All posts in Hospitality

Posted: March 5, 2015

Las Vegas Resorts Lead Zero Waste Efforts in Nevada

LAS VEGAS – MGM Resorts International was recognized today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its outstanding efforts in food recovery.

The entertainment and hospitality company received two national Food Recovery Challenge awards for reducing food waste and, in the process, conserving natural resources.

“MGM’s zero waste leadership has turned mountains of food scraps into compost to help fight waste and climate change,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest.

MGM Resorts and MGM Grand Las Vegas are two of the 32 recipients who received the 2014 Food Recovery Challenge Award, and the only recipients in Nevada. The award was given for achieving the highest percentage of potentially wasted food diversion and prevention.

Senator Harry Reid’s office also issued a certificate of recognition to the company for leading food recovery efforts in Nevada. Officials from the EPA and Sen. Reid’s office presented these honors to MGM Resorts representatives in a ceremony at ARIA Resort & Casino. A behind-the-scenes tour of the resort’s food recovery program was also given. Read more

Dear Colleague,

Join hoteliers and other professionals in this six-session webinar series. It’s designed to help you cut your property’s operating costs, attract customers and improve environmental performance.

Participants will learn how U.S. hotels reduce energy, water, waste and toxins; and get recognized for doing so. Each session will have three expert speakers.

Those who attend all six sessions will be acknowledged with a Certificate of Completion.

The webinars are funded by the U.S. EPA. They are organized by Dan Ruben of Boston Green Tourism and Peter Cooke of the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences.

Sign up for as many sessions as you can!

View the webinars here!

Posted: February 5, 2014

National awareness campaign helps hotels save water and money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today launched WaterSense H2Otel Challenge as a way for agency partners and other organizations to encourage hotels to use best management practices that will save water and money, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change.

“Hotels that reduce their water use will not only help their community save precious resources, but can gain a competitive edge in today’s green marketplace,” said Nancy Stoner, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Water. “Since 2006, WaterSense has helped Americans save more than 487 billion gallons of water, and now we’re building on that success to help hotels take their sustainability efforts to the next level.”

From New York City’s Times Square to the Las Vegas strip, hotels across the country will take a pledge to “ACT”—assess, change, and track their water use in the following ways:

• Assess water use and savings opportunities throughout the hotel.
• Change products and processes to more water-efficient models and methods.
• Track water reduction progress before and after incorporating best management practices.

Caesars Entertainment is the first company to sign up for the H2Otel Challenge.
Read more

Posted: January 22, 2014
Source: Hotel News

As energy benchmarking and disclosure ordinances expand, Alternative Utility Services is offering benchmarking services at no-cost to its contracted commercial energy clients.

Alternative Utility Services (AUS), a national energy and sustainability consulting firm, has announced it is offering energy benchmarking services to all of its contracted commercial energy clients, at no cost. This free benchmarking service from AUS is of significant importance in cities with benchmarking and disclosure ordinances.

Several cities and two states currently have ordinances requiring building owners to track and report their properties’ energy use. The list includes California, Washington State, Washington DC, Austin, Portland, Boston, New York City, Boulder, Seattle, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Minneapolis. Chicago’s benchmarking ordinance has been placed on hold at least until September and may be added to the list.

Benchmarking provides important baseline data to assess a building’s energy use. The information gathered is used to establish future goals for projects to improve energy efficiency such as demand response, automated energy management systems and lighting upgrades. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, buildings that are benchmarked consistently, over time save an average of 7% in energy.
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Posted on December 19, 2013
Source: Reno News & Review Green Guide

Peppermill saves electricity by changing to LED lights

With its own geothermal power plant on site powering all heat and space, the Peppermill Resort had already cut its energy bills down quite a bit—about $1.8 million a year. But they’re always looking for more ways to save, and they recently cut down their electricity bill by an estimated $130, 539 a year by switching their parking lot lights from 1,000-watt metal-halides to 188-watt LEDs.

These savings come from switching both of the Peppermill properties—the Reno Peppermill Resort and the Western Village in Sparks—to LED-lighted parking lots.

