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ST. PAUL, MINN.—Ecolab Inc., a global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services, has received a 2014 Climate Leadership Award for excellence in greenhouse gas management. The award, cosponsored by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), recognizes Ecolab for publicly reporting and verifying corporate greenhouse gas inventories and achieving aggressive greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals.
WASHINGTON, D.C.—According to the latest “Energy Infrastructure Update” report from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects, renewable energy sources (i.e., biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar, wind) accounted for 37.16 percent of all new domestic electrical generating capacity installed during calendar-year 2013 for a total of 5,279 MW.
ATLANTA—Ensuring sustainability of ecosystems through protection of plants, soil and water and increased habitat for native birds and insects is the goal of proposed requirements to the green building standard from ASHRAE, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES). “The intent of the proposal is to maintain or restore a minimum level of biodiversity including bio-diverse plantings, native plants and limited turfgrass,” Anthony Floyd, a member of the Standard 189.1 committee, said. “Supporting and maintaining the biodiversity is critical to the long term health and sustainability of ecosystems of which humans and all life depend on for existence. Sustainable development recognizes and attempts to account for the interdependencies of ecosystems in the human built environment. Hence, Standard 189.1 addresses biodiversity at the building site level in recognition of these interdependencies.” ANSI/ASHRAE/USGBC/IES Standard 189.1-2011, Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, covers key topical areas of site sustainability, water-use efficiency, energy ef¬ficiency, indoor environmental quality and the building’s impact on the atmosphere, materials and resources.
SYOSSET, N.Y.—Emerald Brand has officially released its first annual Social Responsibility Report in conjunction with its 2014 Catalog. The 2013 Social Responsibility Report showcases the company’s various efforts in environmental sustainability and community outreach throughout 2013.
EDMONTON, ALBERTA—The Shaw Conference Centre (SCC) officially unveiled its new Sustainability Wall, which showcases a vertical garden by local horticulture company Greenjeans. The garden adds color and visual interest to its location on the pedway level across from Hall D. In addition to the garden, the wall highlights a number of sustainable initiatives at the SCC and throughout the City of Edmonton.
SHELTON, CONN.—Due to the increasing importance of sustainability in the events industry and calls for more independent certification, global assurance provider BPA Worldwide announced new responsibilities for John Mikstay, who will now oversee BPA’s events supply chain certification services under the new title of Manager, Assurance Services.
BRANDENBURG, KY.—If you are staying at the Southern Grace Bed & Breakfast in Brandenburg, Ky., and can’t finish your tasty breakfast, don’t even think about throwing your food scraps in the trash. The approximately 70 chickens—free range chickens—will be more than happy to eat what you cannot. According to Theresa Padgett, owner of the 15-acre B&B with her husband David, all food scraps are either fed to the chickens or composted. The plate-to-chicken approach to waste management is just one of the ways the B&B owners work to lighten their property’s impact on the planet. In the garden that the owners plant each year, a “lasagna” no dig, no till, layering method is used. Layers of cardboard or newspaper are alternated with layers of “live” material such as leaves or egg shells.
LAUCALA ISLAND, FIJI—Amidst dramatic rainforest-laced landscapes and coconut plantations, the Fijian private island resort Laucala Island sets the gold standard for the “farm-to-resorts” movement. The resort’s new Executive Chef, Anthony Healy, creates signature cuisine by foraging for the freshest ingredients across the island and taking advantage of the island’s plentiful indigenous produce and livestock. Organic produce is grown on a 240-acre hydroponic farm with 15 different types of fruit, 35 varieties of vegetables and more than 50 Fiji Vanilla plants. Additionally, 80 percent of the island’s seafood is caught within a mile of the shore to preserve the natural offshore habitat of the South Pacific, with fish ranging from rock cod and tuna to mahi-mahi, crayfish and coral trout. These combined efforts allow the resort to operate as 80 percent self-sustainable, while guests’ overall on-island experience is enhanced through cooking classes and explorations led by Chef Healy. “Here we maintain ‘paddock-to-plate’ like nowhere else in the world,” said Chef Healy.
ATLANTA—InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) announced that IHG Green Engage, the online sustainability program used by more than 2,600 IHG-branded hotels worldwide, is now recognized by the U.S. Green Building Council under its LEED Volume program and Green Key Global (GKG) as providing streamlined pathways to certification. IHG is the first hotel company to provide an approach to precertification for new-build hotels under the LEED 2009 for New Construction rating system. This is IHG’s second LEED designation—IHG was also the first hotel company to provide LEED precertification for existing hotels. Globally recognized sustainability certifications like LEED and GKG could ultimately improve hotels’ bottom line, as government and corporate clients increasingly request hotels’ environmental credentials through the Response for Proposal (RFP) process. IHG Green Engage provides an accurate and streamlined approach for responding to RFP questions on sustainability by helping hotels track their carbon footprint; energy consumption; water consumption; and waste diversion rate.
LAS VEGAS—MGM Resorts International has started the largest installation of electrical vehicle (EV) charging stations in Nevada. Twenty-seven EV charging stations will be located at nine of the company’s Las Vegas resorts in addition to MGM Resorts’ main corporate offices. Additional stations will be available at Circus Circus Reno. The charging stations, which will be installed in guest garages and valet areas, will be available for employees and guests to use at no cost. “It is important that our guests have the convenience and ability to continue sustainable habits during their time with us,” said Cindy Ortega, Chief Sustainability Officer of MGM Resorts International. “The installation of these charging stations encourages green practices in both our guests and employees, serving as a natural step toward smarter, cleaner transportation systems.” Drivers will be able to access real-time information about the ChargePoint EV charging stations via a mobile application, which shows whether a station is open; the percentage of charge on the vehicle, when the vehicle is fully charged and when a charging nozzle has been removed.
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