September 24, 2012

Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,


The minutes from the September 20 BGT meeting are below, with links to the presentations. See the other  sections, too.

Our next meeting will be November 1 at Hostelling International Boston




Boston Green Tourism Meeting 


September 20, 2012


Location: Boston Marriott Copley Place Hotel

Hosts: George DiVenuti, Peter Sugrue, Robert Volpe


Present: George DiVenuti, Marc Cohn, Albert Tsaturyan, Jeff Hanulec, Brian Hoffman, Megan Falkenberry, Scot Hopps, Glenn Ralfs, Al Vaughn, Erica Mattison, Tom Ostberg, Greg Senosk, Conor Healey, Gerri Weiner, David Hughes, Dioggo Goddi, Jose Duarte, Bruce Buckbee, Sarandis Karathanasis, Dan Ruben.



Credit to 

Taranta Restaurant: Going  Green                          

Jose Duarte, Chef/Owner, Taranta Restaurant


Mr. Duarte provided many ideas for greener restaurants. Taranta recycles its used oil and converts it to biodiesel for use in its vehicle--saving them several thousand dollars per year. They also use LED's and CFL's, Xlerator hand dryers, an energy management system, green cleaning products, paperless billing, tank-less water heating, an extensive recycling and food waste diversion program and more. They source local and organic food, and they carefully track their seafood purchases using bar code technology.  


I encourage you to share this presentation with your kitchen managers. Please note that several slides in the presentation were inadvertently cropped when I prepared the presentation for this newsletter.  


Using Procurement On-Bill Financing to Help Execute Your Energy Plan

Bruce Buckbee, Vice President of Operations, World Energy Solutions  


Mr. Buckbee showed how hotels can tackle more energy projects by using the same company to purchase their energy, track their energy use and install energy efficiency retrofits. Hotels that do so can use on-bill financing, which often enables them to accomplish energy projects without expending capital, taking out loans, and increasing their monthly energy bills. This strategy enables hotels to tackle expensive projects while preserving their capital to achieve other goals.   


World Energy Solutions is a leader in each realm mentioned above--procurement, tracking and energy efficiency. 


Improving Sustainability By Recycling Used Cooking Oil    

Sarandis Karathanasis, Director--Business Development, AMENICO


AMENICO picks up used cooking oil from restaurants and converts it into biodiesel that is made and used here in New England. Their fuel is much cleaner and more environmentally-friendly than the diesel fuel it replaces. AMENICO serves 170 restaurants in the Boston area. Hotels using their service can boast about it on their website green pages.

New Certification for Healthy Restaurant Menus 

The United States Healthful Food Council's REAL Food Certification Program confirms and publicizes healthy restaurant menus. They have criteria for fruits and vegetables, local produce, whole grains, minimally processed foods, healthful children's menus, unsweetened beverages and reduced use of salt, trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup and more. If your restaurant serves very healthy food, and wants recognition for doing so, I recommend that you look into this program.


For now, the certification uses an online application and is based on the honor system.


See this article about the program: REAL Program: Like LEED, but for Healthful Eateries, Tim Carman, Washington Post, July 24.


Amenity Dispensers becoming Popular in Boston  

A growing number of U.S. hotels are switching to amenity dispensers, but still their use is estimated to be under 10%. In Boston, however, amenity dispensers are more popular.    


I found that the following  hotels have them: Hyatt Regency Boston, Seaport, Hotel Marlowe, Onyx Hotel, Element, Aloft, Irving House, Comfort Inn & Suites, Hostelling International-Boston, Royal Sonesta and Park Plaza. It's likely that I missed at least a few properties.   


Ray Burger of Pineapple Hospitality believes that the growing use of amenity dispensers can be attributed to their low life-cycle cost and the desire to reduce waste.

New Trend: Online Hotel Environmental Reports

As mentioned, Boston and other cities are going to post the Energy Star scores of large buildings, including hotels, on the internet. Now it turns out that other organizations are going to require online reporting, too.


Marriott International is instituting an environmental dashboard called Green Hotels Global that records statistics on energy, water and waste; and whether their properties have enacted each item on a list of green practices. (See Marriott Inches Closer to Full Rollout of Green Hotels Global Tool, Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News, September 21.)


The "dashboard reports will be available to all travelers and available at different places online, but initial attention will be given to making the reports available to meeting planners and business travel professionals. Forty-two Marriott customers representing $1.5 billion in business will be making their travel decisions based on having Green Hotels Global type data available."


In addition, one of the prominent green hotel certification organizations is planning to post its checklist on-line, and show which practices are deployed by each recognized hotel.


Many hoteliers will be uncomfortable with this trend. The upside is that most hotels in BGT are positioned well, and will look appealing to meeting planners, business travelers and the public.

Sustainable Refrigeration for Green Hotels   

Chris Lewis, EcoGreenHotel, June 16.  


The author discusses several strategies for cutting energy used for refrigeration.



Survey Adds Support to Allergy Friendly Room Concept
Green Lodging News, September 10.

An AH&LA study found that 34% of U.S. hotels offer allergy-friendly rooms, with services ranging from "special pillows or linens to a complete patented process done by a company called PURE Global." And, a Cornell University study found a surprising number of consumers are willing to pay extra for them.

November 1: Hostelling International Boston

December 6 

See you November 1 at Hostelling International Boston!