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HONOLULU, HAWAII—The Hawaiian Islands represent a wide diversity of ecosystems and environments, including areas of breathtaking natural beauty as well as densely populated coastal cities. These unique environments are already changing under the influence of climate change from the effects of increasing temperatures, decreasing rainfall, rising seas, coastal erosion, land use and development changes, and increasing demands on natural resources. What can we expect in the future, and how can we best prepare? A new report titled, “Climate Change Impacts in Hawaii: A summary of climate change and its impacts to Hawaii’s ecosystems and communities, produced by the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program (UH Sea Grant) with funding from the Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA), helps with answers. It addresses such basic questions as, “What does climate change look like?” and “What is the current state of scientific knowledge regarding climate change globally, and how does it relate to Hawaii specifically?” By addressing these fundamental questions, UH Sea Grant and HTA are striving to improve the general understanding of climate change and its associated impacts.
COSTALEGRE, MEXICO—The Sea Turtle Protection Program at Las Alamandas has been a great success over the years, increasing the number of turtles arriving each year on the four beaches of this hideaway resort nestled inside a private nature reserve. And now guests can participate in the two critical action phases of the program—the collecting of the eggs and the protecting of the newly hatched babies—and play an integral role in boosting the sea turtle population.
BETHESDA, MD.—Marriott International, Inc. released its 2014 Sustainability Report—available this year as 10 separate and concise issue reports—sharing the company’s progress against a 2007 baseline, including a nearly 13 percent decrease in water intensity, 11 percent decrease in energy intensity, and a 12 percent decrease in greenhouse gas emissions intensity. One of Marriott’s key environmental goals is to achieve a 20 percent reduction in energy and water intensity by 2020. “Our sustainability strategy is critical to the growth and success of our communities, our company, and our efforts to help protect our planet’s natural resources,” said Arne Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International. The Green Hotels Global tool used by Marriott International worldwide helps drive the company’s sustainability efforts and transparency, and was made a brand standard in 2013. The tool tracks the environmental footprint of each hotel in the company’s portfolio, including water and energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, recycling and over 100 property-level environmental practices.
YARDLEY, PA.—Lodging Magazine is accepting submissions for its first Lodging Sustainability Award. There are five categories in the competition: Individual Person; Individual Hotel Property; Hotel Brand; Hotel Supplier; and Other Corporate Entity (Hotel Group, Property Management Company, Design/Architecture/Engineering/GC Firm, Consulting Organization, Finance Organization, Association, or Other entity).
CHICAGO—Hyatt Hotels Corp. announced a global initiative to increase procurement of responsibly sourced seafood at Hyatt hotels, starting with an initial goal of responsibly sourcing more than 50 percent of their inventory by 2018. As a part of this effort, Hyatt will also work toward purchasing more than 15 percent of its seafood supply from fisheries or farms that have been certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC). This is the first phase of a long-term seafood sustainability strategy in partnership with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), a leading global conservation organization, to build on Hyatt’s existing environmental stewardship. The partnership also focuses on enhancing the sustainability of seafood sourcing at Hyatt hotels by eliminating the procurement of highly vulnerable seafood species. “We are deeply focused on improving the health of our planet and our communities by implementing sustainable practices, and we hope that this effort to responsibly source more than 50 percent of seafood purchased by our hotels by 2018 will set a new standard for the hospitality industry,” said Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO of Hyatt Hotels Corp.
LAS VEGAS—MGM Resorts International has released its 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Executive Summary, highlighting the company’s continued commitment to diversity, engagement with its communities, and stewardship of environmental resources. Themed “Inspiring Our World,” the summary is available for download on the company's CSR website. “We are proud of the strides we have made over the last year in our continued efforts to fully integrate social responsibility throughout all levels of our company’s operations,” said Jim Murren, Chairman & CEO of MGM Resorts International. “We strongly believe our CSR efforts make us not only a better company; they also make us a better citizen. We are committed to enhancing and expanding our philanthropy, diversity and sustainability initiatives in ways that help improve our community.” From introducing the gaming industry’s first formal diversity and inclusion initiative in 2000 to building the world’s largest LEED Gold certified complex at CityCenter, or motivating its employees to donate more than 109,000 volunteer hours last year, CSR is foundational to the company’s culture.
DALTON, GA.—Tandus Centiva, a Tarkett Co., announced that its ethos products, ethos modular and Powerbond ethos cushion have completed an Environmental Health Statement (EHS). An EHS is a third-party reviewed declaration of content and material assessment for building products.
BAKERSFIELD, CALIF.—REC Solar, a leader in commercial solar electric system design and installation, announced it has completed a 102 kilowatt array for The Hampton Inn & Suites Bakersfield North-Airport, a subsidiary of Hilton Hotels, in Bakersfield, Calif. The carport-mounted installation will offset 44 percent of the electricity costs for the 94-room hotel, saving up to $8,800 per month. The installation reflects the company’s ongoing commitment to accelerating solar deployment with hospitality customers.
HOUSTON—The new strategic alliance between Green Power Offsets, a provider of single-source renewable energy credits (RECs), and impactChoice, a provider of turnkey sustainability solutions, will provide U.S. companies with tools and services needed to set and achieve carbon reduction goals.
SAN FRANCISCO—Airbnb, a leading community-driven hospitality company, released a new study quantifying the environmental benefits of home sharing for travelers. Conducted by Cleantech Group (CTG), this study finds that Airbnb promotes a more efficient use of existing resources and is an environmentally sustainable way to travel. Traveling on Airbnb results in significant reduction in energy and water use, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste, and encourages more sustainable practices among both hosts and guests. “Resource sharing is rapidly growing across a number of sectors including hospitality, consumer goods, and transportation,” said Michael Ellis, EVP Advisory for CTG. “Cleantech Group’s initial analysis demonstrates some of the improvements in environmental resource efficiency that Airbnb’s platform delivers.” “We have always believed that the Airbnb community supports environmental sustainability around the world, and it’s truly amazing to see that the impact is even bigger than we could have imagined,” said Joe Gebbia, Chief Product Officer and co-founder of Airbnb.
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