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BETHESDA, MD.—Since 2007, Marriott International has reduced its energy consumption by 11 percent, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 10.7 percent, and is on track to meet its aggressive goal of a 25 percent decrease in energy and water consumption per available room by 2017. These results are among those reported to shareholders, customers, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), associates and other stakeholders in the company’s first official Sustainability Report using the guidelines set forth by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). “We are committed to being a corporate social responsibility leader, benchmarking with like-minded companies, and providing the information and transparency that our stakeholders increasingly expect,” said J.W. Marriott, Jr., chairman and CEO, Marriott International, Inc. Sustainability reports based on the GRI framework are used to determine the sustainability issues most pertinent to the organization; benchmark organizational performance with respect to laws, norms, codes, performance standards and voluntary initiatives; demonstrate organizational commitment to sustainable development; and compare organizational performance over time. The Sustainability Reporting G3 Guidelines are the foundation of the framework.
TETIAROA, FRENCH POLYNESIA—Located on the French Polynesian island of Tetiaroa and a product of the late Marlon Brando’s vision, construction on The Brando is progressing steadily with completion slated for late 2012. Pacific Beachcomber S.C. is developer of the resort. The president of French Polynesia, Gaston Tong Sang, recently made an official visit to Tetiaroa for a tour of The Brando construction site. Organized by Richard Bailey, CEO of Pacific Beachcomber S.C., and friend of the late actor, the trip was designed to share progress of the project’s construction with the president and his Minister of Environment, Jules Ienfa, as well as to underscore the facility’s potential for the region in the areas of tourism and employment, and as a regional showcase for best practices in sustainable development. “President Tong Sang was impressed both by the progress of the project and by the overall concept for The Brando,” Bailey said. “He also expressed the positive impact the resort will bring to French Polynesia, creating jobs and adding an exciting new dimension to its tourism industry.”
CINCINNATI—The Procter & Gamble Company has unveiled its long-term environmental sustainability vision. As part of P&G’s strategy to grow responsibly, the company will work towards a long-term environmental sustainability vision that includes: powering its plants with 100 percent renewable energy; using 100 percent renewable or recycled materials for all products and packaging; having zero consumer and manufacturing waste go to landfills; and designing products that delight consumers while maximizing the conservation of resources.
NEW YORK—Green Mountain Energy Company announced that Trump SoHo New York has committed to purchasing renewable energy from Green Mountain for 100 percent of the hotel’s electricity usage. Green Mountain is a leading competitive retail provider of cleaner energy and carbon offset solutions.
NATIONAL REPORT—On September 14, 2010, ISO 26000, which gives organizations guidance on implementing social responsibility (SR), was approved for publication as an ISO International Standard. Its target release date is November 1, 2010. The publishing of ISO26000 will prove to be a tipping point in worldwide implementation of SR practices. Up until now there has been no “official” definition or framework for social responsibility.
GUANGZHOU, CHINA—The official 2010 World Tourism Day (WTD) celebrations held in Guangzhou, China, underscore the need for increased action by the global tourism sector—as one of the world’s leading economic activities—towards the preservation of biological diversity. Jointly organized by UNWTO, the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and Guangdong Province, WTD celebrations brought together government representatives from around the world, leading biodiversity researchers, and private industry representatives. A High Level Dialogue on Tourism, Biodiversity and Sustainable Development was convened as the central event of WTD, under the 2010 WTD theme “Tourism and Biodiversity,” to coincide with the UN International Year of Biodiversity. As such, the Dialogue provided an important platform from which to debate how tourism can contribute positively to biodiversity conservation and the quality of life of local populations, while minimizing potentially negative environmental and social impacts. “We are delighted that the official World Tourism Day 2010 celebrations are being held in China, one of the world’s leading tourism destinations and a country rich in biodiversity,” said Shao Qiwei, chairman of CNTA.
SAN FRANCISCO—The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) joined California business leaders earlier this month to launch a 2010-2012 Zero Net Energy Action Plan designed to help California commercial building owners take advantage of the latest technologies and financial incentives to help reduce building energy use to “net-zero” through greater efficiency and on-site clean energy production.
NEW YORK—Savvy travelers looking for sustainable vacation options in Latin America and the Caribbean can now find them by logging on to SustainableTrip.org, an online search engine launched by the Rainforest Alliance. SustainableTrip.org is a database of hotels, tour operators and other businesses (such as restaurants) in Latin America and the Caribbean that have been certified by a sustainable tourism certification program, verified by the Rainforest Alliance, or recommended as being sustainable by a reputable organization.
BLOOMINGTON, IND.—The Ashkin Group, which has long been a leading advocate for green cleaning and sustainable practices in the professional cleaning industry, announces the launch of their new company website. The site, www.AshkinGroup.com, was built under the direction of Elizabeth Crosbie, marketing director for The Ashkin Group.
ITHACA, N.Y.—Putting sustainable ideas into practice will be a top focus of the Cornell Hospitality Research Summit (CHRS), scheduled for October 6 to 8, 2010, on the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, N.Y. Breakout sessions will cover both sustainable design and sustainable operation, with a focus on the specific areas where sustainability can be most effective. Presenters will share their first-hand experiences with sustainable hospitality practices.
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