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By End of 2016, Every Avendra Supplier Must Have Sustainability Policy in Place

ROCKVILLE, MD.—Avendra, the leading procurement services provider, fresh off the purchase of BuyEfficient, is stepping up its commitment to sustainability with the hiring of a new sustainability manager, Hamzah Abu-Ragheb. He joins Stacey Dash, Vice President, Marketing, Communications & Sustainability in leading the sustainability team at Avendra. The hiring of Abu-Ragheb comes at a critical time for Avendra. The Rockville, Md.-based company, with 7,000 hospitality customers, has just a little more than one year to go to reach its goal of having 100 percent of its suppliers with a sustainability policy in place. Currently, somewhere north of 84 percent of Avendra’s suppliers have such a policy. Avendra will update that number in early 2016. Avendra’s sustainability policy goal is just part of the company’s five-year sustainability plan launched in 2012. Avendra also has a goal of identifying and championing sustainability in 10 categories by 2016. Categories already addressed, according to the company’s website, include: personal paper, sourcing locally produced foods, LED lighting, and foodservice disposables.

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publisher's point of view
‘Local’ Tops F&B Trends for 2016

Ten years ago, the National Restaurant Association’s What’s Hot culinary forecast said the top food trend was “bite-sized desserts.” This year that trend is nowhere to be found on the NRA’s top 20 list. Topping this year’s list of trends: “Locally sourced meats and seafood.” The NRA surveyed nearly 1,600 professional chefs to find which foods, beverages and culinary themes will be hot on restaurant menus in 2016. Interestingly, seven of the top 10 trends have something to do with sustainability and wellness: 3. Locally grown produce; 4. Hyper-local sourcing; 5. Natural ingredients/minimally processed food; 6. Environmental sustainability; 7. Healthful kids’ meals; and 9. Sustainable seafood. When asked which current culinary trend has grown the most over the past 10 years, 44 percent of survey respondents said “Local sourcing.”

guest column
How Energy Benchmarking Can Help the Hotel Industry

Being comfortable in a hotel is one of the top guest priorities, which can mean a chilled, air-conditioned room, steaming hot shower, or keeping the television on all night. However, guest comfort and satisfaction can sometimes come at a cost, equating to big energy footprints and hefty utility bills. On average, America’s 47,000 hotels spend $2,196 per available room each year on energy. It’s no surprise that energy represents the single fastest-growing operating cost in the lodging industry (according to the EPA). To track and manage that growing energy use number, hotels can benchmark their buildings, which can result in energy savings, lower utility bills, and an all-around more efficient building that guests will want to return to, again and again. The old mantra still holds true: you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

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Hyatt Regency Austin’s Green Initiatives Lead to Success in Waste Diversion, Energy Conservation

AUSTIN, TEXAS—The expansion of the Hyatt Regency Austin’s already progressive green initiatives and forward-leaning sustainability practices have led to increased amounts of waste diversion, new conservation measures throughout the hotel and designation of GreenLeader status by the popular travel site, TripAdvisor. For years, Hyatt Regency Austin has been a green leader in the Austin hospitality industry, from its daily hotel operations, to its restaurant, Southwest Bistro, Marker 10 bar and coffee shop. The hotel was the very first in Austin to have its own compost pulper, and has regularly donated barely used shampoos and soaps to charity since 2011, a practice that is now standard in the industry. In 2013, the hotel proactively went even further with its green efforts across the board, with single stream recycling and an eco-friendly laundry cleaning process that conserves both water and energy.

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Friday, December 11, 2015

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Monday, January 25, 2016

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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

personnel profile
Auberge Resorts Collection’s Mark Harmon Inducted into Napa County Historical Society Lodging Hall of Fame

NAPA VALLEY, CALIF.—Mark Harmon, Founder and Managing Partner of the Auberge Resorts Collection, was honored by the Napa County Historical Society and inducted into its Lodging Hall of Fame on Thursday, November 12. Named for the company’s Napa Valley flagship hotel, the five-star Auberge du Soleil, Auberge Resorts Collection has played a pivotal role in putting Napa Valley on the map as a destination that is world-renowned for hospitality and culinary excellence. Harmon, who formed the company in 1998, has led Auberge’s growth in Napa Valley and beyond, to destinations as far-flung as Fiji and Costa Rica. The group’s resorts have garnered the highest accolades, and Auberge was recently recognized in Travel + Leisure as one of the top 10 hospitality brands in the world. Auberge Resorts’ Planet Auberge program ensures that the company’s resorts minimize their property footprints while making positive and meaningful contributions to their local environment and communities.

blog post
The Merger of Marriott & Starwood: A Good Green Marriage?
13 days ago

The announcement this week that Marriott International will acquire Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide will not only expand Marriott’s global property footprint, it will also dramatically increase its environmental footprint. I asked a Marriott representative to chat about the integration of Marriott and Starwood’s environmental programs but she declined, saying that it was much too early. My projection is that from a green standpoint, the marriage of the two companies will be a good one for the most part, as both companies have a lot in common. Both Marriott and Starwood have very successful environmental initiatives. For example, Marriott has a strong commitment to LEED with at least 106 LEED registered hotels and 31 LEED certified hotels. Starwood, with its Element brand alone, has at least 52 LEED hotels open or under development. When Starwood launched Element, it committed the brand to LEED certification for all properties.

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