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SAN FRANCISCO—Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants announced that all 65 of its hotels are now a part of the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program, making it the first major hotel brand to have 100 percent portfolio-wide participation in the program. Developed in partnership with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program, the U.S. Green Building Council, and the United Nations Environment Programme, TripAdvisor GreenLeaders recognizes hotels’ leadership in environmental practices and helps travelers find and plan stays with eco-friendly hotels. Since the 1980s when Kimpton began implementing environmentally responsible practices, Kimpton has implemented more than 100 programs and amenities to make its hotels and restaurants more environmentally conscious. All of its properties use non-toxic cleaning supplies, extensively recycle, consciously minimize water consumption and serve organic coffee and sustainable or local wines during their nightly hosted Wine Hour. Kimpton also offers booking codes that donate a portion of the daily room rate to The Nature Conservancy or The Trust for Public Land organizations, all while offering guests a discounted rate as well.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The U.S. Green Building Council announced that it will now recognize energy and water requirements from the Living Building Challenge (the Challenge) green building system within the LEED green building program.
LAS VEGAS—The NEWH Green Voice Conversations returns for its fourth year at HD Expo. The event will take place at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas from May 13 to 15. Carefully chosen by NEWH and the Hospitality Design Group, notable experts on the topic will lead the audience through a series of interactive sessions covering sustainable themes and practices that impact all aspects of the industry. With “green design” being a topic that continues to be of great importance in the ever-evolving hospitality design sector and an issue that is also directly related to consumer demand, these conversations provide invaluable insight for HD Expo show attendees. “The partnership between NEWH and HD goes back to the days of RHIDEC in the early 1990s,” says Shelia Lohmiller, Executive Director of NEWH. “They asked if we would support and co-sponsor a new tradeshow; the answer was a resounding yes, and the rest is history. We believe that the relationship that has developed over the years has been mutually beneficial to both NEWH and the Hospitality Design Group.”
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL—TripAdvisor announced the list of the first TripAdvisor GreenLeaders hotels in Brazil. Developed with the advice of the Rainforest Alliance and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), TripAdvisor GreenLeaders is one of the largest sustainability projects aimed at hotels and has awarded the GreenLeaders designation to more than 8,000 accommodations around the world and 52 now in Brazil, spread through 16 states and 41 cities. The states of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais are the ones with the largest amount of sustainable accommodation with 11, nine and eight hotels respectively.
PORTLAND, MAINE—The Olympia Companies will manage a state-of-the-art hotel that is currently being built in Oberlin, Ohio by Oberlin College. The property will anchor The Peter B. Lewis Gateway Center, the cornerstone of Oberlin’s Green Arts District, an ongoing development encompassing the northeast corner of North Main Street and East College Street. It is a planned 100,000-square-foot, mixed-use development that will incorporate renewable energy systems and other innovative technologies designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Platinum rating. “We’re honored to be chosen as the manager of this remarkable new property,” said Kevin Mahaney, President and CEO of The Olympia Companies. “It aligns with our approach to the campus hospitality market, which is to work with a college or university to extend their brand into the community, creating a seamless connection from campus to lodging for visitors.” The property will be named in honor of Peter B. Lewis, the late philanthropist and chairman of Progressive Insurance Co., who has been recognized by Oberlin College for his $5 million gift toward the project.
PARIS—Every year on Earth Day, Accor’s 180,000 employees worldwide organize actions to support the 21 commitments protected in CHARTER 21—the group’s sustainable development program—and share their environmental achievements and progress. Inspired by Agenda 21, which was adopted by 173 Heads of State at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, CHARTER 21 is an action plan with the principle goal of protecting the planet, its people and their environment.
ATLANTA—The itinerary for the Green Meeting Industry Council’s Sustainable Meetings Conference is taking shape. This year’s event, with the theme, “Power to Change,” will be held June 17 to 19 in Atlanta at The Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel. Registration is currently open. A featured speaker on June 17 this year is Laura Turner Seydel, Chair, Captain Planet Foundation. The Atlanta-based Foundation was founded by Ted Turner in 1991 and is now chaired by his daughter, Laura Turner Seydel. The Foundation supports high-quality, hands-on environmental stewardship projects that have enabled more than 1.1 million youth across the United States and around the world to make significant environmental improvements to their schools or communities. Derreck Kayongo, Founder, Global Soap Project, will be a featured speaker on June 18. Global Soap just recently became a division of Clean the World. Judith Webb, APR, Executive V.P., U.S. Green Building Council, is a featured speaker on June 18, and Angus Clark, General Manager, SongDivision, is a featured speaker on June 19.
NEW ORLEANS, LA.—A smoke-free ordinance went into effect in New Orleans last week. The unanimous passage of this ordinance, led by Councilwoman LaToya Cantrell and Councilwoman Susan Guidry, has thrust New Orleans into the national spotlight as a leader in public health advocacy. New Orleans joins eight Louisiana communities and more than 1,200 municipalities nationwide that have gone smoke-free.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee lodging industry, has released Hotel Industry Principles as part of the industry’s long-standing effort to raise awareness of human trafficking and provide hotel operators tools and resources to educate employees on identifying and reporting these crimes. The release of these principles comes on the heels of Senate passage of legislation (S. 178) to help victims of sex trafficking and crack down on perpetrators of this heinous crime. “As an industry, we recognize that hotels can play an important role in fighting trafficking networks which often rely on legitimate businesses, including hotels, to sustain their illegal operations and infrastructure,” said Katherine Lugar, President and CEO of the American Hotel and Lodging Assn. “With the input of a broad cross-section of the industry, we have developed a set of principles that we believe can help raise awareness, and in turn equip and empower employees to respond and do our part to stop human trafficking.”
PALM BEACH GARDENS, FLA.—PGA National Resort & Spa has become the first U.S. resort property to achieve the International “Environmentally Sustainable Meetings & Events” certification from ASTM International, an ANSI accredited standards development organization.
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