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Sector: Hospitality

Source: Environmental Leader (10/12)

Over the past decade, hotel companies have implemented programs to reduce the waste generated and the energy used in their daily operations. Many have been successful in saving both resources and money as well as attracting environmentally conscious guests; however, the industry as a whole has yet to make sustainability an integral part of its strategic plans. The Two Tomorrows sustainability agency’s latest survey, the Tomorrow’s Value Rating (TVR) from 2009, indicates that the world’s ten largest hotel companies “are only just beginning to address the wide range of social and environmental challenges facing the sector.” Climate Counts, which scores corporations on the climate impact of their business, found similar resultswhen researching six major hotel firms. “The world’s largest hotel chains may be seeking practical ways to address a range of broad environmental impacts in their operations . . . however, few appear to be aligning such actions as part of a larger and more comprehensive carbon management strategy. An average sector score of 19 out of a possible 100 suggests the sector has much work ahead.” Now that the low hanging fruit that has enabled hotels to claim they are going green has been picked, it is time for hotel companies to evolve their sustainability programs in order to address the new phase of challenges and opportunities they currently face.

After several years of running environmental programs, hotels need to evaluate if their current organizational structures supporting these projects continue to be effective. Early green programs were often developed in the Environmental, Health, and Safety department. Their initiatives to protect workers and the Earth from dangerous chemicals evolved into projects to reduce waste and operating costs. Other sustainability programs were managed by the social responsibility team, run through the Human Resources department, which focused on giving back to the community. As a result, many sustainability officers now reside in Operations or HR. These alignments made perfect sense ten years ago when changing out light bulbs and cleaning up local parks represented major sustainability programs within a lot of hotels. The benefits of these initiatives are real but, as our world enters a new era where stakeholders are demanding more transparency and third party certifications are evolving and becoming a requirement to conduct business, keeping these programs in their original locations is often limiting.

Read the complete article at Environmental Leader

Contact Information: Molly Hooven, 202-564-2313, 202-564-4355, hooven.molly@epa.gov

WASHINGTON, DC — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense program announced today that irrigation controllers will soon be the first outdoor product eligible to earn the WaterSense label. The most efficient irrigation controllers, which operate like a thermostat for your sprinkler system by telling it when to turn on and off, may provide home and building owners the ability to save 110 billion gallons of water and roughly $410 million per year on utility bills.

“As much as half of the water we use on our landscapes goes to waste due to evaporation, wind, and improperly scheduled irrigation systems,” said Sheila Frace, Director of EPA’s Office of Water’s Municipal Support Division. “WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers are designed to do the thinking for you and apply water only when needed, to ensure a healthy landscape that doesn’t waste water.”

Residential outdoor watering in the United States accounts for more than 7 billion gallons of water each day, mainly for landscape irrigation. For many homeowners, the practice is “set it and forget it.” When watering schedules for irrigation system are set during the hottest and driest months and not adjusted when the weather changes, the result is overwatering for much of the year. WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers, which monitor watering needs based on local weather data, can use significantly less water by applying water only when plants need it – reducing annual water bills and offering convenience and peace-of-mind while keeping landscapes healthy.

Controllers with the WaterSense label could be available in spring 2012. Like all WaterSense labeled products, WaterSense labeled irrigation controllers must be independently certified to meet EPA’s criteria for water efficiency and performance.

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes, and services. Since the program’s inception in 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save 125 billion gallons of water and more than $2 billion in water and energy bills. 

More information on WaterSense: http://www.epa.gov/watersense

Source: Travel Age West

TravelAge West speaks  with Richard Edwards, founder and CEO of Ecoism

In researching its cover story on Selling Green Travel, TravelAge West caught up with Richard Edwards, founder Ecoism, an organization that works with travel suppliers to help them develop a more socially responsible approach to travel marketing. Edwards shared a number of insights on developing sustainable program

What got you started on your path to Ecoism?

Over and over again, my first question to organizations has been, “What are your business goals?” When most people begin to consider a sustainability program, they don’t realize it has anything to do with business. They know they want to use it in their marketing, but they see it as separate, and possibly even as a cost of doing business.

