news & features


EPA Overhauling Energy Star Rating System for Better Hotel Energy Measurement

In one effort to gain better understanding of building energy efficiency, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is searching for a more granular level of building data from the multi-billion dollar hotel industry. Based on data collected from a nationwide survey of buildings (the Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey—CBECS), the EPA developed its 1 to 100 Energy Star scoring system to benchmark hotels, motels, and other lodging facilities on their energy efficiency, and hotels want honors-level grades. But the industry has grown significantly—2014 marked the fifth consecutive year that hotels and lodging added new jobs to the economy, bringing in $176 billion in sales revenue, according to data from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA). With that growth, the variables for characterizing building energy efficiency are changing as hotels make upgrades to differentiate, attract new customers, and keep old customers. To address those changes, the EPA has partnered with the AH&LA’s Sustainability Committee to overhaul the methodology for the hotel scoring system.

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Zenith Motors

Electric shuttle vans with up to a 90 to 110-mile range - from Zenith Motors.

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publisher's point of view
Green Lodging Survey Deadline is August 31

August 31, 2016 marks the deadline for the first annual Green Lodging Survey. Have you completed it? You certainly still have time. Just click here to access it. The survey is a production of Green Lodging News and Greenview and is being conducted with the support of Travelife, Green Key Global, Mekong Tourism Office, Horwath HTL Asia Pacific and Clean the World. The Green Lodging Survey is sponsored by The Arbor Day Foundation at the Silver level and Pineapple Hospitality, Aquawing Ozone Laundry Systems, PragmaTech Ltd. and reCollect2 Co. at the Bronze level. Once the survey closes, the analysis of the data and best practices will begin. The survey includes more than 100 questions and covers topics ranging from recycling bin placement to hand dryers to the amount of space allocated on a property’s website for green practices. Once all of the survey answers are analyzed, a Trends Report will be produced that will detail the results.

guest column
Best Practices for Recycling Solutions

In my 20 years of industrial design experience, it continues to surprise me how many people consider refuse collection to be an addition to a building rather than a core part of its design. As Director of Industrial Design at Rubbermaid Commercial Products, I am often tasked with helping hotels ensure waste is disposed of in the right bin—no small feat when you consider how much waste a hotel can generate on a busy day. What are hotels to do when it comes to their refuse and recycling solutions? What are the common errors? Which bins work best in which areas? Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet to solve hotels’ collective challenges, but that does not mean they cannot plan accordingly. When designing a refuse and recycling program to bolster sustainability within a hotel, keep the following points in mind. The first is that one size does not fit all. Large, durable containers often work well in the back of house.

featured product
Drive Green with Zenith Motors' All Electric Shuttle Van

The Zenith All Electric Shuttle Van has four interior configurations with up to 16 seats. Automatic sliding doors, step and luggage rack are standard features. Wheelchair lifts, rear heaters, air-conditioning and back-up cameras are optional accessories. The Zenith shuttle has an average 80-mile range with a recharge time of 6.5 hours. A 4-hour charger and upgraded battery pack with a 100 or 145-mile range are an available option. There are a number of government incentives and voucher programs that can help reduce the initial vehicle cost. Contact Christine Smith at (812) 655-1131.

green hotel focus
The Purpose Hotel Launches, Inviting Individuals to Back Project Through Kickstarter Campaign

NASHVILLE, TENN.—An effort to raise money for The Purpose Hotel has launched. Celebrity photographer Jeremy Cowart (Taylor Swift, Carrie Underwood, Kelly Clarkson, Sting, etc.) is using Kickstarter to gather financial support for the project that aims to fight against injustices of war, hunger, poverty, global warming, racial tension, unclean water, addictions and natural disasters. Every aspect of the global chain will directly contribute to those in need through partnerships and sponsors. Through the project’s Kickstarter, individuals have the opportunity to become co-founders as backers of the project. With a dedicated goal of $2 million in funding, backers of the hotel will receive perks and rewards based on their pledge to The Purpose Hotel Kickstarter. As of July 27, 2016, more than $300,000 had been raised.

upcoming events
Western Foodservice & Hospitality Expo
Los Angeles Convention Center

Sunday, August 28, 2016

2016 Sustainable Meetings Conference
The Hilton Baltimore

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Green Festival Expo--Los Angeles
Los Angeles Convention Center

Friday, September 16, 2016

Waste360 Recycling Summit
Hyatt Regency Austin (Texas)

Monday, September 19, 2016

personnel profile
Anantara’s John Roberts Keeps Watchful Eye on Elephant Welfare in Asia’s Golden Triangle

CHIANG RAI, THAILAND—John Roberts may be the only person on the planet to work for a resort company and have the word “elephant” in his title. When your company has resorts in areas where elephants either roam free in the wild or captive in city streets, it is easier to understand the need for a Director of Elephants & Conservation Activities. For Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas, having someone dedicated to elephant protection aligns with its goal of creating luxury travel experiences that also benefit the local communities where each hotel and resort are located. Anantara Hotels, Resorts & Spas is a brand of Minor International. Minor International is the largest single donor of the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation. Roberts has long had an interest in elephants, having seen his first one in the wild in 1999 in Nepal. Since that time he has come to understand the highly complex state of the elephant in Asia—there are more than 4,000 non-wild elephants in Thailand, for example.

blog post
Green Fall Conference Season Approaching
2 days ago

With summer winding down it is a good time to take a look at the fall conference season. There will be many events at which sustainability will be a focus. The most significant green-focused event will be the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo. This year’s event will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center from October 5 to 7. Greenbuild will include a trade show, many educational sessions, building tours and even a Water Summit. Author Sebastian Junger will be the plenary speaker. His recent book is entitled “Tribe.” According to Junger’s website, the book is about why tribal sentiment is such a rare and precious thing in modern society, and how the lack of it has affected us all. One month prior is the Sustainable Meetings Conference. It will be held September 15 to 16 at the Hilton Baltimore. It will be the first opportunity to experience the revamped Green Meeting Industry Council—now a part of the Convention Industry Council.

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