifiers and building occupants all have different interests and motivations. Just as each person’s background and experience varies, so do their beliefs when it comes to sustainability. The good news? Studies show we are all becoming more aware of and concerned with issues surrounding social and environmental health and sustainability. Making use of product labels, including declarations and certifications, is one way to make more informed choices; however, deciphering the claims behind the label can be challenging. So where to start? Everyone is interested in obtaining the most healthy and environmentally friendly products, but the criteria used to achieve these lofty goals must be defined and measured before any manufacturer or specific product can truthfully make these proclamations. Should a product be climate neutral or contain no volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?
LONDON—As part of Responsible Business Week and marking Earth Day, April 22, Green Hotelier named the winners of the Green Hotelier Awards 2016. The winning hotels in four regions around the world represent those which have made the biggest commitments to sustainability with innovative programs that positively impact their people, their community and the planet. Judge and editor of Green Hotelier Siobhan O’Neill said, “We were honored to receive dozens of applications for the Awards this year, and judging them all has been both difficult and delightful. In previous years the winning hotels often stood head and shoulders above their competitors, but this year many hotels have upped their game and very few points stood between the top five hotels in each region. The judges spent a good deal of time deliberating to ensure our scoring was thorough and fair.” Applications came from across the globe including Bogota, Nepal, Armenia, Mauritius, Adelaide, Finland, Costa Rica and Jordan. Many came from China and other Far Eastern countries.
CHESTNUT RIDGE, N.Y.—BioHiTech Global, Inc., a green technology company that provides data-driven solutions for food waste disposal, recorded a new quarterly record with 20 new Eco-Safe Digester orders from commercial customers across the United States and abroad in the first quarter of 2016. Camelback Resort, an interactive mountain resort in the Pocono Mountains, has placed an initial order for two Eco-Safe Digesters adding to BioHiTech’s family entertainment customer roster.
CROSSVILLE, TENN.—Officials with domestic tile manufacturer Crossville Inc. announced the company recycled 16,939,634 pounds of fired porcelain in 2015, bringing the company’s cumulative recycling total to just over 70 million pounds since the 2009 launch of the Tile Take-Back program and subsequent TOTO USA recycling partnership.
Sometimes it’s great to feel like a zero. OK, maybe only when it concerns your hotel’s amenity waste program. Pursuing zero waste is a smart strategy for a hotel staff’s ability to significantly reduce the property’s carbon footprint, while reducing both waste and cost. Plus, guests are finding these programs make them happier and increase satisfaction during their property visit. Today’s consumer has a deep desire for an emotional connection with brands, and environmental transparency builds on the travel experience, increasing brand affinity. It all adds up to higher guest satisfaction scores, a more loyal customer base and less resistance to rising rates. Even more encouraging is that putting together a customer pleasing zero waste amenity program is easier than ever, taking minimal effort and time from property team members. Here’s how you can do it in a few simple steps. Today, people demand that the brands they do business with be ethical. That’s giving hoteliers seeking to be good corporate citizens a business reason to use products reflecting their customer’s personal value system.
ORLANDO, FLA.—The Holiday Inn Club Vacations brand, developed and exclusively operated by Orange Lake Holdings, announced a partnership with Clean The World to recycle partially-used soaps and bottled hygiene products from its resorts. This new partnership continues the company’s sustainability efforts through the IHG Green Engage program, which sets standards to reduce the impact its properties have on the environment. An estimated five tons of waste a year will be diverted from local landfills. Clean the World is a social enterprise dedicated to saving millions of lives around the world while simultaneously diverting hotel waste from landfills in North America, Asia and Europe. Soap collected from hotels goes through a sterilization and recycling process while being re-manufactured into new soap bars. Since 2009, Clean the World has distributed more than 31 million bars of recycled soap in 100 countries. “Clean the World is one of the most respected and highly recognized hospitality sustainability programs in our industry, saving thousands of lives every year through their soap recycling and distribution program,” said Don Harrill, CEO of Holiday Inn Club Vacations.
NORTH LAKE, WIS.—reCollect2 Company, the Wisconsin based creator and supplier of the reCollect2 recycling receptacle, announces the addition of Jason Riphenburg to the organization’s management team. Jason, who has an extensive background in financial services and customer care, will be taking on the role of co-owner alongside the organization’s owner/founder Ann Riphenburg.
PARIS—Next spring, 14 years after being conceived by Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs and Euro Disney, Villages Nature Paris will open 20 miles east of Paris. The resort will be a showcase for green design, geothermal technology and will be based on harmony between man and nature. Villages Nature Paris will open with 916 dwellings, more than two-thirds of which will be cottages and one-third family suites. The dwellings will be owned by individual and other investors and managed by Villages Nature Paris. According to Dominique Cocquet, CEO of Villages Nature Paris, within five years the development is expected to include more than 1,700 dwellings. Villages Nature Paris is expected to host more than 1 million visitors a year on its 444 acres. In addition to places to stay, there will be many attractions including the Aqualagoon covered water park and outdoor lagoon, shops and restaurants, farm, lake, spa and gardens. “We believe we will have mostly families,” Cocquet says.
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