news & features

6/29/2016

Galena, Illinois Launches Program to Recognize Green Lodgings

GALENA, ILL.—The City of Galena, Ill., already a leader in green practices as a municipality, now features lodging properties that are earning green badges by meeting criteria set forth by the Galena Area Green Designation Committee. Since the program was launched two weeks ago, eight Galena hotels and bed and breakfasts have completed applications indicating their desire to reduce waste, improve efficiencies and meet certain requirements to earn the designation. Once officially approved, those eight will be able to market themselves as green lodging properties to help visitors seeking green destinations while improving the environment and enjoying the cost savings of green practices. “This committee first gathered one year ago to begin creating a program that was achievable but meaningful,” said VisitGalena President & CEO Chris Hamilton while recognizing the first eight applicants last week. “Having so many jump at the chance to join the movement so quickly indicates a desire in our hospitality industry to provide not only great service to our visitors but also to provide that service with a conscience.”

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More on Light Human Hotels—From Body Dryers to Thermal Chimneys

A body dryer instead of towels? When Julien Veyron, Architect and CEO of atelier arcau, responded to my request for additional information on the Light Human Hotel concept (see article and column from last week), he mentioned the use of body dryers in the hotels as one step in helping to reduce environmental impact. Yes, all Light Human Hotel bathrooms will include body dryers. (Google “body dryer” and you will find just a few examples of companies that make them.) The use of body dryers is one example of the brand developers’ willingness to innovate and create a guest experience unlike any other. Would your guests give up their towels in exchange for air drying? In case you missed it, the Light Human Hotel, a new eco-friendly brand and concept created by two France-based entrepreneurs—Jean-Pierre Bandeira, CEO of Light Human Hotel and Veyron—will make its first appearance in the United States later this year in Miami.

guest column
What the Hospitality Industry Should Know About Solar

Solar is now more cost-effective than ever, offering a number of compelling financial and environmental benefits for the hospitality industry. Solar technologies have been proven over decades in the field, and are becoming increasingly efficient, reliable, and affordable. Large corporations are investing billions in the industry, powering a record number of installations in 2015. Total solar installations hit the 1 million mark in February of this year, and total industry growth is projected to hit a staggering 119 percent this year. As the solar market expands logarithmically, the costs of installation are plummeting. A hotel can reap the benefits of a solar installation in both the short and long terms. Lighting, HVAC and water heating accounts for approximately 60 percent of the total costs for a typical lodging facility; the U.S. Energy Star program estimates that hotels spend about $2,196 per room annually on energy alone.

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green hotel focus
New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania Beats out 1,600 Competitors to Win Energy Star National Building Competition

NEW YORK—New York’s Hotel Pennsylvania announced that it has won the 2015 Energy Star National Building Competition for demonstrating leadership in water conservation. The hotel competed against more than 1,600 buildings with the goal of reducing its water use and protecting the environment. The recognition was awarded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “We are pleased to be recognized for our water conservation efforts,” said Gene Nicotra, General Manager at the hotel. “Not only do we offer excellent location and value, but we also continue to improve efficiencies in reducing our carbon footprint.”

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personnel profile
From Corks to Fryer Oil, Scott Lipscomb Makes Sure McMenamins’ Waste Gets Recycled

PORTLAND, ORE.—Scott Lipscomb is always trash talking. It is his job, literally, as Environmental Coordinator at McMenamins in Portland, Ore. If there is something that can be donated or recycled, it is Lipscomb’s job to make it happen. McMenamins has provided Lipscomb with many challenges since he began working for the company in December 1992. Then, McMenamins had just 12 locations. Today it has 70 pubs and restaurants, 25 breweries, two distilleries, a winery, and 10 hotels. “I started as a regular pubster,” Lipscomb says. “After a couple of years the person handling the recycling program for our company was leaving. I have always been a proponent of recycling so I applied and got the position (recycling coordinator). In the beginning I would work 20 to 25 hours a week picking up recycling at the locations in the Portland area and our beer truck would bring back recyclables that were not recycled locally. I would then recycle those materials here in Portland at several different recycling centers. As the company grew we changed my job title to Environmental Coordinator.”

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MGM Resorts, Caesars Represent Hospitality on Civic 50 List
yesterday

On Tuesday of this week, Points of Light, the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service, recognized its 2016 Civic 50 winners at the Conference on Volunteering and Service in Detroit. Only two hospitality companies made the 2016 Civic 50 list: MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp. MGM and Caesars joined companies such as the Ford Motor Co. and General Mills. Not every company is eligible for the Civic 50. A company must have $1 billion or above in annual revenue. The Civic 50 is based on the results of a survey that focuses on four dimensions of a company’s U.S. community engagement program: investment (time, money, etc.), integration (how a company “does well by doing good”), institutionalization (institutional policies, systems, and incentives), and impact (how company measures its impact). Survey submissions were judged by a panel of nine. Both MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment issued press releases to highlight their inclusion on the Civic 50.

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