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Publisher's Point of View

Each week, Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor of Green Lodging News, will address the hottest industry topics. Sometimes hard hitting, his column will challenge the industry’s leaders to take action. At other times, he will lift up the industry’s environmental champions. “Point of View” is a column you will not want to miss. To contact Glenn Hasek, call (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at: editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Publisher's Point of View

Home Publisher's Point of View
Each week, Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor of Green Lodging News, will address the hottest industry topics. Sometimes hard hitting, his column will challenge the industry’s leaders to take action. At other times, he will lift up the industry’s environmental champions. “Point of View” is a column you will not want to miss. To contact Glenn Hasek, call (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at: editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

Make the Most of Earth Hour, Earth Day Activity Opportunities

As I am writing this column, Earth Hour (held 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. local time on March 24) is just 15 days away and Earth Day (April 22) is about six weeks away. How will you be marking these occasions at your property this year? Last year hoteliers organized many different activities. Sands China Ltd. used the entire month of March to shine an additional spotlight on environmental sustainability, focusing the attention of the public and its team members on Earth Hour and an in-house Climate Week. On Saturday, March 25, the company participated in Earth Hour for the 9th...

Virginia Green Travel Conference Wraps Up in Virginia Beach

I was fortunate to attend the 5th annual Virginia Green Travel Conference last week. It was held at the LEED Gold Virginia Beach Convention Center. Attendance was 170. The Virginia Green program is supported through a partnership between the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Tourism Corp., the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Assn., and the Virginia Green Travel Alliance. The program encourages green practices in all sectors of Virginia’s tourism industry. More than 1,800 businesses and partner organizations have voluntarily certified their green business practices through the Virginia Green program that is run by the nonprofit Virginia...

Features of Two European Hotels: Underground River, ‘Powerhouse’ Design

This past week I learned about two innovative hotel projects in Europe worth sharing about. The first one is the 150-room Iveagh Garden hotel in Dublin, Ireland. The $49 million hotel opened on February 16. Advertised as Europe’s “first sustainable hotel,” the property sources all its energy from an underground river. The river spins large turbines that generate power to meet the hotel’s energy requirements. The turbines were installed by Eurotech Renewables, and Swedish company Ochsner Warmepumpen. The hotel is the result of a renovation of a 40-year-old building that saw its entire heating, plumbing, cooling and hot water...

NRA Sustainability Report Highlights Industry Progress, Remaining Challenges

The National Restaurant Assn. (NRA) just released “The State of Restaurant Sustainability 2018 Edition.” Be sure to read the report. It is based on a survey of 500 restaurant owners and operators about their environmental efforts and sustainability opportunities and challenges within their operations. More than 1,000 consumers also were surveyed about the best methods for restaurants to promote sustainability practices to customers. Within the 26-page report there are many highlights. I will mention just a few of the most important findings here. Energy-saving equipment and practices are common. About eight in 10 restaurant operators use energy-efficient lighting. Six in...

Best Practice Lessons in Element’s New Bicycle Lending Program

Beginning this month, all 25 Element Hotels in the United States are refreshing their Bikes to Borrow program with new bicycles from Priority Bicycles. Custom Element Priority Bicycles are available for guest use, free of charge, along with safety helmets. Element Hotels’ custom-branded fleet is designed to offer a hassle-free experience for riders and hotel staff. The signature Element green-colored Priority Classic Plus NeverFlat features custom decals, an ultralight rustproof aluminum frame, grease-free belt drive in place of a standard chain, and a whole new feature—completely airless tires. The comfort-oriented, low maintenance design ensures the bicycles are always ready...

Lodging Industry far from Immune to Sexual Harassment

It took a while—years, in fact—but a movement to equip housekeepers with panic buttons is gaining momentum around the country. The unending revelations about sexual harassment in the workplace and in other situations in recent months is fueling the momentum. There is no way around it: attention to housekeeper safety in our industry is long past due. It is one of our industry’s most embarrassing ongoing problems. How bad is it? A survey conducted by Unite Here Local 1 in Chicago found that the women who work in Chicagoland hotels and casinos face a high level of sexual harassment, mainly...

A Laundry Game Changer—Recyclable, One-Time-Use Linens

It takes a lot for me to call a new product or process a game changer in our industry but the new recyclable—yes recyclable—sheets, pillow cases and duvet covers being produced by Pürlin, LLC are just that. Can you imagine reducing your laundry load and related costs by about 50 percent? Offering your guests linens that are high quality, hypoallergenic and that have never been used by any other guest—every single time a guest stays in that room? My article posted this past week explains these new products. I had a chance to sit down and chat with the lodging...

Make Mattress Encasements Part of Your Green Story

Close your eyes and throw a stick at just about every trade show lately and you are bound to hit somebody selling mattress and box spring encasements. A bit of an exaggeration I admit but there are a lot of folks selling these items and you would be wise to ask suppliers what makes their product “the right fit” for your property. I contacted a bunch of companies that sell encasements for information, but response was limited; I only managed to interview one person but there was ample information available on the companies’ websites. Mattress and box spring encasements can...

Meeting the Demand for Vegan, Vegetarian Options

During my recent vacation in Ohio I had an opportunity to spend Christmas at a cousin’s house. Something was quite different this year. My cousin and his family had all become vegans. My cousin’s daughter had been having food allergy issues for quite some time and had become a vegan, so to make things easy the entire family switched diets. More than a year ago my wife had half of a cancerous thyroid removed. Thankfully, she is doing fine now and is cancer free. What she has noticed since the surgery is that her body reacts differently to certain types...

Starbucks Edges Out Hotel Companies in Newsweek Ranking

What does Starbucks Corp. have that Marriott, Hilton, Wyndham and every other company in our industry does not have? The top spot in the Hotels, Restaurant & Leisure category of Newsweek’s recently released Green Ranking 2017. Newsweek sorts its list into several sub-lists: U.S. Top 10, Global Top 10, U.S. 500, Global 500, Best in Industry U.S., and Best in Industry Global. The methodology for the report can be found here. It was in the Best in Industry U.S. category that Starbucks took the top spot. I will be posting an article about the Green Ranking 2017—a number of U.S....