news & features

10/20/2014

Jeff Benavides Helps to Make Wyndham Vacation Ownership Uniquely Green

ORLANDO, FLA.—As Energy & Sustainability Specialist, Resort Management for Wyndham Vacation Ownership (WVO) in Orlando, Jeff Benavides, as part of the sustainability team, touches a lot of people—not only the primary contacts at the 190 resorts that WVO manages, but also the more than 900,000 families who have ownership interests. For Benavides there is no typical day. One time slot might be spent on chasing down rebate and incentive opportunities for a client. Another might be spent on strengthening or administering WVO’s required Sustainability 101 course or voluntary Energy University program. What the sustainability team has accomplished along with others at WVO and Wyndham Worldwide should come as no surprise given Wyndham’s commitment to developing sustainability programs. Wyndham’s Wyndham Green program was launched in 2006 and Wyndham has had a seat at the table whenever the lodging industry has met to discuss important sustainability concerns—the development of the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) methodology, for example. At WVO, one area where Wyndham’s concern about corporate citizenship is clear is in its quality assurance (QA) process.

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Length: 3:57

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publisher's point of view
Sustainability Work Deserves Recognition, Celebration

This past Tuesday (October 14), the Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association honored hotels and allied businesses that are leading the adoption of sustainable hospitality practices at its 2nd Annual Sustainable Hospitality Awards. The event took place at the InterContinental Miami and I was asked to be a guest speaker at the event. Approximately 120 people attended. It was fun watching each of the award winners receive their awards—in categories ranging from Energy Efficiency & Conservation to Communication & Education. There is nothing like an awards ceremony to get folks charged up about sustainability. I have been seeing an increasing number of green lodging/tourism awards programs pop up lately. Lodging Magazine will be presenting awards in five categories at its Lodging Green + Sustainability Conference + Expo later this month. The Hotel Association of New York City organized a competition for three sustainability awards this year.

guest column
If Professional Sports Adopts It, It Can Change the World

When professional athletes find themselves in the “hot seat” due to some unfortunate incident, commentators never fail to mention that the situation is even more disturbing because it will have a negative impact on children and other sports fans. In fact, today more than ever, professional athletes are powerful celebrities, and what they say and do—good or bad—are widely reported. Of course, just as negative news about or by a professional sports leader can have widespread ramifications, so can positive actions. Consider, for instance, if American basketball star Kobe Bryant were to speak out about making a personal commitment to green and environmental issues and, further, encouraged the National Basketball Association to consider the environment in all its activities and venues? He has a lot of fans and a lot of fans that will be influenced about his concerns about the environment.

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green hotel focus
Turtle Bay Resort’s New Green Roof Covers 60,000 Square Feet

OAHU, HAWAII—Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu, Hawaii, has completed the installation of an innovative green roof that covers a total of approximately 60,000 square feet as part of its commitment to environmental sustainability. “We are dedicated to preserving Hawaii’s delicate and natural resources as stewards of the land,” said Scott McCormack, Vice President of Real Estate for Turtle Bay Resort. “We have received positive feedback from our resort guests who appreciate the project’s eco-friendly benefits and are enjoying enhanced guestroom views of the ocean and landscape art atop the newly designed roofs.” The lower flat roofs of Turtle Bay Hotel were completely transformed and “roof-scaped” with intricate, contemporary patterns using river rocks and native Hawaiian plants. The combination of this conservation project’s size and detailed design makes the green roof unique to Hawaii and beyond.

upcoming events
Oct
22
Greenbuild 2014
New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Oct
28
Lodging Green+Sustainability Conference and Expo
Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Oct
29
NeoCon East
The Baltimore Convention Center

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Nov
08
International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, New York City

Saturday, November 08, 2014

personnel profile
Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Names Sean Patrick Curry Executive Chef

OAK BROOK, ILL.—Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center has announced the appointment of Sean Patrick Curry as Executive Chef. In his new role, Chef Curry is responsible for menu creation and daily culinary operations at the hotel and its restaurants, Windows and The Grille. In the coming weeks, Chef Curry will revamp the food culture at Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center, elevating the banquet and catering service and introducing what he refers to as modern farm cuisine. “Chef Curry brings an exceptional talent to the Hilton team, beginning with an innovative vision and an inspirational work ethic,” said Stefan Mühle, General Manager, Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center. “We’re confident he will enhance our guest experience, setting a new standard for dining in Chicagoland.”

blog post
Highlights from Hilton’s Corporate Responsibility Report
4 days ago

Just two weeks after announcing that more than 4,200 of its properties around the world are now ISO 50001 (energy management) certified, Hilton Worldwide released its third corporate responsibility report. The report is available on Hilton’s website. It highlights efforts, achievements and priorities across the four focus areas of Hilton Worldwide’s corporate responsibility strategy, Travel with Purpose: creating opportunities, strengthening communities, celebrating cultures and living sustainably. Here, I would like to highlight Hilton’s achievements in the area of sustainability. In 2009, Hilton set four five-year sustainability goals based on reductions per building area. In Travel with Purpose Hilton reports that it has achieved three of its goals for the five-year reporting period of 2009 to 2013.

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