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Sector: Hospitality

Source: Environmental Expert.com

Greener Meetings with New ASTM Standards

A collection of standards developed by Subcommittee E60.02 on Hospitality guides planners and suppliers on how to arrange more sustainable meetings.

It’s a meeting at an inn in Vermont designated as a “Green Hotel in the Green Mountain State” that, among other benchmarks, composts leaf and yard waste. It’s a corporate event by a firm that checks for needed products in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing database. It’s a meeting arranged by a planner who considers a destination’s public transportation system and a venue’s recycling program. A green meeting may be any one of these things, and more.

Increasingly, greener — or more sustainable — meetings are occurring across the landscape. Today, more sustainable meetings, encouraged by EPA guidance on the topic and also available with the help of professional planners, mean more than what’s green. Sustainable meetings, in addition to the environment, consider social factors; they also make good business sense.

And now, through the work of ASTM International Committee E60 on Sustainability and its Subcommittee E60.02 on Hospitality, and the broad industry representation on the group, eight recently released standards, with one more coming soon, can assist planners and suppliers in producing more environmentally friendly meetings.

The Benefits of Meeting
Read more

Source: Environmental Expert.com

A collection of standards developed by Subcommittee E60.02 on Hospitality guides planners and suppliers on how to arrange more sustainable meetings.

It’s a meeting at an inn in Vermont designated as a “Green Hotel in the Green Mountain State” that, among other benchmarks, composts leaf and yard waste. It’s a corporate event by a firm that checks for needed products in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing database. It’s a meeting arranged by a planner who considers a destination’s public transportation system and a venue’s recycling program. A green meeting may be any one of these things, and more.

Increasingly, greener — or more sustainable — meetings are occurring across the landscape. Today, more sustainable meetings, encouraged by EPA guidance on the topic and also available with the help of professional planners, mean more than what’s green. Sustainable meetings, in addition to the environment, consider social factors; they also make good business sense.

And now, through the work of ASTM International Committee E60 on Sustainability and its Subcommittee E60.02 on Hospitality, and the broad industry representation on the group, eight recently released standards, with one more coming soon, can assist planners and suppliers in producing more environmentally friendly meetings.

The Benefits of Meeting

“We as human beings have a need to meet,” says Amy Spatrisano, principal of MeetGreen®, Portland, Ore., and an ASTM International member who served as a catalyst to begin the work on the new sustainable meetings standards; she also chaired the Convention Industry Council task force for its 2004 Green Meetings Report.
Read more

Source: Environmental Leader
Fairmont, Hilton, Hyatt, InterContinental and 19 other international hotel companies have agreed on a standard to calculate the carbon footprint of hotel stays and meetings.

The International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) formed the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative Working Group in early 2011 to create a unified methodology of measuring and reporting carbon emissions.

Current approaches vary widely, according to the working group. This can lead to confusion among consumers, particularly corporate clients, looking to understand their own carbon footprint and meet their own targets in this area. In addition, the number of methodologies and tools in use make transparency of reporting within the hotel industry difficult to achieve.

The methodology, named HCMI 1.0, was first developed in 2011 and is informed by the GHG Protocol Standards. Diverse properties around the world, from boutique hotels to resorts, casinos and major conference hotels, tested HCMI 1.0 over the past year, and received input from consultants KPMG before launching the standards. The World Resources Institute also reviewed the methodology.

Hotels in the working group include: Accor, Beijing Tourism Group, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Diamond Resorts International, Hong Kong & Shanghai Hotels, Jumeirah Group, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Marriott International Inc, Meliá Hotels International, MGM Resorts International, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Orient-Express Hotels Ltd, Pan Pacific Hotel Group, Premier Inn – Whitbread Group, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, TUI AG and Wyndham Worldwide.

The working group says it will fine-tune HCMI 1.0 over the next year, and encourage wide industry buy-in and use over the next two years.

Last month, Accor, the European hotel group that owns the Sofitel and Adagio brands, launched an interactive tool designed to help seminar organizers determine the carbon footprint of an upcoming event.

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: http://www.epa.gov/region9/biogas.

