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DUBAI, U.A.E.—The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) has launched an initiative to reduce carbon emissions (CO2) in the region’s hospitality industry by 20 percent by the year 2011. The launch is together with the Dubai Green Tourism Award which will be in line with World Environment Day. The initiatives are all part of the department’s sustainable tourism agenda for the emirate. The Dubai Green Tourism Award, to be presented in December 2009, is expected to attract 200 hotels from three, four and five stars and deluxe hotel apartments that are eligible to compete for the annual honors. The initiatives were announced at a press conference held recently at the InterContinental Hotel Dubai Festival City.
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—Sustainability will have a prominent place on the agenda at the Meeting Professionals International’s (MPI) World Education Congress, to be held July 11 to 14 at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City. Eight educational sessions will touch on topics such as corporate social responsibility and green meetings, and attendees will have an opportunity to participate in a community service project. MPI has incorporated the principles of the first sustainable event standard, British Standard 8901, into the Salt Lake City event. This includes planning for the event, on-site implementation of the event, and a post-event review process that will allow MPI to learn from its successes and challenges and incorporate changes into its next event.
WASHINGON, D.C.—World Energy Solutions, Inc., an operator of online exchanges for energy and green commodities, announced that Great Addresses, a leading independent hotel management company in Washington, D.C., has successfully greened the energy portfolios of its flagship properties through transactions on the World Energy Exchange and World Green Exchange.
ATLANTA—When NYLO Dallas/Las Colinas opens in late July 2009, it will run on 100 percent renewable energy. The loft-style boutique hotel brand has signed an agreement with TXU Energy to become the supplier’s first hotel customer in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to purchase 100 percent Renewable Energy Certificate-based electricity. “This is a huge initiative as we look to become an even more eco-friendly brand,” said Patrick O’Neil, executive vice president of operations for NYLO Hotels, which already incorporates renewable energy in all of its other locations. “TXU Energy is our neighbor in Las Colinas, and we are proud to work with them to be part of a movement that benefits the environment and provides a more efficient means of energy to power our hotel.”
SAN FRANCISCO—Kimpton Restaurants, a collection of 45 chef-driven restaurants in the United States and Canada, and a recognized environmental pioneer, announces three new sustainable initiatives. As the latest addition to Kimpton’s EarthCare program, guests can enjoy in-house purified still and sparkling water, increased eco-friendly wine selections, and sustainable seafood dishes at restaurants in 21 cities. Thirty percent of wine lists will feature eco-friendly selections by January 2010, including organic, biodynamic and sustainable wines from small and large producers. Only sustainable seafood selections will be offered at restaurants, in accordance with Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program (currently in place). In-house purified water will be available through a national partnership with Natura by July 2009.
OAKLAND, CALIF.—Continuing a long-term commitment to sustainable and innovative business practices, Oakland-based Numi Organic Tea announced its latest initiative toward minimizing impact: a partnership with Big Tree Climate Fund on a twofold offsetting program, including the purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs) and carbon offsets.
HIDDEN VALLEY, QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA—The Solar Eco Cabins and Interpretive Centre at Hidden Valley Cabins are an inspiration for the tourist industry and the community to follow, Stephen Pahl, CEO of Ecotourism Australia, said recently. “Hidden Valley Cabins is Australia’s first fully carbon neutral resort and tour business, and they have recently achieved Advanced Ecotourism Certification,” he added. “The official opening of the Solar Eco Cabins on April 4 is the culmination of the McLennan family’s commitment to environmental improvement over more than 20 years and they have achieved a model that should inspire the rest of the tourist industry and anyone interested in ways to reduce their carbon footprint.”
PROVIDENCE, R.I.—NYLO Providence/Warwick has received Green Hospitality Certification from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM). In a ceremony before Rhode Island’s hospitality industry elite, the 163-room, urban loft hotel was honored for its outstanding conservation and recycling programs. NYLO Providence/Warwick is the state’s first hotel to run on 100 percent renewable energy. Through a partnership with People’s Power & Light, the property offsets its entire electricity usage with a mix of local and regional solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric power sources.
FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA.—Valley Forge Fabrics has introduced its newest FRESH innovation, LIVING FRESH with Tencel+Plus. Tencel+Plus is the only Eucalyptus fiber engineered for hospitality. LIVING FRESH with Tencel+Plus includes a Eucalyptus fiber and cotton blend. Valley Forge quietly introduced LIVING FRESH to the largest hotel brands earlier this year.
ST. LOUIS, MO.—The board of directors of the International Association of Conference Centers introduced a rigorous Code of Sustainability at the 28th annual conference in March to encourage member properties around the globe to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices in nine areas: education and awareness, waste management, recycling, reuse, water conservation, purchasing, energy management, air quality, and food & beverage. According to Lois Berg, chair of IACC’s Sustainability Committee (director of administrative services at The Johnson Foundation, Inc.—at Wingspread Conference Center), the Code will “allow member properties to commit to sustain and support IACC’s Environmental Policy, adhere to at least 75 percent of the tenets of the Code, and join other member organizations that have signed the Code in a global, association-wide effort to strive for greater sustainability.”
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