“In August of this year, we put in these new units. We’re already seeing about a 90 percent energy reduction at Western Village because they have meters that are dedicated to the lights,” said executive director of facilities at the Peppermill, Dean Parker.
Read more

 WASHINGTON – Today EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe joined U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to announce the launch of a challenge that asks farmers, processors, manufacturers, retailers, communities and government agencies to reduce wasted food. The U.S. Food Waste Challenge builds upon the success of EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge to help more Americans do their part to reduce food waste.

“Food waste is the single largest type of waste entering our landfills — Americans throw away up to 40 percent of their food. Addressing this issue helps to combat hunger and save money, while also combating climate change. Food waste in landfills decomposes to create potent greenhouse gases and by reducing this waste we can in turn reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said EPA Acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe. “I’m proud that EPA is joining with USDA today to announce the U.S. Food Waste Challenge. With the help of partners across the country, we can ensure that our nation’s food goes to our families and those in need – not the landfill.”
Read more

Source: Energy Manager by Linda Hardesty

A quick and inexpensive way for restaurants to save water and the energy needed to heat water is to install new pre-rinse spray valves in their dishwashing areas, according to the Clean Energy Resource Teams (CERTs), a group affiliated with the University of Minnesota Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships & Extension.

Restaurants, as a sector, are one of the heavier users of energy per square foot compared to other commercial businesses. Some of that energy is used to heat water for cleaning dishes and washing hands in busy kitchens.
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Source: Environmental

The US military composted 670 tons of food waste at its Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Wash., in 2012, diverting the food from landfills and saving $300,000 in disposal costs, the base’s official newspaper The Northwest Guardian reports.

Revenue and savings from the program support the base’s recycling as well as its programs for family, morale, welfare and recreation.

The food waste, which is collected from Army and Air Force Exchange Service restaurants, unit dining facilities, child care centers, and other facilities, is delivered to the JBLM Earthworks composting facility several times a week. The JBLM Lewis Main Commissary alone recycled 261,760 pounds of food waste last year, saving $21,062 in disposal costs.
Read more

Source: Rocky Mountain Institute

Super Bowl Sunday ranks number one for American TV viewership, rates as one of the top five days for pizza consumption in the U.S., and ranks eighth for beer consumption. But here’s a surprising stat where it ranks far down the list: energy consumption.

Fans that watch together save energy together

While the game itself has a sizeable energy impact (more on that shortly), for the millions of Americans watching from the comfort of their TV sets at home, it’s another story. Last year, more than 111 million Americans tuned in, making the 2012 Super Bowl the most-watched television event in U.S. history. According to data from General Electric, Americans consumed 11 million kWh of electricity watching the event. That may sound like a large number, but actually, all that football-watching actually reduced energy consumption.

Opower analyzed the energy use patterns of 145,000 households on Super Bowl Sunday and compared it to any given Sunday last winter. The results were … intriguing. On the West Coast, energy use during the game dipped to five percent below similar Sundays (and at times, reached 7.7 percent below), and remained 3.7 percent below average even hours after the game. On the East Coast, the during-game energy dip averaged 3.8 percent over the course of the game.

Why? TV pooling. With people focused only on watching the game, and communally congregating at friends’ and family members’ houses, most TVs, ovens, and other appliances were turned off. The corresponding reduction in the nation’s game day energy bill amounted to no small piece of change: $3.1 million.
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Source: Jane Black, Washington

Not to make you feel guilty, but think for a minute about what you threw out of your refrigerator this week: that wilted lettuce, the yogurt that had passed its expiration date, the Tupperware full of mac and cheese that the kids had to have but never finished. It adds up.

Now imagine the amount of wasted food in a huge cafeteria that serves thousands of meals each day, a place like the South Campus Dining Room at the University of Maryland. That’s what three students did one day back in 2010. The quantities of soup, roast turkey, pasta and salads were so jaw-dropping, they decided to do something about it. They created the Food Recovery Network.
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