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BOULDER, COLO.—Sustainable Travel International announced that it assisted the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s 2007 Adventure Travel World Summit slated for October 4-7, 2007, in becoming carbon neutral once again.
HONG KONG—Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts has launched a two-year development strategy to enhance its corporate social responsibility activities. A corporate CSR Committee, spearheaded by the group’s chief operating officer, has been established to continue to fulfill the group’s responsibilities in five key areas: the environment; employees and the community; health and safety; supply chain management; and stakeholder relations.
CAMBRIDGE, MASS.—Cambridge, a leader in innovation and technology, recently announced plans to become America’s greenest city. Cambridge is the first city to make such an aggressive move with green initiatives. The city has several partners. Two organizations in particular have helped to make Cambridge’s transformation possible: the Cambridge Climate Protection Plan (CCPP) and the Cambridge Climate Leader Program (CCLP). The Inn at Harvard and Irving House have committed to participate in the Climate Leader Program.
LONDON—World Travel Market will host a major United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Ministers’ Summit on Tourism and Climate Change, a key part of an international program to widen and deepen the debate on one of the biggest challenges facing the industry. Ministers will be asked to consider and ratify a Declaration recommended by environmental experts at the UNWTO’s Summit on Climate Change in Davos, Switzerland in October.
ATLANTA—Healthy and sustainable buildings are the talk of the building industry, but what exactly defines what a healthy building is? ASHRAE will discuss this and other topics at its IAQ 2007: Healthy and Sustainable Buildings conference in Baltimore. The event will be held Oct. 15 to 17. IAQ 2007 will address what tools and metrics can be used to quantify buildings’ health and sustainability and how indoor air quality can be certified as sustainable. Plenary session speakers will compare the functionality of rating systems, how they can be improved and what information other than the ratings can developers, designers and public entities use to distinguish high-performing buildings.
LEXINGTON, KY—With nearly 100 million active spa-goers globally, the spa community casts a large net. Affecting society, the economy, culture and the environment, spa is synonymous with healthy lifestyles. And the eco-conscious roots of the industry are growing deeper still. Everywhere you look, companies are jumping onboard the “go green” concept and are offering sustainable alternatives for the conscious consumer.
LAGRANGE, GA.—Milliken & Co., a carbon negative manufacturer, has launched an Energy Conservation Initiative focused on four action areas—People, Alternative Sources, Innovation and Green Building—to reduce energy consumption along with related emissions and water use.
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND—Key players in real estate and construction misjudge the costs and benefits of green buildings, creating a major barrier to more energy efficiency in the building sector, a new study by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) reports. Respondents to a 1,400-person global survey estimated the additional cost of building green at 17 percent above conventional construction, more than triple the true cost difference of about 5 percent. At the same time, survey respondents put greenhouse gas emissions by buildings at 19 percent of world total, while the actual number of 40 percent is double this.
AMERICAN CANYON, CALIF.—Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa—the United States’ first and only LEED Gold-certified hotel—has commissioned a 36-kilowatt solar project that produces electricity to help run the hotel. The system is projected to meet approximately 12 percent of the hotel’s annual energy needs and contributed two points toward the hotel’s LEED Gold certification. The Gaia project will generate 49,000 kWh of clean renewable energy annually, reflecting the priority that the Atman Hospitality Group, Inc. has placed on utilizing renewable energy and energy efficiency to promote environmentally responsible tourism.
NATIONAL REPORT—If the growth of the Sustainable Furniture Council (SFC) is any indication of the current level of interest in sustainable furniture manufacturing, you can expect to read a lot more about this trend in the coming months. The Council, which was incorporated in March, already has 100 members. While the majority of all furniture purchased for lodging in the United States is not sustainable, that appears to be changing—albeit slowly.
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