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GREENVILLE, S.C.—Discarded soap and bottled amenities left behind by guests at JHM Hotels’ properties now have a second life thanks to a recycling program from Clean the World that helps fight the spread of preventable diseases. Used soap and plastic amenity bottles from all JHM Hotels’ properties are shipped to a Clean the World Recycling Operations Center, where they are sanitized and repurposed. Clean the World’s simple mission is to recycle hotel soap and save lives. The organization has partnered with more than 4,000 hotels and resorts to put life-saving hygiene products in the hands of those who need them most. “JHM Hotels is thrilled to join forces with Clean the World to help our environment and those in need around the world,” said Heather Meadors, Director of Community Relations at JHM Hotels. “This gives us the opportunity to divert over 200 pounds of waste daily across our portfolio which will provide over 200,000 bottles for Clean the World’s ONE project annually, as well as 230,000 bars of soap to be sent to children and families each year.”
MIDLAND, MICH.—Dow Building Solutions (DBS), a business unit of The Dow Chemical Co., announced STYROFOAM extruded polystyrene foam insulation products in North America have received validation from UL Environment that they contain 20 percent pre-consumer recycled content on average. This verification marks the latest sustainability milestone for Dow insulation products, which also hold Cradle to Cradle certification.
NIAGARA FALLS, ON.—Niagara Casinos was awarded a 4 Green Keys rating from Green Key Global acknowledging their sustainable convention facilities and practices, topping off another year of substantial environmental initiatives at both Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara.
SEATTLE—Canadian coffee roaster, Club Coffee, recently announced the PurPod100, which will be the world’s first 100 percent compostable, fully certified single-serve beverage pod. “The amount of used single-serve pods sent into the waste stream last year could have circled the earth 11 times,” said John Pigott, CEO, Club Coffee.
NATIONAL REPORT—Much has been written about the many millions of partially used bars of soap and amenity bottles disposed of each year. Thanks to Clean the World and other nonprofits, a sizable amount of that waste is now being repurposed. But what about k cups, those little single-serve beverage (mostly coffee) pods used in Keurig Green Mountain brewers? According to research by data firm NPD Group, 40 percent of Canadian homes have a single-serving coffee brewer. In the United States that number is closer to 30 percent. An estimated 20+ billion k cups will be consumed in 2015. Many of those will reach the landfill by way of a hotel guestroom, lobby or breakfast area. With such a steady flow of waste to the landfill—it is not only the cups but their contents, filters and lids as well—what can an hotelier do to address it? One step one can take is to explore alternatives to the non-recyclable polystyrene cups. Waterbury, Vermont-based Keurig says on its website that it has committed to making 100 percent of its K-Cup packs recyclable by 2020.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK—A new employee residence in Old Faithful Village in Yellowstone National Park has received a Platinum rating by the U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) program. The residence was built by concessioner Yellowstone National Park Lodges, operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts. The project is the first Platinum-rated certification achieved by a concession operator inside a national park. Platinum is the highest LEED certification level and accounts for only about seven percent of all LEED-certified projects. In order to achieve LEED certification, the project needed to meet stringent sustainability requirements in areas such as site selection, water use reduction, energy performance, materials usage, indoor environmental quality and innovation in design. As part of its concession contract with the National Park Service, Yellowstone National Park Lodges built the 78-unit residence and moved employees from cabins that will be renovated and used for guest accommodations next summer. “This project is representative of how we emphasize sustainability in our company,” said Jim McCaleb, General Manager of Yellowstone National Park Lodges.
VICTORIA, B.C.—AP Plastics Inc. is rolling out its newest single-cup capsule displays for hotel rooms. The 4 and 6 hole (SCF4 & SCF6) K-Cup holders will be part of their proprietary Guest Room Single Cup Display System, and will be available to ship this month.
DENVER—Showcasing more than a decade of leadership while taking on the challenge of climate change, global hospitality company Xanterra Parks & Resorts has released its 2014 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, defining and measuring its innovative sustainability improvements. The report also announces ambitious stretch targets for the next decade. The report presents details of improvements measured against goals announced in 2004. The company tracks its environmental performance across all aspects of its operations using an ISO 14001 audited program launched in 2002. Xanterra entities include lodges, restaurants, tours and activities in national and state parks, as well as resorts, a cruise line, railway and adventure tour companies. The company has experienced rapid growth in recent years, adding Windstar Cruises, Austin Adventures, Country Walkers, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations, Kingsmill Resort and the Grand Hotel. “As we reflect upon the 10 years of hard work required to meet our initial sustainability goals, we applaud the dedicated—and innovative—employees whose ideas and passion are often behind many of our success stories,” said Catherine Greener, Vice President of Sustainability for the company.
VANCOUVER, B.C.—G-Kup, a Vancouver based start-up focused on sustainable packaging, announces the closing of its initial seed round comprised of several well-known U.S. and Canadian investors including The Charles Edison Fund (The Edison Fund invested as part of their new mandate of supporting innovation and entrepreneurship), Arlene Dickinson (CEO of Venture Communications and District Ventures, and formerly Dragons’ Den), and Lance Tracey (Co-Founder of Peer 1 and Sutton Group Realty).The initial funding will fuel G-Kup’s commercialization of its 100 percent compostable single serve coffee pod.
According to a recent National Sleep Foundation survey, 91 percent of all people identified the pillow as being most important to a good night’s sleep (second only to the mattress at 93 percent). Yet very few hotels actively manage their pillow inventory. Currently, most properties leave it up to the subjective opinion of their housekeeping staff to pull pillows out of service when they no longer meet the hotel’s standards. This works for pillows that are obviously stained, or are flat, or lumpy. However, this practice does not allow a housekeeper to know what might be on the inside of the pillow. We all know that dust mites accumulate in hotel guestroom pillows over time, despite the use of pillow protectors.
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