January 27, 2012

Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,


At long last, I'm giving this newsletter a more professional appearance. I hope you like it. Thanks Dianna Dixon and Elaine Strunk for helping me!


Our next Boston Green Tourism meeting will be Thursday February 2 at the Sheraton Commander in the George Washington Ballroom on floor 1 from 2:30 to 4:00. [Please note this room change. The meeting had previously been scheduled for the Terrace Room.]


Thank you Al Vaughn for hosting us! 



Christopher Hartzell, Complex General Manager of Element Lexington and Aloft Lexington, will talk about the green aspects of his properties. The Element is the only LEED certified hotel in Massachusetts. What struck me about it when Chris gave me a tour is how thoughtfully it is conceived. It seems like every product and material was purchased for its environmentally-friendly attributes. Chris has a great story to tell us.


Kevin Cantwell, Sales/Account Mangement at Expert Laser Services, Inc. will discuss how hoteliers can use environmentally-friendly printing practices that will cut costs and extend equipment life.


Gerri Weiner, President, Corporate Accents Unlimited, will discuss the company's Green Promotional Items division. Gerri's company helps hotels and other businesses demonstrate their environmental responsibility to customers and staff with thousands of green products and gifts. They are sold in hotel gift shops; used at meetings, events and in hotel restaurants; and worn by staff. Corporate Accents Unlimited is a pioneer in green promotion, having started this endeavor in 2007.  



The Colonnade's Brasserie Jo Restaurant Earns Green Restaurant Association Certification: The GRA website lists the restaurant's many green practices and achievements. I encourage you to review this list. Congratulations go to Keith Alexander, Dan Buker, David Colella and other Colonnade staff. I will provide more information in a future newsletter.


Energy Star Portfolio Manager Upgrade: Next Spring, EPA will release a "completely new and redesigned upgrade for its...Portfolio Manager tool." Portfolio Manager is Energy Star's benchmarking tool for hotels and other buildings. The tool, "will get the full treatment: a new interface, streamlined functionality, and improved usability." Since many BGT hotels use Portfolio Manager, I'll keep you up to date on this development.       


Portfolio Manager is growing in popularity. More than 40,000 people use it to measure and track over 250,000 buildings. Several cities including New York now require buildings over a certain size to use Portfolio Manager to get their Energy Star score.  


There are 448 Energy Star labeled hotels in the U.S. and 32 in Massachusetts. Hotels earn the Energy Star for being in the top 25% for energy efficiency (energy use divided by square feet, modified by various factors such as whether the hotel has a laundry, restaurant, parking garage, etc.)  



Hotel Videos Portray Green Achievements: At least a couple dozen U.S. hotels now have videos that extol their green programs. I shared a great video from InterContinental Boston last year.


The National Sustainable Lodging Network has posted some interesting green hotel videos posted on their website. I particularly recommend the ones from Embassy Suites of Lake Tahoe, Hilton San Diego Bayfront, Doubletree Portland and Kimpton's 70 Park Avenue Hotel ("5 Star Green"). Marriott, as a brand, has a nice video about green meetings, too.


Would your facility benefit by making such a video?


Getting the Most out of your Energy Audit: Energy audits for hotels take many different forms, from free walk-through advice to comprehensive retro-commissioning studies. A new reference guide from ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers) helps building owners decide what kind of audit is best for them, how to hire an auditor, what to ask for in a report, how to prepare for the audit and more. See the following attachment:


ASHRAE Provides Guidance on 'How-To's' of Energy Audits, Press Release, November 14.


This reference book is available for purchase.



2012 BOC Technical Webinar Series: High Performance HVAC Equipment: This series includes one-hour long (2 p.m. - 3 p.m.) webinars on the following subjects: Condensing Boilers (Feb. 15), Ground Source Heat Pumps (March 14), Heat Recovery Chillers July 19) and Energy Recovery Ventilation (September 19). See the link above for more details.  


Presentations Available to Hoteliers: I make presentations to hotel green teams and managers on how U.S. hotels go green and reduce their costs; and how they market their facilities as green to gain customers. While many BGT members are experts in these subjects, it's valuable to see how others address these issues. 


I also make a presentation to hotel staff on how to live a green lifestyle and reduce costs at home.  


All talks are free, and can be modified to suit your needs. If you're interested, please contact me.



Profile of an L Prize Winner, e-Update, U.S. Department of Energy, January 2012. Philips Lighting North America won the prize for creating a replacement for the ubiquitous 60-watt incandescent bulb. Compared to that product, it emits more lumens, consumes less than 10 watts, matches its light distribution, has a similarly warm-white light and high color rendering and lasts 25,000 hours. At least one BGT hotel uses it already. It will be available to consumers in the Spring.


Toward a More Hospitable Earth: Marriott, Wyndham and Hyatt are pursuing their own initiatives rather than waiting for political mandates. Seth Putnam, Green Building and Design, Jan/Feb/Mar 2012. This is a beautiful article about these three impressive hotel chains.


Touch-free Soap and Paper Towel Dispensers Are Money Savers: Touch-free soap and paper towel dispensers can reduce product overuse in public restroom, Nick Bragg, Deputy Editor, Sanitary Maintenance.



Feb. 2: Sheraton Commander

March 8: The Lenox

April 26

June 7

August 2

September 20

November 1: Hostelling International Boston

December 6



See you February 2 at the Sheraton Commander!