news & features

5/2/2016

Las Vegas Sands Marks the Success of Its ‘I Will If You Will’ Campaign

LAS VEGAS—In celebration of Earth Day, Las Vegas Sands announced that more than 26,000 individual green actions were completed by its team members during the company’s annual “I Will If You Will” (IWIYW) global challenge. Initiated by Sands ECO360, Las Vegas Sands’ global sustainability program during the week leading up to Earth Hour on March 19, the challenge encouraged the company’s team members to take action to reduce their impact on climate change. “I am extremely proud of the participation we had from our team members this year,” said Katarina Tesarova, Vice President of Global Sustainability for Las Vegas Sands. “The challenge was a fun and effective way to demonstrate that by taking small actions, individuals really can make a positive impact on the environment. Team members shared pictures of themselves taking action such as using alternative transportation, reducing water use, or switching off their lights for Earth Hour. I’m confident that they will continue to incorporate these habits into their daily lives.”

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The Hotel at Oberlin—Another Renewable Energy All Star

I just added another hotel to the Geothermal Powered page on the Green Lodging News website—The Hotel at Oberlin in Oberlin, Ohio. Anyone familiar with Oberlin College would not be surprised by the college’s latest venture. The 70-room hotel, set to have its soft opening this month (May), is on track for the rare LEED Platinum certification and will join just a handful of hotels in the United States in that group. I recently spoke with Christopher Noble, Project Developer, SMART Hotels LLC, to learn more about this outstanding property. “Our path to LEED Platinum is based on energy efficiency more than anything else,” Noble told me. The Hotel at Oberlin features a hydronic radiant heating and cooling system tied to the geothermal system. There are 48 geothermal wells, each 405 feet deep, surrounding the property. There is LED lighting throughout the hotel. “It is fair to say we are solar powered as well,” Noble says. During the planning stages for the Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center, of which the hotel is a part, a nearby solar array was built. The energy from that array helps power the Center.

guest column
What Makes a Floorcovering Sustainable?

In today’s marketplace, there is a plethora of product certifications, labels and declarations that manufacturers and builders use to communicate a product’s value to clients. However, owners, product specifiers and building occupants all have different interests and motivations. Just as each person’s background and experience varies, so do their beliefs when it comes to sustainability. The good news? Studies show we are all becoming more aware of and concerned with issues surrounding social and environmental health and sustainability. Making use of product labels, including declarations and certifications, is one way to make more informed choices; however, deciphering the claims behind the label can be challenging. So where to start? Everyone is interested in obtaining the most healthy and environmentally friendly products, but the criteria used to achieve these lofty goals must be defined and measured before any manufacturer or specific product can truthfully make these proclamations. Should a product be climate neutral or contain no volatile organic compounds (VOCs)?

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LEED Platinum Moon Resort Planned for Coachella Valley, California

LOS ANGELES—Moon World Resorts Inc. (MWR), a Canadian architectural design, intellectual property developer and licensor, has revealed its plans for MOON USA. The project will rise in the City of Coachella, situated in California’s desert region known as the Coachella Valley. Triangulated between Los Angeles and San Diego, the Coachella Valley already welcomes some 12 million annual visitors. “We are thrilled MWR chose the City of Coachella as the location for this truly amazing and highly imaginative project,” said Mark Weber, City of Coachella’s Economic Development Manager. “We look forward to assisting the MWR team as they proceed through the planning, approval and development stages.” MOON USA claims it will be the world’s “most innovative, inspiring and environmentally sensitive mega-resort destination.”

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Jeffery Smith Joins Six Senses as Director of Sustainability

BANGKOK—Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas announced that Jeffery Smith has joined the group in the role of Director of Sustainability. In his new role, Smith will ensure that Six Senses remains at the leading edge of sustainable tourism practices. These include environmental performance of each property, support for the preservation of natural and cultural heritage, and enhancing social and economic benefits to local communities in destinations where Six Senses operates. Smith joins Six Senses with 11 years of broad experience of delivering green programs, with internal and external engagement. His most recent role was in the delivery of solar energy solutions for Canadian company Solar Brokers. Prior to this position, he was based in Thailand as Projects Director for Global Vision International where he provided leadership to meet regional objectives for sustainable development. This followed a four-year tenure in the progressive rolls of Sustainability Consultant, Manager and Project Manager for Elephant Nature Park, a sanctuary with tourism components located in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Smith’s wide experience also includes roles in environmental engineering.

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Avendra Outlines Sustainability Goals, Progress in New Online Document
5 days ago

Late last year I reported on Avendra’s hiring of a new sustainability manager, Hamzah Abu-Ragheb, and Avendra’s requirement that all of its suppliers have a sustainability policy in place by the end of 2016. For those of you not familiar with Avendra, it is a procurement services provider formed in 2001 with the support of companies such as Marriott, Hyatt, Fairmont and Club Corp. Marriott (managed hotels) is Avendra’s largest customer. The bulk of what is purchased through Avendra is F&B related. I just heard from Hamzah and he informed me that Avendra just posted a document on its website that outlines its sustainability goals and provides an update on its progress. I read through the document, entitled “Sustainability Journey and Goals (2012-2016),” and according to Avendra, 93.5 percent of supplier contracts now have a sustainability policy on file. Those that do not yet have a sustainability policy on file are mainly smaller companies and/or companies in the Mexico/Caribbean area. Avendra is working on outreach and education to support these suppliers in developing a policy.

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