How Green are your meetings? What are the latest practices in the area? Planners need to be ready to demonstrate how they are making their meetings "greener". Check out the articles below for some ideas and best practices.
Resources for Planning a Green Meeting
The Convention Industry Council Green Meetings Task Force is working on industry best practices and standards for green meetings. Learn more at http://www.conventionindustry.org/StandardsPractices/GreenMeetings.aspx.
Resources for Resourceful Hospitality Firms
Here's just a sampling of the hundreds of resources available for use in environmentally sustainable projects.
U.S. Green Building Council offers rating systems including LEED-EB for Existing Buildings and LEED-NC for new construction. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating SystemT is the national benchmark for design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.
Earning LEED Certification: By registering for and meeting criteria, LEED-certified buildings reduce their operating costs, offer a healthier and more productive environment, and conserve natural resources. 202-742-3780, http://www.usgbc.org
ENERGY STAR. This U.S. EPA program provides resources to help businesses find and use innovative products and technologies to improve energy performance. Resources include the Hospitality Benchmarking Starter Kit and Cash Flow Opportunity Calculator to help make sound investments in energy efficiency. By improving energy performance an average of 30%, hotels could cut their collective annual electricity bill by nearly $1.5 billion - a savings of nearly $365 per available room night per year for every hotel room in the country. http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=hospitality.bus_hospitality
Sustainable Travel Report: The U.S. Travel Data Center estimates that 43 million U.S. travelers are "ecologically concerned." Gain insight about this fast-growing market segment from this responsible tourism e-newsletter. http://www.sustainabletravelinternational.org
Green Hotels Association. This Houston-based GHA offers members guidance in energy conservation, refurbishing and new construction. Resources include instructive member case studies, such as that about the 33-story W Dallas Hotel. The property generated energy even before it opened by using wind-farm energy during construction - reducing costs and cutting carbon dioxide emissions by more than 674,000 pounds. http://www.greenhotels.com
Global Stewards Practical steps for going green. http://www.globalstewards.org/hotel.htm
Green Globe Environmental reports, benchmarking and certification programs responsible behavior across the triple bottom line of economic, social and environmental management. http://www.greenglobe.org/page.aspx?page_id=49
Alliance for Saving Energy Resources to help hotels and resorts improve energy management, locate energy-efficiency technology and service providers, and benchmark energy use data. http://www.ase.org/section/topic/ee_hotels/hotel_initiatives
American Hotel and Lodging Association's Good Earthkeeping Alliance The hospitality industry spends $3.7 billion a year on energy, yet much of this goes to waste. In partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR program, Good Earthkeeping provides tools and resources to improve the energy and financial performance of hotels. http://www.ahla.com/good_earth_overview.asp
American Hotel and Lodging Association Educational Institute Books, pamphlets,and videos on hotel environmental management http://www.ei-ahla.org/products_energy.asp
State and Local Green Lodging Promotion Programs. Offsetting their contributions to the economy, hotels are mass generators of solid waste and mega-consumers of electricity and water. To encourage environmentally sustainable efforts, government from Florida to California are offering assistance and recognition programs.
Green Hotelier magazine video, "Going Green Makes Cent$", and "Green Innovations", a directory of global environmental resources for hospitality companies. http://www.greenhotelier.com
The International Hotels Environment Initiative source of international news, case studies, cost saving techniques. http://www.ihei.org
Luna Textiles designs fashion-forward sustainable upholstery, curtains and other textiles. http://www.lunatextiles.com
Smart Systems energy management controls. After installation at 23 sites, Accor (which owns Motel 6) saved an estimated annual equivalent of 200 Goodyear blimps-full of carbon dioxide, 129 hotel roomfuls of sulfer dioxide, 1,182,784 gallons of water, and enough electricity to power 281 average homes for a year. This HVAC technology maintains in-room comfort while cutting energy consumption by 30 to 50 percent, said president Bill Dukes. "There's enough ROI to pay for [the system] in 18 months." http://www.2getsmart.com
Project Planet linen and towel reuse program. With estimate average guest participation rates between 68 and 72 percent, hotels save money in reduced water, energy, labor, detergent and deferred sheet/towel replacement. The program, whose members include New York's chic Park Central Hotel, claims to save 6,000 gallons of water and 40 gallons of detergent monthly for an average-sized 100-room hotel. http://www.projectplanetcorp.com
Continuous Commissioning. Developed by the Omaha Public Power District and University of Nebraska/Lincoln's Energy Systems Laboratory, this new engineering technology has been used in office buildings to improve indoor air quality, reduce humidity and mold problems, improve occupant comfort, cut utility costs 15 to 40 percent, reduce maintenance costs, extend systems' useful life, minimize capital expenditures and shorten payback periods to one to three years for properties that utilize central plants for heating and cooling.
Durat Tubs, Sinks and Countertops. Made of 50% recycled content that's in turn 100% recyclable, these stylish fixtures are newly in demand by boutique hotel designers. Says Paddy Watson at Alterego, a Baltimore retailer of sustainable building materials, "it's new, fresh, stylish, and when you introduce sustainability, it completes the package." http://www.alter-e.com
Sun-filtering film on windows and low e-coated windows. .3M Prestige spectrally selective, nanotechnology window films cut heat radiation from the sun, eliminate most damaging UV radiation, remain nearly clear to normal daylight, and disguise interior clutter and non-uniform drapery. Energy savings is equivalent to about one ton of air conditioning for every 100 square feet of glass exposed to sunlight. Another choice with payback potential within 14 or so months is Panorama architectural window films from Bekaert http://www.panoramafilm.com
SunTracker ONE Daylighting. By capturing sunshine, this system provides enough bright illumination that electric lights can be turned off for up to 12 hours a day. Appropriate for hotel public areas such as indoor pools and atriums. Studies show that exposure to daylight results in improved employee performance. http://www.natures-lighting.com
Material ConneXion. Global knowledge of new and innovative materials for design and architecture. http://www.materialconnexion.com
Occu-Smart motion sensor-controlled bi-level lighting. Recently enhanced, it offers energy savings of up to 85 percent. http://www.lamarlighting.com
SuperTerm Roof Coating. Ramada is among companies using this new insulating and corrosion protection product for expanded roof life. "There's more incentive now for hotels to take environmentally responsible [action], and to advertise that they have done so," says, Hal McElroy, president, Superior Coating Consultants Inc. http://www.spi.com
Ozone Laundry System. Around for 20 years, it's just now starting to catch on. Says Trane energy engineer Peter Somers, "Things that used to have a six-year payback now have a three-year payback." http://www.trane.com
The above articles and links were submitted and posted as a resource for meeting professionals with the permission of Robin Tierney and the HSMAI Marketing Review Magazine.