All posts in Hospitality

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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Source: Environmental

On Oct.19, the DEP’s new Garden State Green Hotels Project will hold its first workshop, allowing hotel owners and operators to learn about state programs that pay for energy efficiency improvements, environmental reviews, and worker training.

The workshop will take place at the Walter Edge Theater on the Mays Landing campus of Atlantic Cape Community College. The event is scheduled to begin at 8:30am and last until noon and will feature a panel discussion and several presentations from hotel, clean energy, and utility industries. Those who attend the event will learn about environmental improvements that can help achieve the best results and turn those results into an effective marketing tool. During the panel discussion, hotel general managers whose facilities use greener practices will be sharing their experiences.

In conjunction with other state and federal agencies, the DEP launched the Garden State Green Hotels project in April. The main purpose of this project is to aid New Jersey hotel owners and operators in increasing energy efficiency and cost savings through the implementation of green practices. The program offers several workshops and training sessions, and no-cost and no-obligation energy and environments reviews to participating hotels. The Green Hotel Project will also be focusing on reducing greenhouse gases, hazardous materials, and waste generation, while striving to conserve water in hotels.

The Garden State Green Hotel Project is funded by an $180,000 contribution from the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s Pollution Prevention (P2) Grant Program, which is matched by the DEP. Other partners include the state Board of Public Utilities, Division of Travel and Tourism, the U.S. Green Building Council – New Jersey Chapter, Atlantic Cape Community College, and the State Employment & Training Commission.

Please visit more information about the Garden State Green Hotel Project.

Source: Environmental

The International Golf Federation, which includes member organizations representing more than 150 countries, agreed to a policy that will make sustainability a core priority within the sport through a number of initiatives aimed at conserving water, reducing impact on land and increasing awareness.

The IGF outlined eight sustainability measures, including a commitment to expand awareness among golfers and golf facilities; help golf facilities to incorporate sustainable principles and practices into daily business decisions; conduct high profile golf events in an environmentally responsible manner; and embrace measurement, target setting, transparency and verification.
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Hospitality managers have long suspected that there’s a connection between the industry’s high turnover and employee attitudes. A new report from the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research focuses on how that connection works. The report has found that co-workers’ attitudes over time play a large role in whether a person leaves or not. The study, The Contagion Effect: Understanding the Impact of Changes in Individual and Work Unit Satisfaction on Hospitality Industry Turnover,” by Timothy Hinkin, Brooks Holtom, and Dong Liu, explains the results of a two-year longitudinal study examining the effects on employee turnover resulting from the change in individual and unit levels of satisfaction. The report is available at no charge from the CHR…see more / download report.

Source: Environmental>/a>

Hotels trying to attract green consumers should use targeted marketing that draws on both functional and emotional green images, according to research from the University of New Hampshire Whittemore School of Business and Economics.

The analysis Profiling the Potential ‘Green’ Hotel Guest: Who Are They and What Do They Want?, which was presented in the Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Research, found identifying green customers can be challenging for hotels. UNH surveyed 563 US hotel patrons who were randomly selected by a national recognized marketing research firm for the analysis.

While industry research has shown a significant percentage of hotel guests prefer to stay in a hotel that cares about the environment, guests are not always that predictable, said Nelson Barber, associate professor of hospitality management at UNH and author of the analysis.

He noted that a study by a major national hotel operation found the opposite and 75 percent of their guest respondents said they wouldn’t give up daily hotel room service activities. That study also found guests pay less attention to the environment while traveling because they’re not directly responsible for the costs of cleaning and utilities.

Barber found in his analysis that green consumers tend to be more concerned for others and have a higher desire to work for the good of society than non-green consumers. Green consumers also place a higher value on the restraint of actions that could upset or harm others and violate social norms; and they’re less likely purchase self-serving products such as those associated with achievement or success, according to the analysis.

As a result of the findings, Barber suggests hotels develop a green placement strategy targeted at green consumers that draws on both functional and emotional images. For example, green consumers look for tangible, functional images such as a recycling program or a LEED certification. They’ll also look for actions that illustrate a hotel’s commitment to the environment, such as a menu that offer food supplied by local farmers.

A growing number of hotel chains have launched environmental initiatives. In May, Hilton Worldwide and sustainability consultants BSR kicked off a three-year initiative to help procurement professionals make more informed purchasing decisions based on the best available sustainability data and information.

