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BOSTON—Major weather events and climate changes are leading architects and developers to create interesting new responses to an evolving environment. Innovative ways of thinking about buildings and urban design will be necessary in some waterfront redevelopment projects—especially those integrated within existing urban infrastructure—contends Michael Liu, Principal at Boston-based architecture and master planning firm, The Architectural Team (TAT). Driven by building codes hoping to address rising sea levels and the reality of increasingly flood-prone neighborhoods, architects working in coastal areas or flood plains are often required to raise habitable space above street level. Recent TAT projects in Lynn, Salem, and East Boston, for example, were designed with their first floors seven to eight feet above the surrounding streets, even though many of the structures are several blocks from the water. As Liu points out, “Behind any new waterfront project must be the understanding that as sea levels rise, the conditions under which waterfronts and nearby areas presently exist will not be the same as the conditions we’ll see long-term, and periodically in the near future.”
STAMFORD, CONN.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. announced the release of its expanded Human Rights Policy that reflects the company’s commitment to conducting business in a manner consistent with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.
LONDON—InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced the launch of the IHG Foundation, alongside details of its first beneficiaries. The IHG Foundation will run as an independent charity, and focus its activities on four key areas—helping communities to develop skills in hospitality, providing support for those impacted by disasters, facilitating local community investment and protecting the environment. IHG has an established history of responsible business practices. The IHG Foundation will build on the hugely positive impact the company has driven through its award-winning corporate responsibility initiatives over a number of years. These include the pioneering IHG Academy program, a global collaboration between IHG hotels, local education providers and community organizations, which offers education and skills training in hospitality to local people. IHG Academy celebrated its 10th year in 2015 and now has more than 1,200 programs operating in 68 countries. IHG’s successful group-wide sustainability program, IHG Green Engage, continues to help hotels track, measure and report their carbon footprint, energy and water consumption.
CHICAGO—NeoCon, the premier, global platform for connecting, learning and conducting business in commercial interiors, will ring in its 48th year this June 13 to 15 at the Merchandise Mart in Chicago. The three-day tradeshow and conference highlights hundreds of leading exhibitors across key vertical markets including Workplace, Healthcare, Hospitality, Retail, Education, Public Spaces, and Government. The 2016 edition will feature a first-hand look at the latest prototypes and product launches for commercial interiors.
SAN FRANCISCO—The Hotel Council of San Francisco will hold its Stay Green Forum on Wednesday, February 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. The full day of events will include property tours of the Hilton San Francisco Union Square (ultra-efficient laundry system and hydration stations), Hotel Nikko (combined heat and power system), and the Clift (container garden and rooftop bee hives. The Stay Green Forum will kick off with a welcome from Debbie Raphael, Executive Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment. Her presentation will be followed by the general session entitled, “What Guests Expect in a Sustainable Stay.” That panel discussion will include Caroline Beteta, President and CEO, Visit CA, Max Verstraete, V.P. of Sustainability and ADA Compliance, Hilton Worldwide, and Shonda Patton, Director of Event Operations, Oracle. The general session will be followed by two breakout sessions. The first, “Incentivizing Sustainable Behavior in Staff and Guests,” will be moderated by Dawn Doane, Veritiv.
ST. PAUL, MINN.—Hotels need to properly clean their jetted tubs, dishwashers and washing machines from the effects of biofilm and the contaminants biofilm growth promotes in these appliances. Hotels use and rely upon a battery of jetted tubs, dishwashers and washing machines to run their businesses. Mounting scientific evidence suggests that these appliances (and, more specifically, the improper design and/or cleaning of these appliances) are among several primary hosts of contaminants that get and/or keep hotel patrons sick.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—AccorHotels North America, Central America and the Caribbean (NCAC) announced that it is reinforcing its commitment against the sexual exploitation of children by joining the efforts of ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes) in the United States by signing the Tourism Code of Conduct (The Code.) The United States is the 38th country in the AccorHotels network to sign The Code, an industry-driven initiative reinforced by UNICEF and The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). “Since 2001, AccorHotels has led the fight against sexual exploitation of children in travel and tourism alongside ECPAT International and we are proud to reaffirm our commitment to this cause by signing the Tourism Code of Conduct in the U.S.,” said Christophe Alaux, CEO HotelServices for AccorHotels North America, Central America and Caribbean. “Protection of children is one of our main commitments within our Planet 21 program, our group’s CSR platform, and we are proud to announce that more than half of our hotel network has signed The Code to date.
LOS ANGELES—The Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Assn. (BLLA), in partnership with the Travel Industry Executive Women’s Network (TIEWN), wrapped up its third annual Executive Women’s Conference in Los Angeles on Wednesday, January 27. Over 25 guest speakers and more than 100 hospitality professionals, discerning travelers and elite media attended the symposium to enhance the knowledge, ambition and education opportunities for female hospitality successors.
DOVER, DEL.—When the two-day Sustain 2016 green lodging conference kicks off on March 14, it will be held at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, a venue with a long list of green initiatives. The 80-acre property, which features a 500-room hotel, casino, horse racing, entertainment, and multiple restaurants, is a Delaware Green Lodging Program participant and dedicated to reducing waste, improving energy and water efficiency, and supporting local farmers. According to Ed Sutor, President of Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, the reasons for pursuing sustainability have been many but one reason has certainly been to keep costs under control. Dover Downs Hotel & Casino operates in a state with a gaming tax rate of 62 percent. At one time that was 25 percent. Dover Downs Hotel & Casino also operates in a highly competitive gaming region. In 1996 there were 15 casinos in the Mid-Atlantic region. Today there are 28 with more opening this year. From a waste management perspective, Dover Downs Hotel & Casino has seen significant improvement in recent years.
SPRINGFIELD, MO.—John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts (JQH) announced the company was recently awarded Marriott International, Inc.’s 2015 Spirit to Preserve Award. Debbie Marriott Harrison, Marriott International’s Global Officer—Culture and Business Councils, presented the award to Joe Morrissey, JQH’s Senior Vice President of Operations, who accepted the honor on behalf of the company at Marriott International’s Full Service Owners conference. JQH was recognized for continuing to show support and focus on sustainability. Spirit to Preserve has been an award category since 2012, and JQH also won the award for 2013. Springfield, Mo.-based JQH is a leading private, independent owner and manager of hotels in the United States, including operating more than 1 million square feet of meeting space. Marriott’s Spirit to Preserve Award recognizes those groups who have the highest percentage of activated hotels and highest level of environmental practices based on Green Hotels Global data and company-wide sustainability programs. Every JQH Marriott property is activated in the Green Hotels Global tool and holds a TripAdvisor GreenLeaders rating.
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