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NEEDHAM, MASS.—Almost three years after launching its GreenLeaders program, TripAdvisor has good reason to be ecstatic about its success. There are now more than 11,000 participating properties in 66 global markets across North America, Latin America, Europe, as well as Australia and New Zealand. In the last year alone, TripAdvisor has added nearly 3,000 GreenLeaders participants. “When we launched TripAdvisor GreenLeaders just a few years ago to help our community of millions of travelers plan and book greener trips, we never imagined it would grow so quickly to become the world’s largest green program,” says Ryan Dillon, Responsible Travel Specialist at TripAdvisor and manager of GreenLeaders. GreenLeaders hotels and B&Bs must complete an application in order to participate in the free, voluntary program. Questions in the application address topics ranging from towel reuse to staff training to preventive maintenance. Qualifying properties are marked with a badge on their TripAdvisor page. To see a list of the business’s environmentally friendly practices, travelers click on the property’s GreenLeader badge.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) announced the quarterly addenda to the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) green building rating system, which includes a new pilot Alternative Compliance Path (ACP) credit that is designed to further advance environmentally responsible forest management and help rid buildings of illegal wood by promoting the use of wood that is verified to be legal.
LAHAINA, HAWAII—After becoming Hawaii’s first LEED EBOM Silver resort in 2014 following significant sustainability upgrades, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa has installed one of the largest rooftop photovoltaic systems in Hawaii. This system of solar panels produces more than 6 percent of the resort’s annual electricity needs, which is equal to supplying grid electricity to 158 homes. Additionally, by lessening their reliance on grid electricity, they are reducing their overall carbon footprint. The use of solar power reduces CO2 emissions by offsetting diesel generation, one of the dirtiest methods of electricity. The amount of CO2 emissions that has been reduced is the equivalent of removing 111 passenger cars driven in one year. The solar panel installation plan took approximately three years and the actual installation lasted about six months. “About a year ago at this same spot, we celebrated our LEED EBOM certification, and now we have the privilege to announce another sustainability advancement—our newly installed photovoltaic system,” said Allan Farwell, General Manager at Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa.
LAS VEGAS—MGM Resorts International is one of “America’s Top Corporations for Women’s Business Enterprises,” according to the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), a national leader in women’s business development and certification. The Top Corporations list is the only national award program honoring corporations for leading supplier diversity initiatives that reduce barriers and drive growth for women-owned businesses.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Human Rights Campaign (HRC), the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, and Equality NC, the state organization working to secure equal rights and justice for LGBT North Carolinians, announced that executives from Starbucks, Citibank, TD Bank, Hilton, Starwood Hotels, Choice Hotels, eBay, Accenture, Kellogg Company, Reddit, Barnes & Noble, Atlassian, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, Ingersoll-Rand, Wasserman and the Wasserman Foundation, and CA Technologies have signed onto an open letter that now includes more than 100 leading CEOs and business leaders calling on Governor Pat McCrory and the North Carolina General Assembly to repeal the radical provisions in the deeply discriminatory House Bill 2 that was pushed through the legislature last week. HRC President Chad Griffin and Equality NC Executive Director Chris Sgro delivered the letter personally to Governor McCrory’s office. The letter—signed by dozens of CEOs from across the nation—was made public Tuesday afternoon, and came only a day after Georgia Governor Nathan Deal announced he would veto anti-LGBT legislation in Georgia.
CHEVY CHASE, MD.—A new coffee is brewing at Ritz-Carlton hotels and resorts across the United States. First Drop Coffee is proprietary and branded for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company in America. It is made 100 percent from coffee beans harvested by Rainforest Alliance Certified farms in Mexico and Brazil.
PARIS—Next spring, 14 years after being conceived by Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs and Euro Disney, Villages Nature Paris will open 20 miles east of Paris. The resort will be a showcase for green design, geothermal technology and will be based on harmony between man and nature. Villages Nature Paris will open with 916 dwellings, more than two-thirds of which will be cottages and one-third family suites. The dwellings will be owned by individual and other investors and managed by Villages Nature Paris. According to Dominique Cocquet, CEO of Villages Nature Paris, within five years the development is expected to include more than 1,700 dwellings. Villages Nature Paris is expected to host more than 1 million visitors a year on its 444 acres. In addition to places to stay, there will be many attractions including the Aqualagoon covered water park and outdoor lagoon, shops and restaurants, farm, lake, spa and gardens. “We believe we will have mostly families,” Cocquet says.
NATIONAL REPORT—HVS conducts numerous walkthroughs of hotel F&B operations each year. In almost every full service property, it finds opportunities to significantly decrease utility costs through a combination of operating enhancements and capital projects. This article summarizes some of the more common F&B utility efficiency opportunities that HVS routinely identifies and addresses at its clients’ properties. It is important to begin by understanding the relationship between ownership and management. For example, is the restaurant or banquet department operated by the hotel management company, leased to a third party, or joint ventured in some manner? Correspondingly, which party pays the utility bills, and who owns the cooking equipment? It is important to ask these questions upfront to determine what is “fair game” for energy efficiency in the restaurant operation—acknowledging that in some cases opportunities that may appear attractive from a P&L perspective may be nonstarters if the restaurant operator is not on board. On a related note, HVS routinely encounters leased F&B operations where utility costs are not allocated equitably between the parties.
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM—The Rezidor Hotel Group has published its Responsible Business Report. Included since 2010 in Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies List, Rezidor is committed to being an innovative and responsible hotel company with leading sustainable hotel brands such as Radisson Blu and Park Inn by Radisson. Last year marked another impressive year for Responsible Business at Rezidor with successes in all three core areas of the company’s Responsible Business program. Highlights include energy savings of 22 percent, water consumption reduced by 29 percent, 272 eco-labelled hotels, and Meetings Minus Carbon offsets of 32,000 tons of carbon. Also last year, 65 Rezidor hotels were Safehotels Alliance certified. Employee satisfaction hit 87.5 percent, development tracks were added in support of the Women in Leadership Program, and more than 2,000 employees were trained in Rezidor’s Business School. Rezidor has been one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for six years, has donated $1.4 million to charity, and organized 780 activities and over 5,000 volunteer days during the company's September’s Responsible Business Action Month.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—As spring arrives, meeting planners are working tirelessly to secure event space for 2016 meetings. The Hyatt Place Washington D.C./U.S. Capitol, located in downtown Washington, D.C., just north of the U.S. Capitol, is offering meeting planners an opportunity to help their favorite charities while providing top rated service and value to their attendees. The hotel is managed by Crescent Hotels & Resorts, an operator of more than 100 hotels throughout North America, including 15 in the Washington, D.C. area.
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