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Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor of Green Lodging News, will address the hottest industry topics. Sometimes hard hitting, his column will challenge the industry’s leaders to take action. At other times, he will lift up the industry’s environmental champions.
Compostable Cups, Plates and Cutlery Offer Many Environmental Benefits
November 12, 2007 05:22 PM - Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News
I have been attending trade shows since 1989 and I can honestly say I have never seen anything like Greenbuild. Held in Chicago last week, the event drew more than 20,500 attendees and featured more than 850 exhibitors. There certainly are shows in the hospitality industry that are larger but none has grown as quickly as Greenbuild. The attendance at last year’s event in Denver was 13,500. It was painfully obvious at McCormick Place that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) was not ready for the huge turnout.
It reminded me of the kind of crowd that turns out on a surprisingly sunny day for a baseball team that it realizes is actually a winner. Lines for registration in McCormick Place stretched down corridors and some attendees had to wait hours to get their name badges. Even in the early afternoon, there were still long lines. USGBC could have used four times the number of registration points—at least. Almost 8,000 people turned out to see former President Bill Clinton speak and crowds that could not get in to see him sat on the floor outside the show entrance and watched him on large TV screens.
Iowa’s Earthpark: Rain Forest, Green Hotel And More
October 11, 2007 02:08 PM - Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News
NEW YORK—Maxon Holdings LLC (Maxon), a leading energy and environmental development company, announced a partnership with Earthpark, North America’s first center for science literacy and the environment. Maxon will provide $10 million of in-kind financial and technical support toward the completion and opening of Earthpark, scheduled to open on Earth Day, 2011. Maxon will give this support through its infrastructure asset financing operations, part of the company’s asset optimization business. Maxon’s contribution will facilitate ongoing support and involvement with educational and research efforts in the areas of global sustainability and restorative living practices.
Why the SEC May Make You Go Green
October 11, 2007 01:59 PM - Jim Butler for, Green Lodging News
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may soon be pushing the green bandwagon. Technically, most SEC disclosure guidelines or rules only require “disclosure.” They do not impose substantive regulation. But SEC guidelines tend to set the disclosure standards for state laws, and establish industry standards for fair disclosure. And frequently the bright spotlight of disclosure focuses such intense attention on particular issues, that it changes behavior as effectively as a substantive regulation. That might well become the case with “green.”
Here is what is happening: Investors and government officials are urging the SEC to adopt guidelines requiring public companies to report the risks of climate change to their business. My partner, Cathy Holmes, reports that on September 18, 2007, a prominent group of state officials, state pension fund managers and environmental organizations filed a petition with the SEC, requesting it to adopt guidelines requiring all public companies to disclose the risks of climate change to their business and the actions they are taking to mitigate those risks.
Linen Options Grow to Include Organic Cotton—What You Should Know
October 11, 2007 01:53 PM - Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News
When Hotel Terra opens later this year in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the linens on the beds of the 72-room, six-story eco-boutique property will be made from organic cotton. Even though the sheets and pillow cases will cost about 25 percent more than standard cotton linens, the Terra Resort Group, developer of the new hotel, will gladly pay the premium. Ashley Morgan, corporate director of sustainability for the company, says using organic cotton linens just makes sense.
Morgan believes the extra investment will quickly come back to the company, as travelers reward them for their commitment to health and the environment. Organic linens are healthier to sleep on, she says, because the cotton itself was grown without harmful pesticides. A set of cotton sheets found in most hotels today requires six pounds of pesticides to get the cotton to grow and mature.
Wallcovering Makers Unravel Eco-Friendly, Durable Options
October 11, 2007 01:46 PM - Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News
NATIONAL REPORT—When it comes to wallcoverings, designers, hotel owners, purchasing agents and others have not always had the most environmentally friendly choices. Vinyl—polyvinyl chloride or PVC—years ago included heavy metals and solvent inks. Today, however, it is a different world and 90 percent of heavy metals have been eliminated and water-based inks are used. Some wallcovering makers still tout vinyl’s durability and value, and one has even started recycling it, but others are now offering non-PVC alternatives.
One company that has made a big splash at trade shows in the past year with its recycling initiative is LSI Wallcovering, Louisville, Ky. Second-Look is the name of its program that reclaims previously installed vinyl wallcovering and turns it into new product with at least 20 percent total recycled content and 10 percent post-consumer. The recycled collections are available through LSI’s Versa, Cirqa and Plexus distributors. There are approximately 160 design options.
November’s California Lodging Expo and Conference to Have Green Theme
October 9, 2007 09:05 AM - Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News
The California Lodging Expo and Conference will have a green theme next month. The event will be held at the Oakland Marriott City Center from November 6 to 7 and feature four environment-related sessions. The event will also include presentations by the following prominent industry leaders: Niki Leondakis, COO, Kimpton Hotel & Restaurant Group; Nancy Johnson, EVP, Carlson Hotels Worldwide; and Chip Conley, founder & CEO, Joie de Vivre Hospitality.
Hyatt’s Fourth Andaz Property to Include Green Roof, Organic F&B
September 28, 2007 10:04 AM - , Green Lodging News
AUSTIN, TEXAS - The East Avenue Investment Group LP and Global Hyatt Corp. announced plans to develop a hotel under Hyatt’s new luxury brand, Andaz, as part of a mixed-use development in Austin’s central core. The 210-room hotel will open in 2010. The announcement comes on the heels of Hyatt’s unveiling of its new brand in April 2007, and announcements for Andaz hotels in London and Manhattan. The landmark Great Eastern Hotel in the City of London will convert to Andaz in mid-October, followed by properties at 75 Wall Street and 485 Fifth Avenue, New York, in 2009.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts Finds Unique, Creative Ways to Reduce Waste
September 27, 2007 08:53 AM - , Green Lodging News
TORONTO—Fairmont Hotels’ commitment to protecting the environment is nothing new. For more than 15 years, Fairmont’s participation in comprehensive recycling and environmental protection programs has demonstrated its goal to minimize its impact on the planet. And the results have been tangible. But the effort goes beyond the expected. Each of the hotels within the Fairmont collection is making a difference in often unique and unheard of ways.
Offer Your Guests and Staff the Best Coffee: Fair Trade Certified
September 24, 2007 01:20 PM - Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News
There is a pretty good chance you are drinking coffee while reading this column. I am one of those rare individuals who has never had a cup of coffee. Never. That’s probably a good thing with the price of java rising faster than petroleum. Speaking of which, did you know that coffee is the world’s second most valuable traded commodity? It is just behind petroleum. According to San Francisco-based Global Exchange, coffee is the United States’ largest food import.
The United States primarily purchases coffee from Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, and Vietnam. It also buys coffee from Indonesia, Costa Rica, Peru, El Salvador, Ecuador, Venezuela, Honduras, Uganda, Thailand, Nicaragua, India, and Papua New Guinea. Take another look at the caffeinated concoction swirling before you. It traveled a long way to get to your coffee cup.
Vendors Roll Out New Green Products at HD 2007 Expo & Conference
September 21, 2007 04:24 PM - Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News
MIAMI BEACH—While May’s HD 2007 Expo & Conference featured a Green Room for exhibitors selling environmentally friendly products, and booth signs designating vendors as green, last week’s HD Boutique 2007 Expo & Conference did not. Even though this made finding green products more difficult, an eagle-eyed attendee who asked enough questions could do so. In fact, as it turns out, there were many vendors in attendance eager to talk about their green offerings. The following is just a sample.