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OAK BROOK, ILL.—Nine months after taking over as General Manager of the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center, Stefan Mühle is just part of the way toward reaching his goal of transforming the property into a uniquely green destination with a “boutique heart and soul.” Mühle, who co-founded the Sustainability Committee for the Hotel Council of San Francisco, knows a thing or two about greening a boutique hotel. During his time as General Manager, the 104-room Orchard Hotel in San Francisco earned Green Seal and LEED certification. Transforming the Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center will not be as easy as it includes a 386-room hotel, 18-hole golf course, ballroom, amphitheater, outdoor pavilion and 39 meeting rooms. When Mühle began his new job he says the hotel portion of the property’s environmental program “was a bit in shambles.” There was a lack of operational consistency as the property had been under another flag for many years and then had become an independent.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI—The new Marriott Port-au-Prince Hotel has checked in its first guests. Among the 200 new Haitian hotel workers who welcomed them were young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and Haitian-Americans who want to share their hospitality skills to help boost Haiti’s tourism economy. The stories of these new associates include Luccardo, who was recruited to work at the hotel’s front desk from the Nos Petits Frères et Soeurs orphanage, and Hermine, who was part of the hotel’s intern program and will be an entry-level supervisor. In addition to members of a Haitian-American executive team, the Haiti Marriott is led by a veteran Marriott general manager who was previously at the Marriott Champs Elysees in Paris. Joined by Haiti President Michel Martelly and former U.S. President Bill Clinton at a celebration ceremony, Digicel Group Chairman and Founder Denis O’Brien and Marriott International President-Caribbean & Latin America Region Craig S. Smith thanked the Kier Construction Company workers, sub-contractors and skilled Haitian construction workers who built the hotel and the Marriott associates who will host its guests.
NATIONAL REPORT—The Association of Green Property Owners and Managers (AGPOM), along with the International Tourism Partnership (ITP), are planning several educational webinars. The first one, “How to measure and report your carbon footprint using the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) methodology,” will take place on Tuesday, March 17.
TORONTO—Fairmont Hotels & Resorts announced that it has achieved World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Climate Savers Program targets, reducing its operational CO2 emissions by 20 percent below 2006 levels. In doing so, the luxury hotel brand known for its industry leading sustainability programming becomes the first hotel brand to meet this ambitious environmental goal. WWF’s Climate Savers Program was designed to inspire companies to change their thinking about climate solutions, while also encouraging them to transform themselves into low-carbon leaders. This leaves member companies better placed to avoid carbon-related risks while realizing opportunities within their long-term business strategies. Fairmont joined Fortune 500 companies and other top businesses like The Coca-Cola Co., Johnson & Johnson, and Nike to develop practical, cost-effective strategies that reduce emissions of CO2 and achieve energy efficiency solutions. “According to the United Nations, emissions generated directly from the tourism sector account today for 5 percent of global CO2 emissions but may be higher,” said Jane Mackie, Vice President, Fairmont Brand.
INWOOD, N.Y.—Electrolux has for the second year running been included as a constituent in the Global Compact 100, a stock index composed of companies which have signed the United Nations Global Compact.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Energy Star certified clothes dryers are now available nationwide through major retailers. At least 45 models of dryers earning the Energy Star label, including Whirlpool, Maytag, Kenmore, LG, and Safemate, are at least 20 percent more efficient and now available at prices comparable to standard dryers. “Dryers are one of the most common household appliances and the biggest energy users,” said U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “EPA’s Energy Star certified clothes dryers offer Americans an opportunity to save energy and do their part to combat climate change. By working with industry, we are bringing innovative technology to market that’s good for the planet.” Clothes dryers consume more energy than any other appliance in the home, and 80 percent of American homes have dryers. But unlike clothes washers, which have seen a 70 percent drop in energy use since 1990, the energy efficiency of most dryers has not improved.
BERLIN—More than 500 hotels and B&Bs that serve exclusively vegetarian or vegan food are now listed on the VeggieHotels web portal. VeggieHotels makes it easy to find purely vegetarian hotels, guest houses and conference centers. Over 500 accommodations in 60 countries with purely vegetarian kitchens are already listed. From the simple guest house to the five star hotel, the whole range of the hotel business is represented. More and more people are choosing the health related, ecological and ethical advantages of a vegetarian or vegan life style. Millions of vegetarian and vegan tourists constitute a significant target group and VeggieHotels offers them an easy way to find their ideal holiday destination. The criteria for a VeggieHotel are clear and simple. Neither fish nor meat is served. Many of the purely vegetarian hotels and guest houses also offer organic food and accommodate specific diets, such as vegan and raw food diets. More than 60 accommodations are purely vegan. For the first time a hotel corporation has chosen the topic “a climate-friendly, ethical and ecological diet” as the focus of their brand.
TRAVELERS REST, S.C.—T&S Brass and Bronze Works announced that EnviroPure, its organic food waste disposal system, was a finalist in Catering Insight magazine’s Catering Equipment of the Year competition. EnviroPure was one of five “Highly Commended” contenders in the Waste & FOG (Fats, Oils and Grease) Management category.
TAMPA, FLA.—Hasek Communications, the Tampa, Fla.-based publisher of Green Lodging News, welcomes Laundrylux Inc. as a Green Product & Service Directory partner in the “Ironers” category. According to Laundrylux, using a Electrolux IC4 4832 FLF series Ironer is a more efficient and faster way to dry linen than drying with hot air from a conventional dryer. What makes the Electrolux model so appealing is that it can be mounted against a wall and accomplish the work of four people with only one operator.
QUINCY, MASS.—Next Step Living’s EcoThermal Filter System has earned the Green Restaurant Assn. endorsement by meeting its rigorous environmental endorsement standards. The EcoThermal Filter System can earn a restaurant up to nine GreenPoints towards becoming a Certified Green Restaurant. This one step can help restaurants achieve 90 percent of their energy requirements.
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