First this week: In last week’s articles, “Research Conducted for Clean the World: Bacterial Contamination Common in Refillable Dispensers,” and “New Research Much Fuel for the Fire in Ongoing Dispenser Debate,” Clean the World CEO and President Shawn Seipler incorrectly used the word “fecal” to describe the bacteria contained in the refillable dispensers that were part of a study conducted by the University of Arizona. Those mentions have since been corrected.
The Executive Summary of the larger report on dispensers to be published next year was a hot topic of conversation this past week. It would be great to see additional independent research, ideally on a much larger scale, on the topic of dispenser hygiene. That the Clean the World report would cause so much buzz is proof that there has been a dearth of scientific research in our industry—to either support or debunk supplier claims—in not only the dispenser space but others that impact guest and employee health as well.
Official Launch of 3.5 Megawatt Solar Field
Now on to another important news item from this past week. As I am writing this column, officials at the Crystal Springs Resort are flicking a giant light switch to “turn on” one of the largest resort based solar farms in the United States. Developed in partnership with New Jersey based Marina Energy, the 3.5 megawatt, 25-acre solar field has over 19,000 solar panels and will generate more power than is consumed annually by the resort’s two hotels—the 280 room Grand Cascades Lodge and 175 room Minerals Hotel. Marina Energy owns the solar field. Crystal Springs Resort is purchasing power from Marina Energy at a reduced rate.
The solar field actually went online on September 27 but the official launch with local officials was just held.
Chris Mulvihill, Chief Marketing Officer for the resort, told me he expects the solar field to even better position the property as an ideal meetings destination. The resort is only an hour from the George Washington Bridge in New York City. “To be able to say you are staying in a hotel that is solar powered is huge,” Mulvihill says. “[The solar field] is in line with where we are looking to go as an organization.”
The solar field is just one of many green initiatives at the resort. EV charging stations are available, paper straws are used, menu ingredients are sourced locally, biodegradable organic laundry detergent is used, and a lot of the lighting is LED. “We just had an audit done for the next round of LED lighting,” Mulvihill says. A six-figure investment in the additional LED lighting early next year is expected to have a 2.5-year payback. Mulvihill adds that they are looking to provide metal logoed water bottles to guests so they can fill up with spring water or sparkling water, eliminating plastic water bottles.
Member of New Jersey Audubon
The resort recently partnered with Jersey Central Power & Light and the New Jersey Audubon Society to create new habitat for bees, butterflies and birds on one of its six golf course properties. Crystal Springs Resort is also a member of the New Jersey Audubon Corporate Stewardship Council, which emphasizes voluntary environmental stewardship, sustainability, conservation partnerships and public education. The resort has also developed a number of offerings with themes of sustainability including local farm tours, guided nature hikes, and foraging classes.
“We recognize that our guests visit us, not only for our wide array of amenities, but also for enjoyment of the resort’s beautiful natural surroundings, so it is only fitting that we should take steps to minimize our impact on the environment to help preserve it for generations to come,” Mulvihill says.
Kudos to Crystal Springs Resort on its huge commitment to clean, renewable energy and the other steps it is taking to reduce its impact while enhancing the local community.
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