Name: Brian Bruno
Title: Vice President of Content and Brand Marketing for RCI and head of the Wyndham Destination Network sustainability program
Years with company: 11
Primary responsibilities: Bruno, in his 12th year with RCI, is responsible for producing RCI’s member and affiliate magazines and other travel content. He is also responsible for sharing brand standards around the globe. In addition to these responsibilities, he is the RCI representative for sustainability practices and green initiatives globally for Wyndham Destination Network.
Company’s most significant sustainability-related accomplishment: RCI’s Indianapolis location, in 2014, earned the Energy Star designation.
Company’s most significant sustainability-related challenge moving forward: Wyndham Worldwide, as a company, has a carbon footprint reduction goal of 40 percent by 2025 (baseline year 2010).
PARSIPPANY, N.J.—To understand what Brian Bruno does, you must first understand the structure of the company for which he works. Bruno is Vice President of Content and Brand Marketing for RCI. RCI is a leader in vacation exchange, offering the world’s largest vacation exchange network. RCI is part of the Wyndham Destination Network, the world’s largest provider of professionally managed vacation accommodations. Other Wyndham Destination Network brands include Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Landal GreenParks, Novasol and several others in addition to RCI. Wyndham Destination Network is a Wyndham Worldwide Corp. brand.
A marketing guy for sure—prior to working for RCI he worked for The Provident Bank, AT&T, Prudential Financial and AIG in other marketing positions—Bruno says he spends about 30 percent of his time at RCI on sustainability. With RCI affiliated with approximately 4,500 resorts in more than 100 countries, Bruno has an opportunity to work with a lot of hoteliers.
Many of the resorts that are part of RCI’s exchange network are leaders in sustainability, as evidenced by the company’s Green Awards program. According to Bruno, since the inception of the RCI Green Award in 2010, more than 385 affiliated resorts have voluntarily participated in the program. That number is expected to grow as it is expanded globally—it currently encompasses only North America.
Award Winners Recently Announced
The RCI Green Awards program looks at practices in areas including energy and water conservation, waste management and community outreach. The Wyndham Branson at the Meadows in Missouri earlier this month earned the Platinum RCI Green Award for its multi-faceted approach to sustainability. Some of the highlights of the green efforts at this property are a comprehensive recycling program that includes recycling coffee grounds and filters, a robust community outreach program including many volunteer hours by staff at local environmental cleanups and the donation of home goods.
The Gold RCI Green Award recognized Wyndham Royal Sea Cliff on The Big Island of Hawaii. This property recruits guests to get involved with an effective guest recycling program that provides detailed instruction signs, recycling bags and recycling bins in each room. This property also sources all of its landscaping from vegetation native to Hawaii.
The Silver RCI Green Award went to the Wyndham Vacation Resorts Great Smokies Lodge in Sevierville, Tenn. This property extends its green efforts to the surrounding community with multiple environmental cause events, including a monthly Adopt-A-Road event, a biannual roads and rivers cleanup day, and its Green Team’s implementation of a butterfly garden at the Eugene Huskey Environmental Center.
Wyndham Destination Network’s green accomplishments are certainly not limited to North America. Late last year, for example, Landal GreenParks announced that Landal Mont Royal, one of the 10 German holiday parks of Landal GreenParks, will replace 76 recreation homes with 74 new energy-neutral homes. They will be fitted with solar panels and air heat pumps to provide heating and hot water. They will also feature an energy-efficient Green Design central heating fire—a wood-burning stove that also serves to provide heat to the central heating system. There will be no gas connection to the homes.
An Experienced Team
Bruno benefits from being part of a team at Wyndham Worldwide that has significant experience in running sustainability programs. Faith Taylor, Senior Vice President CSR/Sustainability, for example, has been a Senior Vice President for Wyndham for more than 11 years. She created the Wyndham Green program in 2006. Today, RCI resorts benefit from Wyndham Green. The Wyndham Green Toolbox, part of Wyndham Green, is a state-of-the-art system that allows both owned and managed properties, as well as independently owned and operated franchises properties to track, measure and report on global assets in which Wyndham Worldwide has direct operational control. Energy, emissions, water and waste performance are tracked.
Bruno leads the Wyndham Destination Network Green Council which has successfully completed its eighth official year. He has overseen the implementation of multiple Wyndham Destination Network programs and worked with the Green Council to achieve several Wyndham milestones. Bruno is also part of the Diversity Spend Team and won the RCI Diversity Spend trophy in 2010.
When asked how critical it is to have someone like himself leading sustainability initiatives at RCI, Bruno said, “It is really important and has been rewarding for me personally.”
Bruno holds an MBA in Strategic Management and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance, both from Rutgers University in New Jersey.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at email@example.com.