Green Lodging News recently listed the top 10 most read articles of 2018. Because that list was based on page views, choosing the top 10 was quite easy. Choosing the most newsworthy green events in our industry in 2018 was a lot more difficult. I reviewed the hundreds of articles posted on our website throughout the year and narrowed down our list to 21 and then 10. Here are those 10 articles—generally ranked from most important to less important.
Limiting global warming to 1.5ºC would require rapid, far reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in a new assessment. With clear benefits to people and natural ecosystems, limiting global warming to 1.5ºC compared to 2ºC could go hand in hand with ensuring a more sustainable and equitable society, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said.
Hilton announced it will cut its environmental footprint in half and double its social impact investment by 2030. With this commitment, Hilton will become the first major hotel company to institute science-based targets to reduce carbon emissions and send zero soap to landfill.
Hotel industry veteran Richard Ferrell, President of Pürlin, LLC, is aiming to revolutionize how sheets and pillow cases are managed in hotels across the United States. His company’s linens are not laundered; instead, after being used by a guest they are picked up to be 100 percent recycled. Made of high-quality microfibers designed to simulate cotton—the same as those used in products such as baby diapers and athletic wear—the sheets and pillowcases are produced and recycled by companies based in Florida and North Carolina. Once heated to 500+ degrees Fahrenheit, the linens are liquefied and become the ingredients for making brand new sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers, thus resulting in zero waste.
MGM Resorts International, in partnership with Three Square Food Bank, announced a new standardized program for safe collection, preservation and service of surplus banquet food that will help reduce hunger in Southern Nevada. This new program, in which MGM Resorts donates surplus (prepared but unserved) hot banquet food to Three Square, is expected to provide 800,000 nutritious meals by 2020 to people combating hunger.
Wellness tourism grew from a $563 billion market in 2015 to $639 billion in 2017, or 6.5 percent annually, more than twice as fast as tourism overall (3.2 percent). And it’s forecast to grow even faster through 2022 (7.5 percent yearly) to reach $919 billion. North America drives the most wellness tourism revenues ($242 billion annually) and Europe the most wellness trips (292 million)—but Asia-Pacific is the eye-opening growth leader, with wellness trips growing a whopping 33 percent in the last two years.
MGM-Invenergy Solar Project
MGM Resorts International and Chicago-based Invenergy, North America’s largest independent renewable energy company, have partnered on a new solar photovoltaic array, which will generate 100 megawatts of clean, renewable energy. The MGM-Invenergy Solar Project will be located 25 miles north of Las Vegas and MGM Resorts will purchase all the energy generated by the project to help power its 13 properties on the Las Vegas Strip. The project will be operational by the end of 2020. This project is in line with MGM Resorts’ longstanding leadership and commitment to reduce its consumption of the Earth’s limited resources.
Efforts to eliminate plastic straws are gaining momentum, not only at the individual property level but to some degree at the government level as well. Hilton Waikoloa Village recently announced that they have become the first resort on Hawaii Island to no longer offer plastic straws. In 2017, the resort used more than 800,000 straws while serving more than 1 million guests. As of January 31, 2018, the resort made the switch to FDA-approved, GMO and BPA-free, compostable paper straws across the 62-acre, 1,241-room property.
Marriott International unveiled its new shower-toiletry program for the five brands that make up the bulk of its properties—Courtyard, Fairfield, Residence Inn, Springhill Suites and TownePlace Suites. The shower dispenser program, which includes Paul Mitchell shampoo, conditioner and body wash, was announced at the Managed by Marriott GMs conference. For a 140-room property, moving to a three-bottle shower dispenser system is expected to result in the elimination of more than 23,000 tiny toiletry bottles annually—the equivalent of 250 pounds of plastic per year.
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), one of the world’s leading hotel companies, announced new Responsible Business targets for 2020, alongside details of the progress the company has delivered against its previous five-year targets. Published in the online 2017 Responsible Business Report, the new 2018 to 2020 targets focus on four areas where IHG believes it can have the most positive impact: environmental sustainability, community impact, people and responsible procurement.
Wynn Las Vegas marked a new renewable energy milestone with the start of the commercial operation of The Wynn Solar Facility on June 2. The new 160-acre facility is now offsetting up to 75 percent of the resort’s current peak power requirements, the largest percentage of renewable energy used by any resort in Las Vegas, and an industry first for a gaming operator in Nevada. The facility will eventually be used to power the resort’s new meetings and conventions space expansion, set to open in March 2020, with 100 percent renewable energy, making it one of the most environmentally conscious planned developments in Las Vegas.
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