Home Publisher's Point of View Javits Center Announcement Tops List of Headlines in Busy News Week

Javits Center Announcement Tops List of Headlines in Busy News Week


This past week was one of the busiest news weeks in quite some time. First, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the expansion of New York City’s Javits Center by 1.2 million square feet, resulting in a fivefold increase in meeting and ballroom space, including the largest ballroom in the Northeast. The proposal includes the installation of a 34,000-square-foot solar energy array, the largest of its kind on a public building in New York State. As a part of the expansion project, the Javits Center will seek LEED Platinum certification—a rare feat for convention centers. The expansion will complement the improvements of a previous renovation completed in 2014 that included a new façade and flooring; mechanical, technology and sustainability systems; and a 6.75-acre green roof, the second largest of its kind in the country. As a result of those upgrades, the Javits Center achieved LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

Second, the W San Francisco announced that it has become one of only five hotels in North America to be awarded LEED Platinum certification. The W San Francisco joins the following hotel/resort properties with LEED Platinum: Hotel Skyler, Proximity Hotel, Bardessono, and College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center.

Third, Virgin Hotels announce that Virgin Hotels Chicago, the brand’s first property, has achieved LEED Gold Certification. The hotel and USGBC celebrated the achievement with a hosted panel discussion surrounding reducing carbon, reaching net zero and greening supply chains in the hospitality industry. “Our goal as a company is to have all our properties achieve LEED Silver, so we are ecstatic to have exceeded that benchmark in Chicago,” said Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels. “As we continue to open additional properties, we have aspirational goals of moving towards a net zero carbon footprint across the board.” Virgin Hotels Chicago is located in the former Old Dearborn Bank building, a property built in 1928, and designated in 2003 as a Chicago Landmark.

Fourth, Hilton Worldwide announced that its new parental leave policies took effect on January 1, and now cover both hourly and salaried team members at Hilton’s owned and managed properties, as well as the company’s corporate offices. Hilton says the new policies represent the best parental leave benefits offered by any major global hospitality company in the United States and Puerto Rico. The benefits are available to team members at owned and managed hotels and corporate offices with one year of service or greater. All new parents—including fathers and adoptive parents—receive two weeks of fully paid parental leave. New mothers who give birth receive an additional eight weeks of maternity leave, for a total of 10 weeks of fully paid leave. Hilton’s hourly team members in the United States, who account for approximately 75 percent of the company’s U.S. workforce, will be covered under these new parental leave policies.

It is great to see so much activity in the green lodging space and companies raising the bar when it comes to green building and worker benefits. The number of LEED Platinum projects continues to grow. A hotel pursuing LEED Platinum is close to opening in Oberlin, Ohio, and another LEED Platinum project is in the works in Pacific Grove, Calif., across the street from the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Green Lodging News Adds Intelligent Blends as Directory Partner

Green Lodging News welcomes Intelligent Blends as a Green Product & Service Directory partner. Intelligent Blends is a co packer, manufacturer and solutions provider for the rapidly growing single-serve beverage market. The company’s products—coffee, iced and hot tea, hot chocolate, and ciders—are packed and sealed in recyclable pods. The recyclable pods are comprised of an advanced proprietary blend of #5 Recyclable Polypropylene along with other eco-friendly materials, producing a capsule with a moisture/oxygen barrier that is up to 10 times less permeable than typical Polystyrene cups. Intelligent Blends has packed millions of single-serve pods for dozens of brands and roasters from all over the United States and abroad. Call John Lenz at (858) 245-9265, e-mail john@intelligentblends.com, or go to www.intelligentblends.com.

Who is Your Sustainability Champion?

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