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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: greenlodgingnews@gmail.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: greenlodgingnews@gmail.com

Starwood Capital Group Establishes Benchmark with Groundbreaking Brand

The name of Starwood Capital Group’s new eco-friendly luxury hotel brand says it all—“1”. There is no doubt that C.E.O. Barry Sternlicht’s new brand will be No. 1 in the lodging industry in many ways. What other company can say that its luxury hotels will be built to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards—some from the ground up? Green Lodging News applauds Starwood Capital Group’s decision to not only build to LEED standards, but to also donate 1 percent of each property’s revenue to local environmental organizations. As you can read here at Green Lodging News (see article),...

When Meeting Planners Demand Green Practices, Will You be Ready?

When your property is approached by a meeting planner requiring green practices, will you be ready? If you are not recycling, don’t have a towel/linen reuse program, or have not implemented other environmentally friendly measures, there is a good chance you will forfeit the opportunity to win the new business. Increasingly, meeting planners are presenting hotels with checklists that explain their minimum requirements. When you receive such a list, what documentation will you have to present in return? If the planner asks for a tour of your facility, what kind of story will you have ready to tell...

Get Your Pedal off the Metal and Pay Attention to Fuel Efficiency

A buck sixty-nine. That is the price I paid for a gallon of gas when I last filled up. Admittedly, I got a 30-cent grocery store discount but that is still quite a drop from the $3.00+/gallon that we had all been paying earlier this past summer. You may not be as lucky but here in Ohio we typically pay some of the lowest prices in the United States for gasoline. The price of oil has been plummeting lately. There are various reasons for it—a non-eventful hurricane season, last year’s mild winter, political factors and a general supply...

Energy Star’s Change a Light Day a good Reminder to Transition to CFLs

Of all the measures one can take to reduce energy costs, replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFLs) is certainly one of the easiest. Available for years now, they use two-thirds to three-quarters less energy than incandescent bulbs but last thousands of hours longer. Even with an initial higher cost, CFLs can easily put more money in your pocket in a short period of time. In public areas where lights are on 24 hours a day, savings can be significant, especially in terms of maintenance. Wednesday, October 4 is Energy Star Change a Light Day. If your...

Certification Programs Part Two: More Ways to Get Your Hotel Rated Green

Again, is your property certified green? Pardon me for starting this week’s column with the same question as last week. The thing is, I realized I had barely scratched the surface when talking about the various green certification/rating systems available in the lodging industry. Thank you to a few readers for bringing some of the other programs to my attention. In last week’s column I highlighted programs in Florida, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, California and Michigan. There are numerous other programs, however, that are not state-specific. One of the oldest industry rating programs is the Green Leaf...

State Certification Programs Offer Opportunities to Save Energy, Cut Costs, Network

Is your property certified green? In at least seven states, there are programs available—some run by state government agencies, some not—that enable hotels, motels and other lodging establishments to be certified as green hotels. By participating in these programs, owners and operators can cut costs by saving energy and water, reduce waste, improve air quality, and benefit in many other ways. In Florida, the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) runs a Green Lodging Certification Program. In Maine, the DEP has a similar one. Vermont’s program is part of the Vermont Business Environmental Partnership. In New Hampshire, the Sustainable...

Go Ahead and Make Some Noise; Don’t Be Shy About Your Environmental Accomplishments

Selling a green image, product or service has become trendy in the past few years. At least one survey has shown that travelers are more apt to stay in properties that are environmentally friendly. That is good news for all of us. That does not mean, however, that being green is an easier sell than anything else. It still requires an investment of time and dollars to get the word out to potential customers. As publish and editor of a green publication, I get to learn about hotel companies that are doing everything they can to reduce their...

AH&LEF, Smith Travel 2006 Lodging Survey Filled with Green Gems

The American Hotel & Lodging Educational Foundation and Smith Travel Research recently released their 2006 Lodging Survey results. The number of hotels polled was significant—42,407 hotels—with 9,300 properties responding. The survey touched on subjects ranging from DVD players to early check-in. Green categories included in the survey were liquid soap dispensers, recycling programs, air purifiers, energy management sensors, linen/towel reuse programs and nonsmoking rooms. What the survey found was significant and demonstrative of how far the industry has come and how far it still has to go. Some of the results were surprising, encouraging and even disappointing. Green...

By Sharing Your Resource and Event Information, You Can Help Us All

When looking for best practice information on green hotel operations, where do you go? Is there a website that you visit most often? A book that you read? An event that you attend? Where is the best place to network? Please write to let me know so that I can share that information with our readers. I have discovered that there is a lot of good information available but not all in one place and sometimes the most likely places disappoint. The first place I looked when planning this publication is the Green Hotels Assn. website. The...

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Leads Lodging Industry Down Green Path

There is an element of fear in launching a new concept or implementing a new technology. In some ways it is like jumping off a cliff—with lots of sharks below. Every day I read about risk-taking companies that flirt with failure but find a way to succeed and break new ground for the rest of us. On the green side of the lodging industry, one company that can lay claim to a number of important firsts is Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Its Westin Hotels & Resorts was the first chain to go 100 percent nonsmoking and Starwood...