There are many top quality marketing firms that focus on the tourism industry. There are also a number of organizations very familiar with helping companies and destinations with their sustainability programs. I didn’t see agencies or organizations that addressed marketing and business planning with sustainability as an integrated piece of the equation, which is where it is most effective in helping to achieve the economic and environmental goals the organization may have its eye on, as well as actually helping to drive revenue.

Economics and ecology meet at a point where sustainability is integrated into a business model that measures and achieves financial goals with sustainability as a contributing factor to that financial success. We see the void in the marketplace around practical, industry-focused and revenue driven sustainable tourism marketing, and ecoism is actively filling that need for travel companies and destinations.
The research we are seeing suggests that the next hurdle for travel suppliers  is finding messaging that effectively communicates their green policies to their clients. Would you agree with this? If not, what are some of the companies you work with doing to communicate green standards/policies.

Read the complete article at Travel Age West

Source: WiredPRNews.com

11/30/2011 // Riverdale, NJ, USA // Green Air Filters // Lynne Laake

(Air Filtration Update) – Energy efficiency — and the resulting savings — can be achieved in surprisingly easy ways. That’s something hospitals, manufacturers, schools, and other organizations that have switched from using ordinary light bulbs to compact florescent (CFL) bulbs know well. With just a small investment — the cost of the bulb itself — energy use is reduced and the bottom line improved. But what is less well known is that light bulbs are just the beginning. Even greater energy savings — again, with minimal upfront costs — can be achieved by switching to more sustainable, efficient low energy air filters.

If switching to CFL bulbs was a wise choice, then switching to a new generation of energy efficient air filters is a no-brainer. Consider, for example, that while the cost premium of a CFL bulb versus a traditional incandescent bulb is 8 times the price, the premium of a sustainable air filter — like the 5-Star Durafil 4V from Camfil Farr — is just 2 times the price of a less efficient filter.

Both a CFL bulb and an energy-efficient air filter more than recover their cost premium. A CFL bulb may cost 8 times more than a traditional light bulb but it lasts 10 times longer. For sustainable air filters, the equation is even more favorable, as a filter that costs twice as much as a less efficient product lasts three times longer.

Then there are the energy savings. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the annual energy savings per CFL bulb is $4.50. Meanwhile, the savings per sustainable air filter is $ 135+ (thus it takes roughly 30bCFL bulbs to achieve the energy savings of a single 5 Star air filter). How long does it take to install 30 light bulbs versus 1 air filter?

Factor that $135 savings by the 300 air filters used by the average hospital, and switching to low-energy air filters can save $ 40,500 a year in energy costs, with no capital expenses. The same hospital would have to replace almost 10,000 conventional bulbs with CFL bulbs to achieve the same savings.

Keep in mind, too, that unlike light bulbs — which contain mercury — disposing of used air filters presents no health and safety concerns. And because sustainable filters from manufacturers like Camfil Farr last far longer than more conventionally designed products, there are fewer of them to dispose of, in any event — further reducing their impact on the environment.

Hospitals, manufacturers, and other organizations have seen significant — and easily obtainable — benefits by switching to compact florescent bulbs. Moving to low-energy air filters is the logical next step: a simple, low-cost strategy to boost savings even more.

The world leader in air filtration systems, Camfil Farr provides clean air solutions for hospitals, hotels, office buildings, educational institutions, and pharmaceutical and biotech companies. We provide the tools to achieve sustainability, maintain high air quality, and reduce airborne infections — all while lowering total cost of ownership. Camfil Farr customers go green without ever sacrificing performance. For more information on our green air filtration solutions, visit us online at http://airfilters.camfilfarr.us/, or call us toll-free at 888.599.6620.

Company-wide program includes Travelocity, Sabre Red Workspace, Travelocity Business and Sabre Hotel RFP

SOUTHLAKE, Texas – Feb. 6, 2012 – Sabre Holdings, a global technology company for the travel industry, today announced the launch of its Sabre Eco-Certified Hotel Program, an industry first program that provides clear and easy access to sustainable travel offerings throughout Sabre’s portfolio.   The program addresses travelers’ growing desire for environmentally responsible accommodations and includes more than 4,700 hotels certified by globally-recognized certification programs.

The Sabre Eco-Certified Hotel Program builds upon Travelocity’s Green Hotel Directory, launched in 2009, and extends the program company-wide to recognize hotels that are certified as sustainable according to the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s guidelines.  Travelocity is still the only major online travel company that helps users find green hotels with an eco-friendly tag.