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Pacific Southwest Region has launched an online “waste to biogas mapping tool” to support the use of organic waste for energy projects.

“This innovative mapping tool, the first of its kind in the nation, helps restaurants, hotels and other food waste generators to connect with large energy producers,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Harvesting this energy prevents waste from ending up in landfills or clogging sewer lines.”

The tool is an interactive map created to link food and other biodegradable waste sources with facilities such as wastewater treatment plants that can enhance energy production with their existing infrastructure. Wastewater treatment plants and some dairies manage waste with anaerobic digesters, which produce methane-rich biogas as a natural byproduct.

By adding food scraps or fats, oils, and grease to an anaerobic digester, facilities can increase biogas production to make money while providing a renewable energy source, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These business and environmental opportunities may present a largely unrealized potential.

The tool is designed for decision-makers with technical expertise in the fields of waste management, wastewater treatment, and renewable energy. This includes businesses, state and local governments, and non-profits. The tool allows users to determine the types of facilities in their area, where clusters are located, and the distance between a waste producer and an anaerobic digester. The tool also functions in reverse – allowing generators of organic waste to find partner facilities that will accept it.

Features include:

* Fats, oils, and grease (FOG) hauler information for California, Arizona and Nevada
* California landfill information
* On-site energy generation for California dairies with digesters (in kilowatt hours per year)
* Energy estimates for wastewater treatment facilities, with and without co-digesting FOG (in kilowatt hours per year for California, Arizona, Nevada and Hawaii).
* A “correct record” option that allows facilities to change information presented on the map.

A study performed by the Northern California Power Agency in 2008 determined that agricultural, wastewater, and food processing wastes could be digested to obtain 453 megawatts of energy – enough to run a utility-scale power plant while also preventing 3.7 million dry tons of organic material from ending up in a landfill. This use of biogas to displace natural gas would have a climate change abatement potential equal to taking approximately 160,000 cars off the road.

A prime example is in Millbrae, Calif. Grease is collected by a licensed material hauler, transported to the wastewater treatment facility in 3,000 to 5,000 gallon tanker trucks, and added to a FOG-condition system, where it is converted into biogas used to meet 80 percent of the facility’s needs. Millbrae has increased biogas production by nearly 100 percent, reducing their utility energy bill by 75 to 80 percent, preventing some 589 tons of green house gas from being emitted into the atmosphere annually, and reducing annual dewatered bio-solids hauling by 35 percent.

Wastewater treatment plants in the region’s four Pacific Southwest states are co-digesting more than FOG. Organic materials – including food waste, yard trimmings, soiled paper, and green waste – comprise two-thirds of the solid waste stream. According to the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD), food waste has up to three times as much energy production potential as biosolids. An EBMUD demonstration project indicated that 100 tons of food waste digested per day produces enough energy to power up to 1,400 homes.

Financial assistance provided by federal, state, and private sources can make on-site generation affordable and practical. The federal government provides grants, loans, and rebates. State agencies also provide grants, loans, rebates, renewable credits, and stand-by rates for energy generation. Local utility districts provide private sources of funding as do private third-party leasing arrangements and pooled bond financing.

The mapping tool is found at:

More information about co-digestion and funding sources is found at:

Seven Caesars regions and 17 properties will contribute fuel made from waste vegetable oil

LAS VEGAS, June 7, 2012 /Environmental Expert/ — For the second consecutive year, Caesars Entertainment Corporation (NASDAQ:CZR) is sponsoring Dartmouth College’s Big Green Bus tour across America. The converted Greyhound bus, operated by students, will run on recycled waste vegetable oil (WVO) as it travels the country educating individuals on best sustainability practices.

The 11-week, 12,000-mile journey will take the 13 students across 24 states and will make refueling stops at Caesars resorts including Harrah’s Cherokee Casino (June 26), Harrah’s Tunica Casino (July 1), Harrah’s New Orleans Casino (July 3), Harrah’s Phoenix Ak-Chin Casino (July 14), Flamingo Las Vegas (July 19), Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Casino (July 24), Harrah’s North Kansas City Casino (August 30) and Thistledown Racetrack (September 3).

