October 17, 2012

Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,


Our next Boston Green Tourism meeting will be Thursday November 1 from 2:30 to 4:00 at Hostelling International Boston in the Community Room on floor 1. Directions are here.

Thank you to our host: Bob Sylvia, General Manager.


The meeting will feature HI-Boston's green-renovated building and other innovations. It will also include presentations from two of the hostel's vendors--Clean Green Solutions and Otis Elevator.


I hope you can attend this meeting, and see HI-Boston for yourself. Feel free to bring a member of your hotel's marketing department or other colleagues.      




       It is easy to be green when you stay at HI-Boston. 

                                 Credit to http://bostonhostel.org/


Kelly Smith, Director of Marketing & Sales, Hostelling International-Boston will  

discuss the development and marketing of a green hostel.


HI-Boston will soon be the first LEED certified hotel in the City of Boston. (The Element in Lexington is the only other LEED certified hotel in MA.) HI-Boston has converted its 1888 building into a modern green hotel, while keeping many of the original features.


The hostel's green building and practices fit its mission, clientele and budget very well. Their creative and prominent green marketing and education program, including their website's Green Tour, break new ground in the hospitality industry    


After the speaking portion of the meeting, Kelly, Bob Sylvia and HI-Boston's Maintenance Chief Robert Smith will lead a tour of HI-Boston.  


Bill Scherer, President, Clean Green Solutions, will talk about green laundry solutions for hotels. He will also discuss the use of microfibers as an alternative to yellow-bucket floor cleaning, and for cleaning hard-to-reach places like chandeliers.   


James Marchioni, Regional Sales Manager, Otis Elevator Company, will tell us about modern green elevators and escalators. He will also explain when it makes sense to retrofit an elevator and when it's best to buy a new one.




Strong Forecast for Energy Efficiency Investments by Massachusetts Hotels

I recently made a presentation at National Grid in Waltham to energy efficiency contractors. They asked me whether MA hotels will continue to invest heavily in energy efficiency. I told them that hotels would do so for the following reasons:   

  • The Mass Save program, administered by NSTAR and National Grid, is going to continue to generously fund capital investments in energy efficiency for at least the next several years.
  • Hoteliers understand that they get benefits from these projects on top of cost reduction: reduced maintenance, new and improved equipment, quieter operations, etc.
  • Many hotel chains have committed to aggressive energy and water efficiency goals. Here are a few of them:
    • Starwood (Sheraton, Westin, W, Element, Aloft, Le Meridien, etc.): ↓ 30% energy, ↓ 20% water by 2020.
    • Marriott: ↓ 20% energy, ↓ 20% water by 2020.
    • Hyatt: ↓ 25% energy, ↓ 20% water by 2015.
    • IHG (InterContinental, Holiday Inn, Crowne Plaza, etc.): ↓ energy 6% to 10% between 2010 and 2012.
    • Hilton: ↓ 20% energy, ↓ 10% water by 2014.
    • Wyndham: ↓ energy 12% by 2016.
  • The City of Boston's benchmark and reporting ordinance takes effect in 2013. By reducing their energy use, hotels will boost their scores and look better to convention and corporate meeting planners.    
  • The World Travel & Tourism Council's Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative starts in 2013 or 2014. Energy efficient hotels will look good to meeting planners that use it.   
  • New energy efficiency technology keeps coming to market.   
  • LED lights are proving to be the best technology for many applications, and their price will continue to decline sharply in 2013.    
  • More hotels are demonstrating that they are green by achieving Energy Star, Green Key and Green Seal certification. Energy efficiency investments help hotels earn these certifications.    

The biggest impediment to making energy efficiency investments is the low price of natural gas and electricity. Will prices rebound in the near future? I certainly don't know. But one prominent hotel consultant advised his client to budget for a 15% increase in natural gas prices in 2013.


How Many Towels does your Hotel Issue to its Guests?

When I stay in hotels, I'm often struck by how many towels are in the bathroom. I don't use most of them. Yet, they all get washed after I leave.


Hostelling International Boston gives its guests only one towel. I know that most other hotels wouldn't be so frugal. But it might be worthwhile to ask whether your property could reduce the number of towels that it issues.


HI-Boston also has a policy of not laundering guest towels or sheets during their stay, unless requested. By doing so, they reduce their laundry volume, hot water and cleaning chemicals.




The Greater Boston Energy Efficient Hotels Conference will be held on December 6, at Sheraton Boston Hotel from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.


This Massachusetts Lodging Association Speaker and Seminar Series event is organized by Boston Green Tourism, NSTAR, National Grid, Renew Boston, Sheraton Boston and the Barr Foundation.  


The conference will feature:

  • Presentations about the latest cost effective energy efficiency innovations.
  • Case studies from Boston hotels that have slashed their energy bills.
  • A panel discussion with City of Boston, NSTAR, National Grid and hotel leaders regarding energy policies, incentives, strategy and new technology.
  • Energy efficiency vendors.
  • Lunch and a wine / beer / hors d'oeuvre reception.

Cost: $25 per attendee.


Who Should Attend: Hotel GM's, Directors of Engineering, Chief Financial Officers, Green Team Leaders.


Please note: In the next newsletter, I will provide instructions on how to register. This is an event for hoteliers. BGT vendor members who wish to attend should contact me directly. 

Guest Room Occupancy Controls Study

The California Utilities Statewide Codes and Standards Team has, "recommended [guest room occupancy controls] as a mandatory requirement for the 2013 California Building Energy Efficiency Standards," based on their study. Their report is here.


They found the following advantages associated with this technology: 

  • 12%-25% reduction in guest room energy use. (The range signifies different conditions: climate zone, HVAC system type and guest occupancy.)
  • 16% reduction in energy used for guest room lighting.
  • extended equipment life.
  • reduced maintenance demand.
  • Some systems are, "centrally wired to allow hotel staff to identify rooms that are unoccupied and deliver more efficient cleaning and maintenance services."  

Sustainable Interior Design

Green Hotelier, November 27, 2011 


This article is an excellent reference. It provides principles for developing a greener hotel interior, and helps hoteliers purchase sustainable furniture, bathrooms, tableware, curtains, paint, flooring, fabrics and more.  


Hyatt Harborside Website: Local, Sustainable & Organic Foods

I love how Hyatt Harborside lists the New England farmers, fishermen and suppliers that provide their food. "We're committed to supporting local farmers and the utilization of sustainable and organic farming methods, with dishes sourced from locally grown, fresh ingredients."  


New Hyatt Organic Menu Aimed at Smallest Guests  
Elaine Glusac, The New York Times,
September 23, 2012

This all-organic children's menu is part of Hyatt's ''For Kids by Kids'' menu program. 

2012 MEETING  

November 1: Hostelling International Boston

December 6: The Greater Boston Energy Efficient Hotels Conference, Sheraton Boston, 8:00 to 4:00. More information is in the OPPORTUNITY section, above.

See you November 1 at Hostelling International Boston!