news & features


Offsetting Programs Provided by Arbor Day Foundation, LivClean Support Tree Planting Efforts

NATIONAL REPORT—It is often said that trees are the lungs of the Earth. Unfortunately, since man started chopping trees down, the Earth has lost about half of its trees. Rainforests once covered about 14 percent of the planet; now they cover only 6 percent. If not protected, rainforests could be gone in 40 years. “We often forget that deforestation has been one of the major contributors to climate change,” says Jared Carlson, Director, Innovation & Business Development, the Arbor Day Foundation. As trees rot or are burned they release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Live, healthy trees consume carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. “Trees should be part of the solution,” says Carlson, adding that if reforestation occurred on a large scale it could be as much as a 10 percent solution to climate change. The hospitality industry has certainly been a contributor to deforestation—not in all cases of course, but it often has done its part to put development and growth ahead of sustainability.

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publisher's point of view
Two Easy Ways to Support Tree Planting in North America

I recently wrote an article about the Olas Verdes Hotel in Playa Guiones, Costa Rica. One of the things that impressed me most about the property—aside from the fact that it had earned LEED Platinum—was how its trees and plants were purposely not cut down during construction. The property is an easy walk to the beach and could have had a great view of the ocean but the trees and plants were intentionally left in place to block that view. How attentive were you to tree and plant preservation when you built your property? Mankind has done a terrible job taking care of trees on this planet. Since man started chopping trees down, the Earth has lost about half of its trees. Rainforests once covered about 14 percent of the planet; now they cover only 6 percent. If not protected, rainforests could be gone in 40 years. I was thinking about trees this past week when writing my article about two organizations that sell carbon offsets that support tree planting programs. Be sure to read that article.

guest column
How The Peninsula New York Topped the Hotel Category in the Zero Waste Challenge

The results of the New York City Mayor’s Zero Waste Challenge were recently revealed, with The Peninsula New York emerging tops in the hotel category. The Peninsula was able to double its diversion rate in just a few months during the Challenge, in the process, emerging as a role model just in time for New York City’s new commercial organics rule. Beginning July 19, 2016, certain New York City businesses are required by law to separate their organic waste for beneficial use (composting, anaerobic digestion or other). Among those affected are food service establishments in hotels with 150 or more rooms, like the Peninsula New York. “Food waste is a big contributor to overall waste,” said Maya Shenkman, Director of Hotel Services at Great Forest, Inc., which participated in the Mayor’s Zero Waste Challenge as a consultant, helping The Peninsula New York and other companies reach their goals.

featured product
Customization...Think Possible

Impact Brass, a division of Impact Enterprises, Inc., a woman owned business (WBENC and WOSB certified), specializes in custom Bellman Carts, Menu/Sign Stands, and Crowd Control Products--all of which are sized to customer specifications. In keeping with its environmental initiatives, Impact builds a highly durable product, and continues to research available recycled metals that may meet its durability requirements. 2016 Awards include: Most Innovative Custom Presentation Products Manufacturer, Best Socially Responsible Company--USA (Small Business). Call (845) 988-1900.

green hotel focus
The Hotel at Oberlin: Cutting Edge Technology Meets Design

OBERLIN, OHIO—The Hotel at Oberlin will officially open on September 13. It is a 70-room property designed to be one of the most environmentally sustainable hotels in the world. Owned by Oberlin College, developed by SMART Hotels and managed by The Olympia Companies, The Hotel at Oberlin is the first hotel in the United States to incorporate solar, geothermal, and radiant heating and cooling and one of only five hotels in the United States to qualify for the rigorous LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The Hotel at Oberlin was designed by the Chicago-based architectural firm Solomon Cordwell Buenz (SCB); the creative process was led by SCB Principal Jim Curtin, AIA. Curtin explains that “the building had to be visually engaging because of the artistically rich legacy of Oberlin College. The central design metaphor is the image of a treehouse.

upcoming events
Greenbuild International Conference and Expo
Los Angeles Convention Center

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

WaterSmart Innovations Conference and Exposition
South Point Hotel and Conference Center, Las Vegas

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Global Wellness Summit
KitzKongress, Kitzbühel in Tyrol, Austria

Monday, October 17, 2016

National Restaurant Association Sustainability Executive Study Group
NRA Office, Washington, D.C.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

personnel profile
Marriott’s Work in Brazil One of Several Key Projects Overseen by Niki Zoli

BETHESDA, MD.—It was appropriate for Niki Zoli to be on hand for an important first earlier this month at the Annual Meeting of the Governors’ Climate and Forest Task Force and concurrent Climate Summit of the Americas in Guadalajara, Mexico. It was there that Zoli, Director, Social Responsibility & Community Engagement for Marriott International, accepted the first-ever certificate of carbon emissions reduction from the Secretary of Environment for Amazonas, on behalf of the State Government of Amazonas, and the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS). Marriott was honored for its work to help protect 1.4 million acres of rainforest in Brazil. Marriott has contributed more than $2 million to FAS and raised nearly $300,000 through its partners, guests and associates.

blog post
Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort’s Impressive Rooftop Hydroponic Farm
2 days ago

In my publisher’s column last week I wrote about San Francisco’s steps to require owners of new buildings 10 stories or less to put in solar panels and/or green roofing atop the new buildings. Since writing that column, I came across an example of one property in Thailand that has gone way beyond solar and/or green roofing atop its resort. According to, the Anantara Riverside Bangkok Resort has a 2,800 square-meter rooftop hydroponic farm on its roof. The farm is on the third floor overlooking the Chao Phraya River. The resort partnered with Bangsai Agricultural Centre to offer its guests a locally grown, certified organic, freshly harvested selection of Western and Asian herbs, vegetables and salads in its farm. Between 12 and 50 kilograms of each product is produced daily.

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