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CHICAGO—A broad and diverse coalition of more than 30 organizations active in countries around the world recently announced a Call for Partners for an international alliance advocating for sustainable building practices as a key strategy for combating climate change. The Global Leadership in Our Built Environment Alliance (GLOBE)—led in partnership by the U.S. Green Building Council together with the World Green Building Council and its members, environmental organizations, and businesses—will work around the world to educate, raise awareness and generate support from global policymakers, financial institutions and U.N. bodies for cost-effective investment in sustainable building practices.
LEAVENWORTH, WASH.—The Washington State Department of Commerce recently announced that the nation’s first “electric highway” along Interstate 5 (I-5) will now be extended to include Highway 2—connecting the cities of Monroe, Leavenworth and Wenatchee to a network of public access electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort just announced that it will install its own on-site charging station to help support the use of electric vehicles—such as the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Volt and Ford Focus—along nearby Highway 2. Sleeping Lady is currently the first resort in Eastern Washington to purchase an EV charging station. “Sleeping Lady has always been deeply committed to the environment and sustainable travel practices,” said Lori Vandenbrink, sales and marketing director for Sleeping Lady. “We hope that the installation of our charging station will help support the increased use of electric vehicles as people travel to and from our area.” A Coulomb Tech CT2103 charging station will be installed at Sleeping Lady in the spring of 2011.
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA—The Green Hotels and Responsible Tourism Initiative is an education resource that has been developed in partnership with respected tourism sustainability and hotel greening experts, Dr. Sonya Graci and Jacqueline Kuehnel. The project is specifically designed to help hoteliers, travelers, and local communities develop and promote environmental, social, and cultural sustainability by increasing awareness of issues affecting tourism and showcasing best green practices for hoteliers.
ST. LOUIS—Michael Jantzen, an artist strongly influenced by nature and technology, who has been producing conceptual art and architectural projects for almost 40 years, has released his latest hotel design—The Solar Winds Desert Hotel. An idea still in need of a developer, the hotel design, according to Jantzen, evolved from his thoughts about desert plants and how they function in a hot dry climate. The 140-room luxury eco-hotel, vertically cylindrical in design, would be powered by the sun and the wind. The “stem” of the hotel would house the hotel rooms, a vertical axis wind turbine would sit atop the hotel to provide electrical power, and solar cells or photovoltaic paint on films (a technology still under development) would be positioned on the surface of the structure to also generate electricity. “Leaves” would shade various facilities at the base such as restaurants, a gym, a pool, a spa, retail spaces and offices. A large restaurant, bar, and observation deck would also be located at the top of the hotel.
ORLANDO, FLA.—The 2011 NEWH Leadership Conference taking place at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Universal Orlando, January 13 to 16, is delving into one of the industry’s hottest topics: sustainability. To kick off the green programming, a session on Friday, January 14 from 1:30 to 2:30 pm will look at sustainable certificates and standards for products including textiles and flooring. Confirmed panelists include Kenneth Koneck of Valley Forge Fabrics; John Reader of Desso Carpets; David Mahood, Olive Hospitality Consulting; Lora Spran, Associate Design Manager, Walt Disney World; and moderator Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor of Green Lodging News. On Saturday afternoon, January 15 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m., attendees can listen in on a thought-provoking Q&A discussion with Florida coastal ecology experts on the state of Florida’s coastal environment and the importance of sustainable development. The keynote speaker will be Adrienne Pumphrey, the global head of Adoba Eco Hotel & Suites. The 25-year industry veteran will present Adoba’s case study, a brand conceived in sustainability from the get-go.
TROY, OHIO—ITW Food Equipment Group announced the launch of its sustainable design website. The new site provides customers with information on how to create a more sustainable operation in order to reduce operating costs and decrease impact on the environment. “Our customer awareness and deep product knowledge has shown us foodservice and grocery operators as well as suppliers are pledging to reduce waste, energy use and water use,” said Tom Szafranski, president of ITW Food Equipment Group-Commercial.
SKOKIE, ILL.—Each year in the United States, more than $35 billion in direct property loss is caused by natural disasters. Yet, while states and municipalities are seeking to adopt ordinances that require “green” or “sustainable” construction, they are overlooking disaster-resistance construction. To allow local governments to adopt green building codes that address high performance as well as conventional sustainable features, the Portland Cement Association (PCA) and the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) have developed High Performance Building Requirements for Sustainability 2.0.
NEW YORK—Sterling Planet, Inc. announced that the InterContinental New York Barclay, New York City’s landmark historic hotel, is now supported by 100 percent wind energy. Sterling Planet, a leader in the renewable energy market, supplies the 685-room luxury hotel with wind energy through renewable energy certificates (RECs). The Barclay is among the first New York Hotels to source 100 percent wind energy.
PARIS—Euro Disney S.C.A. Group (“Euro Disney”) and Groupe Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs (“Pierre & Vacances”) recently unveiled their new concept of a vacation destination based on the search for harmony between man and nature. The destination would be, in its design and in its operations, a unique model of sustainable development for tourism and be called Les Villages Nature de Val d’Europe (Villages Nature). As a mixed-use resort, Villages Nature will work with visionary landscape architects to develop new lodging and leisure experiences that will provide multiple opportunities for visitors to interact with nature. These activities would be centered on gardening, boating, hiking, horseback riding, visiting an organic farm, walking along discovery paths, and enjoying seasonal festivals and culinary events. The entire resort will be developed around its iconic 3,500-square-meter geothermal lagoon, and the adjacent water park which will be the largest in Europe. The Villages Nature site is located 6 kilometers south of Disneyland Paris, north of the Brie Forest, in Seineet-Marne.
PARK RIDGE, N.J.—The Hertz Corporation and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced a joint partnership to bring in Hertz Global EV, a program developed by Hertz using 100 percent electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, to key Starwood select-service hotels in North America. Starwood’s select-service portfolio includes the Element Hotels, Aloft Hotels and Four Points by Sheraton Hotels brands. “Hertz’s partnership with Starwood is a natural step in the development of our Global EV program,” said Mark P. Frissora, Hertz chairman and CEO. “As we expand our EV network, we are providing drivers with point-to-point access to EVs and EV charging stations. Our relationship with Starwood provides guests from all over the world with access to the future of mobility.” “This partnership is a perfect complement to Starwood’s own environmental sustainability initiatives,” said Brian McGuinness, senior vice president of Specialty Select Brands for Starwood. “The new technologies that, through Hertz EV, we are able to make available to our guests, demonstrate a joint commitment to making driving electric vehicles practical.”
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