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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.
PARSIPPANY, N.J.—Wyndham Worldwide participated in the Earth Hour global initiative by turning its lights down and encouraging energy conservation. This is the fifth year that Wyndham Worldwide joined Earth Hour to raise awareness of global energy efforts.
MCLEAN, VA.—Hilton Worldwide and its portfolio of 12 brands announced that for the fifth consecutive year, its team members and franchisee employees around the world will unite to protect the planet by participating in the celebration of Earth Hour 2015 through a number of innovative projects. Main exterior lighting and rooftop neon signage will be switched off. Interior lobby and reception lighting will be dimmed. There will be candlelit dinners with low carbon menus and sustainable cocktails. Music sessions including classical music and jazz will be showcased, and candle making activities will be organized. Earth Hour will take place from 8:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. local time on Saturday, March 28, 2015, and hundreds of Hilton Worldwide’s more than 4,300 global properties will once again be connecting with guests in demonstration of their commitment to living sustainably. “Managing natural resources and energy use are key to Hilton Worldwide’s overall long-term business strategy,” said Maxime Verstraete, Vice President of Sustainability, Hilton Worldwide.
ALBANY, GA.—The Procter & Gamble Co. and Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corp., gathered with city, county and state officials recently to celebrate the development of an up to 50-megawatt biomass plant that will help run one of P&G’s largest U.S. manufacturing facilities. Scheduled to begin commercial operation in June 2017, the plant will provide 100 percent of the steam, and up to 60 to 70 percent of the total energy used to manufacture Bounty paper towels and Charmin toilet tissue at P&G’s Albany, Ga., facility.
SHELTON, CONN.—SAVOR…Chicago, the food service provider for McCormick Place, has become the first food service provider in Chicago to be certified to an international sustainability standard. SAVOR…Chicago achieved Level One certification to the ASTM Standard pertaining to the Evaluation and Selection of Food and Beverage for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows, and Conferences. The Food and Beverage standard is one of nine standards developed by the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry to provide event planners and suppliers with specifications for producing events in a more sustainable manner.
SAN FRANCISCO—For the eighth consecutive year, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts of the Western U.S. and Hawaii will participate in Earth Hour, a global event organized by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF,) to raise awareness about climate change. On Saturday, March 28 at 8:30 p.m. (local time) Fairmont Hotels & Resorts around the planet will participate by turning off their lights for one hour. “Earth Hour is a unique opportunity for Fairmont colleagues and guests to participate in the world’s largest global climate change initiative,” says Thomas Klein, Regional Vice-President and General Manager, Fairmont San Francisco. “Earth Hour is on its way to becoming the largest display for climate change action ever. With your help, we can get everyone to join us—invite your friends, family, and colleagues to join and take action for a healthy, thriving environment today. The annual event furthers Fairmont’s ongoing support of environmental awareness and demonstrates the hotels’ ongoing energy conservation stewardship.” In California Wine Country, guests of The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa will be swooned by the lobby fireplace and twinkling candles during Earth Hour.
Prior to the economic collapse of 2008, environmental sustainability was gaining momentum within the hospitality and development industries of the United States. As these industries struggled to regain lost ground, sustainability took a back seat. To fully understand why this occurred and how to shape the future of sustainability in industry, we must consider culture in addition to economy. The definition of sustainability according to Webster’s: of, relating to, or being a method of harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged. It is an outdated notion that we can build without regard to the impact of the environment and the community. If we look at the world from a global perspective, how do we ensure that we are not depleting the resources?
TROY, N.Y.—Environmental nonprofit Audubon International announces the first global Golf Course BioBlitz, a free program for golf courses, which will run the week of Earth Day, April 19 to 25, 2015. BioBlitz is a species counting competition designed to create awareness among golfers and the community about the environmental value of the habitats supported by golf courses. The program, sponsored by the United States Golf Assn., is open to any golf course worldwide including those unaffiliated with Audubon International. “How many species can you count? When we’re done, we’ll have a great idea about the wildlife, plant-life, and ecosystems that golf courses support around the globe,” said Doug Bechtel, Executive Director of Audubon International. “A BioBlitz is also a great way for golf courses to bring naturalists and families out to see the natural beauty golf courses provide in their towns.” A golf course may invite any number of participants such as golfers and their families, local environmental organizations, youth groups, community members, and local experts to count plant and animal species located on the property.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—The five winners of the 2015 National Geographic World Legacy Awards were announced last week during an awards ceremony held at ITB Berlin. A partnership between the National Geographic Society and ITB Berlin, the World Legacy Awards showcase the leading companies, organizations and destinations—ranging from hotels to ecolodges and from small islands to entire countries—that are driving the positive transformation of the travel industry based on National Geographic’s work of inspiring people to care about the planet. More than 150 entries were received, representing 56 countries across six continents. Winners and finalists in five categories were selected by 18 international judges led by Costas Christ, editor at large for National Geographic Traveler magazine and chairman of the World Legacy Awards. An on-site inspection to document sustainable tourism practices in action was part of the judging process. “Tourism is based on selling cultural and natural heritage experiences, whether that is a trip to see Angkor Wat or a wildlife safari in Africa,” Costas Christ said.
SPOKANE, WASH.—Ecova announced that it has obtained accreditation from CDP as a silver software partner for the fourth consecutive year. The accreditation reflects Ecova’s continued commitment to helping its clients meet the highest standards of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions accounting while simplifying the process for calculating and reporting with the use of Ecova’s Carbon Management Solution.
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