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SACRAMENTO, CALIF.—Due to the severity of California’s drought, the state’s experts have been managing water resources to deal with the effects of the drought and prepare for the next one. As part of the solution, the California Energy Commission approved standards for water appliances which will save more than 10 billion gallons of water in the first year. Over time, the water savings is estimated to reach 105 billion gallons per year—a savings of more than three times the annual amount of water used by the City of San Francisco. “California is serious about water conservation and is committed to consistent and clear water efficiency policies,” said Commissioner Andrew McAllister, who is the Energy Commission’s lead on energy efficiency. “In the face of California’s current drought, we must use water as efficiently as possible and updating minimum standards for toilets, urinals and faucets is a step in that direction.” The energy efficiency and water standards approved require water appliances to consume less water thereby using less energy while performing the same function.
SAN FRANCISCO—The Yosemite landscape is preparing to welcome a vibrant addition to the popular region. Rush Creek Lodge, a fresh take on the Yosemite experience, is slated to open at the doorstep of Yosemite National Park, Calif., in spring 2016. The contemporary mountain resort is the first resort to open in the park’s vicinity in more than 25 years, offering Yosemite explorers a new lodging option with 143 rooms, as well as amenities for travelers, such as a dining destination to enjoy California lodge cuisine, a general store for provisions on the way to the park and a full service guided recreation program.
NEW YORK—W Hotels Worldwide, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., announced a new partnership with global music artist and entrepreneur will.i.am and The Coca-Cola Co. to shake up the hotel industry, one guestroom at a time. Together, they are bringing the EKOCYCLE brand to W Hotel rooms around the world, changing sheets and changing minds. W Hotels will soon begin re-making their beds with new EKOCYCLE branded sheets, which are made in part with rPET (polyester partially made using recycled plastic). Rolling out into W Hotels in North America first with global properties to follow, each king size sheet set utilizes approximately 31 recycled 20 oz. plastic bottles—which equates to more than 268,000 plastic bottles across all W Hotel beds in North America. The result is bedding that is as luxurious as it is environmentally conscious, ensuring that guests continue to have the same comfortable sleep they have come to expect from a night in a W Hotel bed. The more sustainable sheets are made using the same high quality process as the W brand’s current bedding.
BURBANK, CALIF.—Disney published its 2014 Citizenship Performance Summary. The summary focuses on Disney’s FY14 performance against its Citizenship targets. Highlights include progress against environmental stewardship commitments, including a 31 percent decrease in net emissions from 2012 levels and the first disclosure of Disney’s water usage companywide.
ORLANDO, FLA.—The world’s only large-scale recyclers of hotel soap have combined their operations and charitable efforts. Clean the World and Global Soap have contributed to a 30 percent reduction in pre-adolescent deaths from hygiene-related illnesses since 2009. Now consolidated under the Clean the World banner, they join forces to improve even more lives through an integrated social enterprise. The blended organization capitalizes on strengths developed separately by each group over the past six years. Under the new operating structure, Clean the World Foundation manages all soap and plastic bottle collection and recycling in North America, while Clean the World Asia oversees soap recycling in the Asia-Pacific region. Global Soap concentrates on strategic soap distribution and hygiene education programs that make a measurable, sustainable impact on global health. “This is truly a situation where one plus one equals three,” said Shawn Seipler, founder and CEO of Clean the World. “As a unified team, we will divert more trash from landfills, recycle and manufacture more soap, reach more people, and bring greater focus to the sustainable impact of our life-saving mission.”
ATLANTA—Taking green meetings to the next level, The Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, the largest Green Seal Silver Level certified convention hotel in the Southeast, is launching the Green Tour. This new on-site specialty event for meeting attendees provides a behind-the-scenes look at the sustainability, conservation and environmental efficiency efforts in the John Portman-designed AAA Four Diamond hotel. From event serveware made of leaves to the Go Green Racing teambuilding activity and single-stream recycling system, The Westin Peachtree Plaza is redefining what it means to be green. “Environmental stewardship is increasingly important to meeting planners and attendees when selecting a venue for their event,” said Ron Tarson, General Manager of The Westin Peachtree Plaza. “While many hotels say they offer green features, they frequently fall short. Our new Green Tour provides guests with a firsthand look at true sustainability and gives them a rare opportunity to view these efforts in action.”
BETHESDA, MD.—Courtyard by Marriott announced a national partnership with National Academy Foundation (NAF) launching its Success for Youth program that activates its commitment made to the Clinton Global Initiative that promises to provide 30,000 volunteer hours and engage with 10,000 students in three years. The announcement was made at the Courtyard by Marriott bi-annual General Managers Conference, in Washington, D.C. where more than 200 NAF students conducted informational interviews with 800 general managers who were in attendance.
NEW YORK—Restorative Hospitality, a subsidiary of the wellness real estate firm Delos, and Leonardo DiCaprio have announced plans to create the world’s most sustainable island resort at Blackadore Caye, Belize. Upon its completion in 2018, Blackadore Caye will be the greenest island resort ever built, the business partners say, and the world’s first “Restorative Island” project designed with sustainable building techniques that restore and regenerate the surrounding ecosystem and reverse the effects of climate change. The project is being developed by Restorative Islands, LLC, designed by McLennan Design and operated by Restorative Hospitality, which will also manage the wellness programming offered at the resort. “Islands and coastal areas all over the world are being threatened by climate change due to rising sea levels, ocean acidification and habitat pressures,” said Leonardo DiCaprio. “This project is leading a new way in eco-tourism, development and green building and demonstrates that human development can be truly restorative and beneficial for the environment.” The resort’s design will restore and reinforce Blackadore Caye by replanting mangrove.
MIAMI—Miami based Trust Hospitality announced that the Islamorada Resort Co., comprised of Amara Cay Resort, Postcard Inn Beach Resort at Holiday Isle, Pelican Cove Resort & Marina, and La Siesta Resort, has partnered with the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) to raise funds for the organization. The nonprofit conservation organization is dedicated to creating offshore nurseries and restoration programs for threatened coral species. Islamorada Resort Company will help raise funds for CRF through guest donations and a matching fund.
MCLEAN, VA.—Hilton Worldwide announced that it will begin to eliminate the use of cages for egg-laying chickens and gestation crates for breeding pigs in its global food supply chain. The announcement was made in conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation’s largest animal protection organization. Initially all hotels in the Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton and DoubleTree by Hilton brands will be required to switch all egg usage to cage-free by December 31, 2017, ensuring that chickens are not confined in cages. All pork products must be purchased from suppliers that house breeding pigs in groups rather than gestation crates by December 31, 2018. These changes will initially apply in 19 countries where products are currently available and will be adopted in additional markets as supply comes online. These actions are part of the company’s global responsible sourcing strategy, which includes a focus on animal welfare.
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