More information about co-digestion and funding sources is found at: http://www.epa.gov/region09/waterinfrastructure/funding.html

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 www.thebiggreenbus.org.

For additional information about Caesars Entertainment’s sustainability efforts visit http://www.caesars.com/corporate/environment-sustainability.html.

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 www.caesars.com/CodeGreen.

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 www.caesars.com.

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

Source: Environmental Leader

Hilton Worldwide and sustainability consultants BSR have launched a three-year initiative to help procurement professionals make more informed purchasing decisions based on the best available sustainability data and information.

The Center for Sustainable Procurement, or CSP, will publish research and work with companies to integrate sustainability data into the procurement process at the product category level. The initiative will be funded by Hilton Worldwide and managed by BSR.

Buyers now have access to more information on products’ sustainability attributes, but they still lack the knowledge and guidance to use this information alongside existing priorities such as price, quality and delivery, said Eric Olson, senior vice president of advisory services at BSR.

The CSP aims to move beyond product scoring and marketing labels and instead help buyers quantify sustainability as part of overall product quality and cost, said Bill Kornegay, senior vice president of Hilton Supply Management, a division of Hilton Worldwide.

The CSP will research case studies and conduct surveys on topics that include incentives for category managers, key issues for buyers to consider at the product level, the efficiency of third-party labels and certification. The center will produce education guidelines, webinars and web content for companies to share with internal sourcing teams.

The center is offering the one-on-one consulting projects, which will  examine purchasing processes and develop solutions on how to incorporate sustainability into those decisions, to a small group of BSR members. CSP also intends to conduct metric analyses that focus on integrating sustainability into existing approaches.

The idea for CSP arose from BSR’s two-year effort to develop an analysis and comparison tool known as LightStay, which focused on quantifying product sustainability to help Hilton with its buying decisions.

The criteria examined nearly 100 different measures, including core lifecycle-assessment components such as manufacturing, packaging, logistics and end-of-life. BSR collected and assessed nearly 1,700 SKUs across multiple product categories including food and beverage, property operations and rooms, which represented more than $165 million. The sustainability measurement system has saved Hilton Worldwide and its portfolio of 10 hotel brands more than $74 million as of October 2011.

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 Link.com

 

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.

Abstract:  Before measuring your building’s energy use, break it down.  There are three energy uses to consider when assessing a building’s operations, writes David Jaber: active energy, maintenance energy, and energy for heating and cooling. Furthermore, while it’s vital to have the right monitoring tools, it’s also necessary to establish forecasting and analytic tools to turn that raw data into energy-saving policies, Jaber writes.

Source:  GreenBiz.com (8/10)

Not all energy is created equal. But it goes far beyond the renewable-vs-non-renewable sense that so many already consider.

There are really three kinds of energy:

  1. Energy required for site activity, i.e. the purpose for which a business is in business;
  2. Energy required for the maintenance of the building, 24-7, regardless of activity, and which makes up the baseline energy use — emergency lighting, stand-by water heaters; and
  3. Heating and cooling to keep the buildings at a comfortable temperature.

You can also think of these energies in the context of dependence, for which there are also three categories: Energy is:

  1. dependent on business activity,
  2. dependent on nothing (i.e. it’s constant), and
  3. dependent on weather (and insulation levels . . . and occupancy levels, potentially)

When we look for patterns in energy use, these different energy types become very relevant. If you’re trying to figure out what might be causing excessive energy use, you need to be able to isolate potential causes — whether it’s occupant activity, weather changes, or something else. Ideally, you would have these three energies metered differently.

For example, if all you have is the total energy use on one meter for a site, in the case of energy-intensive industries or facilities, you won’t be able to see any weather variations, since any weather-related energy use will be dwarfed by energy use in normal site activity.

But when you do have these energies isolated by meter, or when your building is dominated by one type of energy, you can then normalize energy use with what’s driving energy use: You can compare activity energy use to the level of activity, compare weather-based energy use to weather, and so on. And then you can see whether there’s a correlation.

If energy doesn’t correlate with its driver, you know you’ve got a problem.

Read the complete article at GreenBiz