news & features

4/28/2016

Collins College of Hospitality Management Building Earns LEED Gold Certification

POMONA, CALIF.—The Collins College of Hospitality Management at Cal Poly Pomona announced that its newly opened building, which houses the program’s nationally ranked graduate program, was awarded a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification from the United States Green Building Council. Building 80 at The Collins College is the first academic building to receive LEED Gold certification at Cal Poly Pomona. “Being able to achieve LEED Gold certification is an indication of how serious The Collins College is dedicated to its social commitment to the environment,” said Project Manager Andrew Naranjo. “At the same time, we are contributing to Cal Poly Pomona’s climate commitment and sustainability practices.” The facility features shaded areas producing cooler environments, LED lighting to reduce energy consumption, restoration of 50 percent of the project site, maximized open space, incorporated use of natural day lighting, and reduction of water consumption. Projects pursuing LEED certification earn points in all areas that address sustainability issues at all phases of development.

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The Hotel at Oberlin—Another Renewable Energy All Star

I just added another hotel to the Geothermal Powered page on the Green Lodging News website—The Hotel at Oberlin in Oberlin, Ohio. Anyone familiar with Oberlin College would not be surprised by the college’s latest venture. The 70-room hotel, set to have its soft opening this month (May), is on track for the rare LEED Platinum certification and will join just a handful of hotels in the United States in that group. I recently spoke with Christopher Noble, Project Developer, SMART Hotels LLC, to learn more about this outstanding property. “Our path to LEED Platinum is based on energy efficiency more than anything else,” Noble told me. The Hotel at Oberlin features a hydronic radiant heating and cooling system tied to the geothermal system. There are 48 geothermal wells, each 405 feet deep, surrounding the property. There is LED lighting throughout the hotel. “It is fair to say we are solar powered as well,” Noble says. During the planning stages for the Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center, of which the hotel is a part, a nearby solar array was built. The energy from that array helps power the Center.

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Zero Waste Amenity Programs—It’s Time

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.

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LEED Platinum Moon Resort Planned for Coachella Valley, California

LOS ANGELES—Moon World Resorts Inc. (MWR), a Canadian architectural design, intellectual property developer and licensor, has revealed its plans for MOON USA. The project will rise in the City of Coachella, situated in California’s desert region known as the Coachella Valley. Triangulated between Los Angeles and San Diego, the Coachella Valley already welcomes some 12 million annual visitors. “We are thrilled MWR chose the City of Coachella as the location for this truly amazing and highly imaginative project,” said Mark Weber, City of Coachella’s Economic Development Manager. “We look forward to assisting the MWR team as they proceed through the planning, approval and development stages.” MOON USA claims it will be the world’s “most innovative, inspiring and environmentally sensitive mega-resort destination.”

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personnel profile
Jeffery Smith Joins Six Senses as Director of Sustainability

BANGKOK—Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas announced that Jeffery Smith has joined the group in the role of Director of Sustainability. In his new role, Smith will ensure that Six Senses remains at the leading edge of sustainable tourism practices. These include environmental performance of each property, support for the preservation of natural and cultural heritage, and enhancing social and economic benefits to local communities in destinations where Six Senses operates. Smith joins Six Senses with 11 years of broad experience of delivering green programs, with internal and external engagement. His most recent role was in the delivery of solar energy solutions for Canadian company Solar Brokers. Prior to this position, he was based in Thailand as Projects Director for Global Vision International where he provided leadership to meet regional objectives for sustainable development. This followed a four-year tenure in the progressive rolls of Sustainability Consultant, Manager and Project Manager for Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary with tourism components located in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Smith’s wide experience also includes roles in environmental engineering.

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Avendra Outlines Sustainability Goals, Progress in New Online Document
4 days ago

Late last year I reported on Avendra’s hiring of a new sustainability manager, Hamzah Abu-Ragheb, and Avendra’s requirement that all of its suppliers have a sustainability policy in place by the end of 2016. For those of you not familiar with Avendra, it is a procurement services provider formed in 2001 with the support of companies such as Marriott, Hyatt, Fairmont and Club Corp. Marriott (managed hotels) is Avendra’s largest customer. The bulk of what is purchased through Avendra is F&B related. I just heard from Hamzah and he informed me that Avendra just posted a document on its website that outlines its sustainability goals and provides an update on its progress. I read through the document, entitled “Sustainability Journey and Goals (2012-2016),” and according to Avendra, 93.5 percent of supplier contracts now have a sustainability policy on file. Those that do not yet have a sustainability policy on file are mainly smaller companies and/or companies in the Mexico/Caribbean area. Avendra is working on outreach and education to support these suppliers in developing a policy.

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