The 4,700+ hotels participating in the program will be clearly distinguished in Sabre’s Global Distribution System (GDS) and reflected in other Sabre platforms.  Specifically:

  • In Sabre Red Workspace, the more than 180,000 users can shop and book eco-certified hotels using current amenity search functionality that includes an easy-to-spot icon and a unique amenity code.
  • Nearly 2000 corporate and agency customers are able to specify eco-certified hotels during the RFP process by using Sabre Hotel RFP tool.
  • Travelocity Business designates eco-certified hotels to help agents and travelers shop and book participating hotels.

“With leadership comes responsibility,” said Greg Webb, president of Sabre Travel Network. “Sabre is keenly focused on the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the travel industry and we are committed to providing our customers with products and services that help them promote these same long-term values throughout their businesses.”

According to a recent Phocuswright study, 66 percent of U.S. travelers believe their travel choices can make a difference to the environment, and more than 51 percent of meeting planners will hold meetings only in sustainable venues (GBTA and Imex Global survey 2010).  For suppliers, the Sabre Eco-Certified Hotel Program provides hotels a new and innovative way to differentiate themselves, reinforce their brand and tap into the growing number of travelers and travel planners looking for sustainable hotel options.
Read more

Source: Environmental Expert

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 14, 2012 /PR Newswire/ — From Pennsylvania toCalifornia, 35 Caesars Entertainment Corporation properties in more than 19 communities across the country have pledged their support for a simple concept: helping families engage with parks to create a healthy environment for themselves and their children.

Caesars Entertainment’s employee volunteers, known as HEROs, will host park events across the country to promote conservation and outdoor recreation as part of National Park Trust’s (NPT) signature National Kids to Parks Day (KTP) initiative – a grassroots movement that encourages children and families to get outside and explore local, state and national parks in their community. The National Kids to Parks Day is Saturday, May 19.

Caesars’ participation in National Kids to Parks Day initiative is an extension of its previous efforts with NPT to educate school children and families across the country about the responsible use of natural resources by engaging them with parks and green spaces in their community.

‘Caesars Entertainment has a strong commitment to environmental responsibility and the communities in which our employees live and work,’ said Gwen Migita, Vice President of Sustainability and Community Affairs at Caesars Entertainment. ‘We are proud to support and inspire passion in young people across the country for the outdoors and conservation through National Kids to Parks Day.’
Read more

Source: Environmental Expert

ROCKVILLE, Md., May 14, 2012 /PR Newswire/ — From Pennsylvania toCalifornia, 35 Caesars Entertainment Corporation properties in more than 19 communities across the country have pledged their support for a simple concept: helping families engage with parks to create a healthy environment for themselves and their children.

Caesars Entertainment’s employee volunteers, known as HEROs, will host park events across the country to promote conservation and outdoor recreation as part of National Park Trust’s (NPT) signature National Kids to Parks Day (KTP) initiative – a grassroots movement that encourages children and families to get outside and explore local, state and national parks in their community. The National Kids to Parks Day is Saturday, May 19.

Caesars’ participation in National Kids to Parks Day initiative is an extension of its previous efforts with NPT to educate school children and families across the country about the responsible use of natural resources by engaging them with parks and green spaces in their community.

‘Caesars Entertainment has a strong commitment to environmental responsibility and the communities in which our employees live and work,’ said Gwen Migita, Vice President of Sustainability and Community Affairs at Caesars Entertainment. ‘We are proud to support and inspire passion in young people across the country for the outdoors and conservation through National Kids to Parks Day.’
Read more

Abstract:  It’s a question that bedevils facility managers. What’s the most environmentally conscious and cost effective way for people to dry their hands in company and public restrooms? Paper towels made from recycled content? Electric hand dryers? Cotton towels that need to be laundered?

Source:  GreenBiz.com

Read the complete article:  http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2011/11/15/whats-greenest-way-dry-your-hands

Abstract:  It’s a question that bedevils facility managers. What’s the most environmentally conscious and cost effective way for people to dry their hands in company and public restrooms? Paper towels made from recycled content? Electric hand dryers? Cotton towels that need to be laundered?

Source:  GreenBiz.com

Read the complete article:  http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2011/11/15/whats-greenest-way-dry-your-hands