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PARSIPPANY, N.J.—Wyndham Worldwide, one of the world’s largest hospitality companies, continued to demonstrate its leadership in sustainability best practices in 2013, reducing its operationally controlled asset water usage globally by 16 percent per square foot and its carbon emissions by 13 percent per square foot from the 2010 baseline. In the company’s fourth year of formal sustainability reporting, its 2013 Sustainability Responsibility Report details its strong commitment to socially and environmentally responsible business practices. Wyndham Worldwide is one of the first hospitality companies to use the progressive G4 Sustainability Reporting Structure to report its economic, environmental and social performance. “Our progress has earned us industry distinctions that recognize the value we aim to create for our shareholders, our partners and the environment,” said Stephen P. Holmes, Chairman and CEO, Wyndham Worldwide. “Recognizing the emerging global challenges, our sustainability focus remains on reducing our carbon footprint and water usage as well as supporting innovation and collaboration among our associates and stakeholders to drive change in the communities where we operate, and throughout the travel and tourism industry.”
ORLANDO, FLA.—It is hard to miss the lush, green tropical lemongrass and other plant life that adorn the green roofs that are sprouting on buildings throughout Central Florida and beyond. What you might not see at first glance, however, is the innovative soil media that keeps the grasses and plants firmly rooted and thriving. Developed by the University of Central Florida’s Stormwater Management Academy, the patented Bold & Gold soil media also provides significant filtration and reduction of stormwater runoff and is now deployed on more than 50,000 square feet of green roofs throughout Florida.
KA‘ANAPALI, MAUI, HAWAII—Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa is celebrating its LEED Silver EBOM (Existing Building Operations and Maintenance) certification, awarded as a result of a long term commitment to environmental sustainability. This certification is the first of any building in the state of Hawaii. The property recently completed renovations throughout the resort, including the pool area, Drums of the Pacific Luau, and dining outlets. Throughout the renovation process members of the Hyatt Regency Maui operations team worked closely with property owner Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. and with third-party consultants Green Building Hawaii to make the necessary environmentally friendly enhancements. “We are so pleased to have been awarded the LEED Silver EBOM status in recognition of our conservation and energy efficiency efforts, as well as our longstanding commitment to sustainability,” said Hyatt Regency Maui General Manager Allan Farwell. “We hope that as we preserve and protect our natural environment in Maui, our commitment inspires our guests to make similar conscious efforts in the various parts of the world where they live.”
ALPHARETTA, GA.— Emerald Expositions announces the launch of Design Americas, a new show catering to the hospitality, contract, kitchen and bath and retail design markets. Developed as a response to the evolving world of design, the show will serve as the definitive destination for designers looking to explore the latest products and services either from a respective sector or across the entire design industry.
NATIONAL REPORT—You need not take more than a quick glance at the U.S. Drought Monitor to see that something is awry in California. Much of the state is in dark red—exceptional drought. Other parts of the state are in either extreme or severe drought. Sources of water for the Golden State are shrinking—both above ground and below ground. According to University of Colorado geoscientist Brad Udall, drought, combined with overuse have produced some of the Colorado River’s lowest flows in more than 1,000 years. As many as 40 million people in the Southwest rely on the Colorado for drinking water. According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, the loss of groundwater in the Western United States has been so great that the ground there actually rose one-sixth of an inch this year. The mountains of California rose three-fifths of an inch as the easing weight of the groundwater has caused the Earth’s crust to spring upward. California, for years, has dealt with frequent drought.
VISTA, CALIF.—What is interesting about the California drought currently impacting the area is not necessarily the severity of it. Instead, it is how the state seems to be handling it in stride, with relatively minor impact on communities. While some industry sectors are definitely being impacted—and we may not have seen the worst—compared to the last “major” drought in California (1976-1977), there have been considerable changes for the better.
BETHESDA, MD.—Marriott Hotels, the flagship brand of Marriott International, Inc., launched its first traveler-inspired innovation—a healthy vending machine, featuring handcrafted salads, sandwiches and snacks made fresh everyday using local ingredients. The working prototype debuted in the lobby of the Chicago Marriott O’Hare, offering travelers healthy food options available all day and night during their journey. The innovation was inspired by Anjana Kallarackal, a 21-year-old college student, who answered the call to join Marriott Hotels in co-creating the future of travel as part of its Travel Brilliantly campaign. In looking to bring Anjana’s idea to life, Marriott Hotels reached out to Chicago start-up Farmer’s Fridge, which has taken an innovative approach to making healthy, delicious food easier to access. The company’s kiosk, one of 12 in the Chicago area, will be located in the Chicago Marriott O’Hare for the next five months for testing with guests. Items curated and prepared daily by Farmer’s Fridge will be offered for sale in distinctive packaging, ranging in price from $3 to $12 dollars.
SAN FRANCISCO—Tens of thousands of Californians, including a pledge of 1,000 California Fairmont Hotels & Resorts colleagues, friends and family members, will volunteer to remove debris from the coast, creeks, rivers, lakes and shorelines all around California protecting wildlife from harm while taking care of the environment. The event, the 30th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day, will take place on Saturday, September 30 from 9 a.m. to noon in most locations.
SANTA ANA PUEBLO, N.M.—Bees can bring to mind sci-fi like headlines, and thoughts of painful stings. In reality honeybees are important contributors to the many fruits and vegetables that we eat. Earlier this summer, Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort and Spa added two colonies containing 20,000 bees each to its grounds, furthering Tamaya’s mission of being an environmentally friendly resort. Honeybees are the major pollinators of the resort’s many flower beds and its on-site orchard, vegetable and herb gardens. It’s estimated that in the first year, these bees will produce 70 to 80 pounds of honey as well as beeswax. While the bees will need much of this honey for the winter months, as much as 25 to 30 pounds will be harvested by the resort and used in the Tamaya Mist Spa and Salon and in the resort’s kitchens.
SINGAPORE—Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group announced that the company has joined the fight in reversing the rapid decline in the shark population, signaling its commitment towards sustainable seafood sourcing. Reaffirming its commitment to operate as a responsible business, the company will stop serving shark fin at its leased and managed hotels and food and beverage establishments across Asia Pacific beginning September 1, 2014.
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