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IRVINE, CALIF.—The Meritage Collection announces a partnership with Clean the World to help fight the spread of preventable diseases. The lifestyle hotel brand now sends discarded soap and bottled amenities to Clean the World recycling centers where they are sanitized and then distributed globally to children and families in need. Clean the World’s simple mission is to recycle soap from the hospitality industry and save lives through the distribution of these donated amenities. The social enterprise currently partners with more than 4,000 hotels and resorts to place life-saving hygiene products in the hands of those who need them most. Steve Arnold, President and COO of the Meritage Collection’s parent company, Pacific Hospitality Group said, “We are excited to partner with Clean the World on a program that not only will reduce our ecological footprint, but also aid others in need. Through this collaboration, the Meritage Collection will divert an estimated 4.5 tons of waste.” About two million children under the age of five die every year due to hygiene-related illnesses.
NATIONAL REPORT—Experts agree that, at any one time, about 15 to 20 percent of toilets are leaking. They leak for many different reasons—faulty fill valves, bad fill valve seals, corrosion and faulty flappers are some examples. Leaks often go undetected by guests, housekeepers and maintenance personnel. One leaky toilet can lose about 75,000 gallons of water annually. This adds significantly to water and sewage costs. In some instances leaks can result in flooding—an even more expensive scenario for a hotel owner. At least two companies have developed solutions to either stop toilet leaks or detect them so that costs can be controlled and proper maintenance performed. The first company, Sarasota, Fla.-based Aqua Mizer Inc. has developed toilet tank fill valves designed to prevent the tank from refilling in the presence of a leak and to turn off the fill valve if a flood should occur. The product line also includes specially designed 2" adjustable flappers and 3" rigid flappers with replaceable gaskets. Aqua Mizer says its system, on average, can reduce water waste by 20 percent.
STAMFORD, CONN.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. released its 2014 Global Reporting Index (GRI G4), outlining the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship, community involvement, opportunities for associate development, and best practices in corporate governance. The Index follows previous publication of a full Global Citizenship report in 2014 and a periodic update earlier this year.
VAIL, COLO.—Having guests check in to recharge is nothing new at the Antlers at Vail where the peaceful Vail, Colo., creekside setting and spacious guest suites foster relaxation. But now the Platinum-ranked Colorado hotel is receiving bookings from guests set on literally recharging—their cars. The Antlers has just added a complimentary-for-guests SemaConnect Electric Vehicle Charging Station to its long list of eco-initiatives that has earned the hotel honors that include GreenLeader status from TripAdvisor. Budget Travel has called electric vehicle charging stations “the new must-have hotel amenity.” Indeed, for Antlers at Vail, not only does the charger fit the hotel’s green directives, but it suits its commitment to providing an array of unusual complimentary amenities to increase guest comfort and convenience. From gourmet appliances for use in the guest suites’ full kitchens, to snowshoes and GoPro cameras for winter hiking, to Ski Butlers ski valet for ski and snowboarding ease, the Antlers is known for having Vail Valley’s most attentive, amenity-filled accommodations—as well as some of the greenest.
ITHACA, N.Y.—Throughout the world, human traffickers use hotels and other hospitality locations to kidnap and exploit their victims, many of whom are children. A new report from the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration calls on the industry to fight back against trafficking of children. In the report, “Adopting the Code: Human Trafficking and the Hospitality Industry,” Michele Sarkisian outlines the dimensions of the problem and gives specific strategies for ending this practice.
MCLEAN, VA.—Hilton Worldwide announced an upgrade to LightStay, its in-house corporate responsibility measurement platform, across the company’s more than 4,440 properties globally. With new features and enhancements, this next generation of LightStay now serves as the comprehensive, one-solution platform for all environmental, operational and social impact reporting for Hilton’s global portfolio of hotels. The year-long upgrade was based on in-depth analysis of hotel data across Hilton’s global portfolio from the last five years. With thousands of metrics, Hilton improved LightStay to help hotels better manage energy and water usage as well as drive improvement across hundreds of indicators over time. This next generation of LightStay tracks historical energy and weather data to forecast future energy usage levels and predict the impact of performance on cost and annual consumption, taking into account variables such as occupancy and weather. The system cross-references the data hotels submit with expected performance and sends automatic alerts to hotel teams when performance falls below expected levels.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—In its second iteration, the Green Venue Report (GVR) doubles its data set to highlight the state of sustainability in the meetings and events industry. With the motto, “Green Events Happen in Green Venues,” GVR invites convention centers from around the world to participate in an in-depth survey. The survey is made up of 158 questions covering topics of venue space, events, energy, waste, water, accessibility, food and beverage, staff involvement, and communications. The survey was conducted in the spring of 2015 and is based on 2014 operational information. The 2015 Data set includes: 30 Convention Centers from six countries and four continents. A total of 9,900 events were held in the reporting convention centers in 2014, hosting 35,740,600 attendees. The GVR attempts to capture sustainable practices and impact of convention centers around the world. The Green Venue Report and Survey is done in partnership between Washington D.C.-based sustainability consulting firm Greenview and Oakland-based event planning company Twirl Management. The project is sponsored by Bandwagon Rideshare, Covanta, and United Service Companies.
LAS VEGAS—For the ninth year, Black Enterprise (BE) magazine has named MGM Resorts International one of the “Best Companies for Diversity” in the United States based on its diversity and inclusion practices. MGM Resorts is the only company in the integrated resort industry, and the only company based in Nevada, to be named to the magazine’s list.
LONDON—The International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and Greenview have launched the free Hotel Footprinting Tool which allows anyone easy access to the carbon and energy footprint of hotels worldwide. The Hotel Footprinting Tool uses data from the annual Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking Study. It’s now far easier for hotels to compare their own carbon footprint to industry averages in their locality. Businesses seeking to map the footprint of their own hotel stays and meetings can now access more accurate figures for hotels in the area and market segment, rather than using broad industry averages or having to contact individual hotels for information. The footprint report function enables businesses and event organizers to create and download reports for reporting of their scope 3 business travel emissions, or to offset those emissions. Hotel Footprinting data is compliant with the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) methodology, developed by ITP, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and a working group of 23 global hotel companies which created a universally recognized methodology for measuring and recording carbon outputs in hotels.
SAN FRANCISCO—For the 14th consecutive year Green Festival Expo is returning to San Francisco. This year’s version will be held the weekend of November 13th through the 15th, but this year the Expo will be held at Daly City’s Cow Palace. This larger venue is a confirmation of the growth of Green Festivals as well as the commitment of the Festival’s planners to bring green, sustainable products and practices to new audiences. This all vegan and vegetarian Expo is expected to attract more than 25,000 locals to the three day event.
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