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GREENSBORO, N.C.—Columbia Forest Products was named a 2010 Corporate Sustainable Standard-Setter by the Rainforest Alliance at the organization’s gala dinner and awards ceremony on May 12 in New York City. The honor recognizes companies that have worked with the Rainforest Alliance and exhibited outstanding leadership in efforts to promote sustainability.
ITHACA, N.Y.—A team of three researchers has developed a standard measurement of expenses for energy and supplies that can be used as a sustainability gauge for the hotel industry. The researchers, Jie Zhang and Nitin Joglekar, of Boston University, and Rohit Verma, of Cornell University, explain their measurement in a new report from Cornell’s Center for Hospitality Research, “Developing Measures for Environmental Sustainability in Hotels: An Exploratory Study.” The report is available at no charge from the center. “Looking at the hotel chart of accounts, we see that managers have to analyze expenses in at least five areas of their operating statement to get a sense of their energy and resource use, which affects their operation’s sustainability,” said Zhang, a doctoral candidate at Boston University. “We analyzed operating-statement accounts for 984 U.S. hotels over the span of 2001 to 2008.”
MIAMI—Mexico’s El Dorado Royale, A Spa Resort by Karisma has introduced the philosophy of using fresh, local and sustainable produce to the Riviera Maya. The resort’s 70,000-square-foot greenhouse facility now provides produce not only for El Dorado Royale, but also for its sister El Dorado Spa Resorts & Hotels and Azul Hotels throughout the region. The expansive Greenhouse—the first resort greenhouse in the region—celebrated its first harvest in August 2009. Now in its fourth harvest, the greenhouse produces a variety of organic vegetables and herbs, including cucumbers, bell peppers, chilies, basil, cilantro, and mint, supplying produce for El Dorado Royale, A Spa Resort; El Dorado Casitas Royale; El Dorado Maroma, A Beachfront Resort; El Dorado Seaside Suites; Azul Beach Hotel; and Azul Sensatori Hotel by Karisma. The greenhouse is the latest addition to El Dorado’s extensive Pasión por el Medio Ambiente (Passion for the Environment) program.
TROY, OHIO—For the fourth consecutive year, the Hobart Center for Foodservice Sustainability (HCFS) is awarding a $5,000 grant to the individual or company judged to have the best-executed foodservice or food retail sustainability project of the year. Submissions are currently being accepted, and the recipient will be announced at the 2010 Greenbuild Expo scheduled for November 16 to 19 in Chicago.
DALTON, GA.—Zeftron nylon, a premium nylon 6 commercial carpet yarn system, has launched the 2010 Zeftron nylon Sustainable Practices Award. The award recognizes facility, architecture and design professionals who employ and utilize unique sustainable practices in three key areas: at work, at home and in their communities.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—What do 34 U.S. hospitality organizations—including Hilton Worldwide, Mauna Lani Resort, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, and Wyndham Worldwide—have in common? They are all members of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Green Power Partnership program (GPP). The initiative is a voluntary program that supports the purchase of green power by offering advice, technical support, recognition programs, tools and resources. Green power, as defined by EPA, is electricity produced from a subset of renewable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and low-impact hydro. Hospitality organizations can participate in GPP by purchasing renewable energy credits (RECs) from Green-e certified providers, by purchasing green power from a local utility, or by generating on-site renewable energy. According to Blaine Collison, GPP program manager, GPP was first launched in 2001. Initially, it was thought that GPP would have the most success in the residential market.
MCLEAN, VA.—Following two years of testing, Hilton Worldwide has unveiled LightStay, a proprietary system developed to calculate and analyze environmental impact. In the first full year of findings, the 2009 LightStay results show that the 1,300 Hilton Worldwide properties using the system conserved enough energy to power 5,700 homes for a year, saved enough water to fill more than 650 Olympic-size pools and reduced carbon output equivalent to taking 34,865 cars off the road. Reductions in water and energy use also translated into dollars saved for hotel owners, with estimated savings of more than $29 million in utility costs in 2009. LightStay helped Hilton Worldwide properties using the system reduce energy use by 5 percent, carbon output by 6 percent, waste output by 10 percent and water use by 2.4 percent in 2009 versus 2008. These results have been independently audited and are adjusted for any differences in occupancy levels and major weather events year over year.
ITHACA, N.Y.—As hotels worldwide seek to unravel the challenges and contradictions of sustainable operation, panelists on a new webcast from SAS and the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) explain how to successfully implement green operations and avoid potential pitfalls. They suggest that the key to managing a sustainable business is to be strategic, sincere, and comprehensive in green initiatives. The webcast brought together Alyssa Farrell, marketing manager for sustainable solutions, SAS; Dennis Quaintance, CEO and chief design officer, Quaintance-Weaver Group; and Alex Susskind, associate professor, Cornell School of Hotel Administration. The contradiction of sustainable hotel operation goes like this: Guests want their hotels to maintain environmentally conscious operations, but hotels generally cannot charge a premium for green services and guests don’t want to be deprived of room amenities.
BARBADOS—From May 9 to 12, the 11th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism, otherwise known as the Sustainable Tourism Conference, will be held in Barbados. This year’s conference will be held at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Center (formally Sherbourne Conference Center). The theme for this year’s conference is “Keeping the Right Balance: Creating Opportunities Through a World Class Sustainable Tourism Product,” and is being organized by the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) in collaboration with the Barbados Tourism Authority. Strategic heritage tourism planning will be the focus of the opening general session, and a panel of tourism industry experts will examine the subject and make recommendations to delegates attending. Among the panelists is Dr. Keith Nurse, the director of the Shridath Ramphal Center for International Trade Law, Policy and Services, of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK—Yellowstone’s newest gift store—“For Future Generations: Yellowstone Gifts”—has received a special sustainability award from the Association for Retail Environments (A.R.E.) in the category “Consumer Education & Outreach.” A.R.E. is a nonprofit trade association representing the retail environments industry. More than 800 member companies include store fixture suppliers, retail design firms, suppliers of visual merchandising products, and suppliers of materials and equipment for the retail environments industry. Conceived, designed and operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, the store opened in 2009 and was dedicated in January 2010. Xanterra converted an existing gift shop in the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel into an interpretive facility dedicated to informing park visitors about climate change and offering environmentally friendly products.
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