In 2011, Caesars Entertainment recycled 320,000 gallons of restaurant oil at its resorts and casinos nationwide with 144,000 gallons coming directly from restaurants on the Las Vegas Strip. The restaurant vegetable oil is recycled and reused at the resorts, or is removed and repurposed for use in biodiesel and other products. By providing WVO to the Big Green Bus, the company is helping reduce the vehicle’s carbon emissions during its journey across America.

‘Having Caesars Entertainment as a sponsor has given us great insight to its compelling sustainability practices,’ said Remington S. Franklin, Big Green Bus Communications Liaison. ‘We are on the bus to learn and spread what we learn and are very fortunate to have support from sustainability leaders like Caesars Entertainment.’

Caesars Entertainment’s Big Green Bus gold national sponsorship will enable this ‘classroom on wheels’ to increase awareness about the importance of sustainable practices and incorporating conservation at home.

The bus will provide educational opportunities at each stop through stations including a tour of the bus, an interactive map telling stories of sustainability across the country, a demonstration of how individuals can build and shop for environmentally friendly products, a discussion about the energy cost of food, personal waste reduction and a stationary bicycle that powers a generator to light multiple energy efficient bulbs.

‘This year, we are proud to increase our support of The Big Green Bus and its mission to educate communities around the country on climate change and environmental responsibility,’ said Gwen Migita, Vice President of Sustainability & Community Affairs for Caesars Entertainment. ‘Caesars is committed to support the classroom on wheels while engaging thousands of employees and the community in seven regions around the country.’

CodeGreen seeks to make both positive environmental and social impacts while reducing water, energy and waste consumption at each of its more than 50 properties worldwide. By enabling efforts through thousands of employees, Caesars is increasing sustainability education with the Big Green Bus and serving as a catalyst for environmental change. Supporting the Big Green Bus is just one of hundreds of responsible green practice programs Caesars assists with at its resorts and in the communities it serves.

For additional information about the 2012 Big Green Bus tour, its crew and sponsors visit

For additional information about Caesars Entertainment’s sustainability efforts visit

About Caesars Entertainment Corporation Sustainability
Caesars Entertainment Corporation’s resorts are committed to environmental sustainability – investing at a corporate level more than $62 million on conservation projects that have reduced energy usage by more than 170 million kilowatt hours (kWh) and carbon emissions by 110,000 metric tons each year. One such investment is the use of solar and steam co-generation facilities at the Rio All Suites Hotel & Casino, Harrah’s Lake Tahoe and Showboat Atlantic City that capture waste heat and steam to create onsite energy, thereby decreasing demand for purchased electricity.

Caesars’ nearly 70,000 employees drive its sustainability strategy, CodeGreen, through innovative environmentally responsible practices; implementing more than 110 large impact conservation projects to reduce water, energy and waste consumption at a corporate level. More than 200 of the company’s employees have completed its Green Meetings & Events Certification training program, the only program of its kind in the industry. During the past eight years, CodeGreen programs have resulted in annual savings of 200 million gallons of water and 640,000 gallons of waste vegetable oil among other waste recycling efforts.

Caesars Entertainment’s leadership in environmental stewardship and energy efficiency has earned the company more than 40 environmental awards and multiple Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) honors. Caesars has achieved ‘industry firsts’ in transparency of impacts such as GRI protocol reporting and establishing aggressive carbon reduction goals around environmental and social metrics. For further information on Caesars’ CodeGreen efforts and its sustainability report visit

About Caesars Entertainment Corporation
Caesars Entertainment Corporation is the world’s most diversified casino entertainment company. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, more than 74 years ago, Caesars has grown through development of new resorts, expansions and acquisitions, and now operates casinos on four continents. The company’s resorts operate primarily under the Harrah’s®, Caesars® and Horseshoe® brand names. Caesars also owns the World Series of Poker® and the London Clubs International family of casinos. Caesars Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its guests through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. Caesars is committed to environmental sustainability and energy conservation and recognizes the importance of being a responsible steward of the environment.

For more information, please visit

SOURCE Caesars Entertainment Corporation

WASHINGTON – Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) signed an agreement to raise awareness of environmentally friendly products and solutions to address America’s environmental challenges. Today’s memorandum of understanding provides NASCAR with EPA technical assistance and environmental expertise, using EPA programs like Design for the Environment and the Economy, Energy and Environment (E3) framework,  to help protect Americans’ health and the environment.

