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BETHESDA, MD.—As part of its global sustainability strategy to address climate change, Marriott International announced the company’s global energy intensity decreased cumulatively by 2.6 percent over 2013, 13.1 percent compared to a 2007 baseline. Across the majority of the company’s four global regions, energy results continued to decline. In The Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe, energy intensity for managed hotels decreased over 2013 by 3.0 percent, 0.7 percent and 1.3 percent respectively. In the Middle East and Africa, energy intensity increased by 1.2 percent over 2013 as the region stabilized and travel increased. “Our global decrease in energy intensity demonstrates the commitment Marriott International has made to attain its sustainability goals,” said Denise Naguib, Vice President, Sustainability and Supplier Diversity, Marriott International. “As Marriott’s global footprint expands, we continue to look for new ways to conserve energy at our more than 4,100 properties.” In March, Marriott announced water conservation results, sharing that global water intensity in its worldwide managed hotels decreased in 2014 by 5.3 percent over 2013, and 16.3 percent compared to 2007.
KENNESAW, GA.—The University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents approved the naming of the Michael A. Leven School of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality at Kennesaw State University. Michael Leven, a veteran hospitality industry executive and President and CEO of the Georgia Aquarium, made a commitment of $5 million to name Kennesaw State University’s School of Culinary Sustainability and Hospitality. The gift represents the largest single contribution from an individual in the University’s 52-year history. In addition to naming the School, Leven’s philanthropic gift will be used to support an endowed faculty chair as well as scholarships for culinary sustainability and hospitality students. University officials are planning a mid-May naming ceremony to recognize Leven and his generosity to the program. “We are deeply appreciative and honored to receive this substantial gift from Mr. Leven, whose generosity extends well beyond his financial investment in the future of this program,” said Daniel S. Papp, President of Kennesaw State University.
NEW YORK—W Hotels Worldwide, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., announced a new partnership with global music artist and entrepreneur will.i.am and The Coca-Cola Co. to shake up the hotel industry, one guestroom at a time. Together, they are bringing the EKOCYCLE brand to W Hotel rooms around the world, changing sheets and changing minds. W Hotels will soon begin re-making their beds with new EKOCYCLE branded sheets, which are made in part with rPET (polyester partially made using recycled plastic). Rolling out into W Hotels in North America first with global properties to follow, each king size sheet set utilizes approximately 31 recycled 20 oz. plastic bottles—which equates to more than 268,000 plastic bottles across all W Hotel beds in North America. The result is bedding that is as luxurious as it is environmentally conscious, ensuring that guests continue to have the same comfortable sleep they have come to expect from a night in a W Hotel bed. The more sustainable sheets are made using the same high quality process as the W brand’s current bedding.
BURBANK, CALIF.—Disney published its 2014 Citizenship Performance Summary. The summary focuses on Disney’s FY14 performance against its Citizenship targets. Highlights include progress against environmental stewardship commitments, including a 31 percent decrease in net emissions from 2012 levels and the first disclosure of Disney’s water usage companywide.
ORLANDO, FLA.—The world’s only large-scale recyclers of hotel soap have combined their operations and charitable efforts. Clean the World and Global Soap have contributed to a 30 percent reduction in pre-adolescent deaths from hygiene-related illnesses since 2009. Now consolidated under the Clean the World banner, they join forces to improve even more lives through an integrated social enterprise. The blended organization capitalizes on strengths developed separately by each group over the past six years. Under the new operating structure, Clean the World Foundation manages all soap and plastic bottle collection and recycling in North America, while Clean the World Asia oversees soap recycling in the Asia-Pacific region. Global Soap concentrates on strategic soap distribution and hygiene education programs that make a measurable, sustainable impact on global health. “This is truly a situation where one plus one equals three,” said Shawn Seipler, founder and CEO of Clean the World. “As a unified team, we will divert more trash from landfills, recycle and manufacture more soap, reach more people, and bring greater focus to the sustainable impact of our life-saving mission.”
NEW YORK—Restorative Hospitality, a subsidiary of the wellness real estate firm Delos, and Leonardo DiCaprio have announced plans to create the world’s most sustainable island resort at Blackadore Caye, Belize. Upon its completion in 2018, Blackadore Caye will be the greenest island resort ever built, the business partners say, and the world’s first “Restorative Island” project designed with sustainable building techniques that restore and regenerate the surrounding ecosystem and reverse the effects of climate change. The project is being developed by Restorative Islands, LLC, designed by McLennan Design and operated by Restorative Hospitality, which will also manage the wellness programming offered at the resort. “Islands and coastal areas all over the world are being threatened by climate change due to rising sea levels, ocean acidification and habitat pressures,” said Leonardo DiCaprio. “This project is leading a new way in eco-tourism, development and green building and demonstrates that human development can be truly restorative and beneficial for the environment.” The resort’s design will restore and reinforce Blackadore Caye by replanting mangrove.
MIAMI—Miami based Trust Hospitality announced that the Islamorada Resort Co., comprised of Amara Cay Resort, Postcard Inn Beach Resort at Holiday Isle, Pelican Cove Resort & Marina, and La Siesta Resort, has partnered with the Coral Restoration Foundation (CRF) to raise funds for the organization. The nonprofit conservation organization is dedicated to creating offshore nurseries and restoration programs for threatened coral species. Islamorada Resort Company will help raise funds for CRF through guest donations and a matching fund.
MCLEAN, VA.—Hilton Worldwide announced that it will begin to eliminate the use of cages for egg-laying chickens and gestation crates for breeding pigs in its global food supply chain. The announcement was made in conjunction with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation’s largest animal protection organization. Initially all hotels in the Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton and DoubleTree by Hilton brands will be required to switch all egg usage to cage-free by December 31, 2017, ensuring that chickens are not confined in cages. All pork products must be purchased from suppliers that house breeding pigs in groups rather than gestation crates by December 31, 2018. These changes will initially apply in 19 countries where products are currently available and will be adopted in additional markets as supply comes online. These actions are part of the company’s global responsible sourcing strategy, which includes a focus on animal welfare.
TUMWATER, WASH.—The Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) is a free methodology and calculation tool to enable hotels to measure and report on the carbon footprint of a hotel stay or meeting in a consistent way. In partnership with the Association of Green Property Owners and Managers (AGPOM), the International Tourism Partnership is offering an invitation to participate in a free webinar where one can learn, step-by-step, how to use HCMI to calculate the carbon footprint of a hotel stay or meeting.
ITHACA, N.Y.—Certain sustainability practices are nearly universal in the lodging industry, says a Cornell University study published by the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR). Water-conserving fixtures and linen-reuse programs, for instance, are widespread, based on the study of 100 U.S. resorts. The study, “Environmental Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: Best Practices, Guest Participation, and Customer Satisfaction,” by Alexandra Bruns-Smith, Vanessa Choy, Howard Chong, and Rohit Verma, is available at no charge from the CHR. “We found that a majority of resorts were using at least two dozen of the nearly four dozen sustainability practices that we examined,” said Verma, who is the Singapore Tourism Board Distinguished Professor at the School of Hotel Administration (SHA). “Of course, many of these practices were implemented to save money, as well as to be green.” “In addition to our study of the 100 resorts, we also analyzed data collected by J.D. Power from 120,000 hotel customers over a five-year period,” said Chong, who is a Professor at the SHA.
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