“Because NASCAR is followed by millions of passionate fans and many businesses, it can be a powerful platform to raise environmental awareness, drive the adoption of safer products by more Americans, and support the growing green economy,” said Jim Jones, EPA’s acting assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention (OCSPP). “The EPA and NASCAR partnership attests to the progress NASCAR has already made on environmental stewardship through greener fuel choices and multiple recycling initiatives for waste and automotive fluids, and highlights opportunities to further these efforts.”

“This MOU is a great example of NASCAR’s commitment to green innovation and our role as a leader in sustainability,” said Steve Phelps, Chief Marketing Officer of NASCAR. “Even with the largest sustainability program in sports, NASCAR – along with our teams, tracks and partners – continues to create innovative platforms to help reduce the environmental impact of our sport.”

One of the areas of focus for the partnership is promoting safer products that have earned EPA’s Design for the Environment (DfE) label. The Design for the Environment label helps consumers and businesses identify products that perform well, are cost-effective, and are safer for the environment. NASCAR can make a difference by using DfE products at racing events and conveying to fans that choosing DfE products is an easy choice they can make to protect the health of their families and the planet.

Another example is NASCAR’s offer to encourage its suppliers to get an “E3 tuneup”– to increase productivity, reduce the use of energy and materials, lessen environmental impacts and be better positioned to compete in the global marketplace. The E3 initiative – Economy, Energy and the Environment — helps promote sustainable manufacturing and economic growth throughout the United States. E3 can help improve the profitability and competitiveness of these businesses, which can help create higher-paying skilled manufacturing jobs.

This MOU will pave the way for other opportunities and areas of focus for EPA and NASCAR such as sourcing more sustainable concessions at NASCAR events, expanding the use of safer chemical products, conserving water, reducing waste and promoting recycling. By working together to foster more sustainable behavior, addressing sustainability challenges and seizing on E3 opportunities, a greener NASCAR and NASCAR supplier network will have positive economic and environmental impacts that extend far beyond the racetrack.

For more information on EPA’s pollution prevention programs, including the efforts with NASCAR, please visit:  EPA.GOV/P2

Abstract: A January 2012 online survey of 150 people conducted for The Sustainability Dashboard, a Web-based system that helps organizations measure and monitor their use of fuel, water, energy, etc., finds that 43 percent of facility managers and cleaning professionals would pay more for products made by a company that practices sustainability.* However, 28 percent of respondents indicated they would not pay more and 30 percent were “not sure.”

Source:  My Clean


A survey conducted for The Sustainability Dashboard, a Web-based system that helps organizations measure and monitor their use of fuel, water, energy, etc., finds that 43 percent of facility managers and cleaning professionals would pay more for products made by a company that practices sustainability.*

However, 28 percent of respondents indicated they would not pay more and 30 percent were “not sure.”

The survey was conducted online in January 2012.  Nearly 150 people participated in the survey.

When asked, how much more are you willing to spend for a product produced by a sustainable company, 90 percent answered five to ten percent.

The survey also asked if the respondents would need proof a company is practicing sustainability: seventy-eight percent responded yes; about ten percent would take the company’s “word for it;” and the rest were unsure.

“Transparency and credibility when it comes to sustainable issues are paramount today,” says Elizabeth Steward, marketing manager for Sustainability Dashboard Tools.  “No one wants another Greenwashing experience.”

Nevertheless, the respondents were divided on how this “proof” would be determined.  About 25 percent would accept the company’s published reports.  “But, 57 percent wanted [the reports from] independent, third-party organizations and not just the company’s word for it,” adds Steward.

Finally, the respondents were asked if operating a business or property in a more sustainable manner costs more, less, or about the same as operating in a conventional manner.

Forty-one percent were sure sustainability produced cost savings; 27 percent noted it costs more; and the rest were unsure or believed it was “cost neutral.”

“What we are finding is that cost savings is becoming a prime motivator for organizations operating in a sustainable manner,” says Steward.  “Instead of being on opposing sides, sustainable and cost savings are now on the same team.”

* For purposes of this survey, sustainable companies are defined as those that operate in a socially, environmentally, and economically responsible manner.