February 1, 2013
Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,                                                  

 

Our next Boston Green Tourism meeting will be Thursday February 14 from 2:30 to 4:00 at InterContinental Boston. Directions are here.

Thank you to our hosts: Tim Kirwan, Fabienne Eliacin,Vasco Foster, Tony Masco and Michael Ditterline.   

 

The meeting will feature a tour and discussion of InterContinental's Boston's impressive green initiatives, including their award-winning recycling program.  


The 2013 BGT meeting dates are at the bottom of this newsletter. Please mark them in your calendar! We have some terrific presentations lined up. If you have particular topics or speakers that you want me to include, please contact me.

 

Dan Ruben 

SPEAKERS
Tim Kirwan, General Manager, InterContinental Boston will welcome us.

Fabienne Eliacin, Engineering Coordinator, InterContinental Boston will discuss the hotel's green initiatives, including their recycling program, staff training program, energy management system, green furniture, beehives and more. Fabienne and one of her colleagues will give us a green tour after the presentations.
 

Cindy Fitzpatrick, Sales Manager, Northeast U.S., Filter Sales and Service, will tell us what hoteliers should know about air filters. High efficiency filters for air handlers reduce energy and labor costs while improving indoor air quality. Under certain circumstances, they qualify for Mass Save financial incentives.

 

Adam Mitchell, Partner, Save That Stuff, will tell us how to determine when it's financially smart to purchase balers and compactors. He will also provide his perspective on why the InterContinental recycling program is so effective, how haulers can help hotels improve their recycling programs and how the 2013 commodity markets will impact hotels.     

IDEAS

Management Strategies for a Successful Green Program               

 

Recently, a hotel GM asked me for advice about organizing a green program at her property. Here's what I told her. 
  • Benchmark Your Property: Get its Energy Star Portfolio Manager score. Find out which of the AH&LA Green Guidelines (here and  here) are already in place, and which ones you should consider implementing. You might also benchmark your hotel by reviewing the Green Key checklist  and IHG's Innovation Hotel. Also, meet with a peer or a Director of Engineering from a greener hotel in your chain or ownership group to get their advice. And, have me give this free presentation to your green team or executive staff: How U.S. Hotels Save Money and Attract Business by Going Green.      
  • Determine your Objectives: What is your highest priority: Cost reduction? Attracting more meetings or leisure visitors? Achieving green certification? Fulfilling the mandate of your parent company? Modernizing your building and operation?   
  • Establish the Management Structure: Who is accountable? Will you give them incentives and recognition? Form a green team. I suggest that you include engineering, housekeeping, food and beverage, sales and marketing, administration and others who have the expertise or motivation to improve your program. Determine how to make your green program fun and meaningful.  
  • Set Specific Goals   
  • Measure your Progress: What reports do you need? For your energy use analysis, you can produce your own reports or hire an energy management company to provide them. 
  • Get your Green Leaders the Expertise and Resources that They Need: Consider enrolling your engineering staff in the Building Operators Certification program. Have your green team  take classes in Schneider Electric's Energy Leaders Education Program. Use the Green Lodging News search function to find articles on particular topics. Consider joining EPA's Energy Star for Hospitality, Water Sense and WasteWise programs, and use their websites as a resource. Use consultants, as necessary.
  • Educate or Train Other Staff about the Program 
  • Identify Financial Resources. Make room in your hotel's capital budget. Ask NSTAR or National Grid about the Mass Save incentives that are available for the energy efficiency projects that interest you. Ask your accountant about tax breaks for energy efficiency projects.

Of course, if you want more information about these ideas, contact me. 

 

Smart Stairwells:  ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2010 Code Requires Stairwell Lighting Controls

 

The influential ASHRAE/IES 90.1-2010 code stipulates that commercial buildings must "have one or more control devices to automatically reduce lighting power in any one controlled zone by at least 50% within 30 minutes of all occupants leaving that controlled zone." Since stairways are unoccupied most of the time, stairwell lighting controls are often a good investment.

 

A recent California Lighting Technology Center study showed that lighting controls save commercial buildings over 40% of the energy needed to illuminate stairwells.

NEWS
Element Hotels Now Powered by Renewable Energy                  C
Green Lodging News, December 26.

All of Starwood's Element hotels, including Element Lexington, now acquire 100% of their electricity from renewable sources like wind, hydroelectric, solar and geothermal. Their financial commitment is significant, because electricity prices are low right now--due to the plunge in natural gas prices.

Element's decision keeps them in the forefront of the green hotel movement. See this article about Element Lexington's environmental program: Sustainable Initiatives: Element Lexington, Massachusetts, Holly Tuppen, Green Hotelier, November 29.

Purchasing renewable power is arguably the most important action a business can take to protect the environment, along with cutting energy use. The Lenox and The Colonnade, also purchase renewable energy exclusively; and several other BGT hotels purchase some renewable energy.

Perhaps the most economical way to acquire renewable energy is through reverse auctions by energy advisers, such as World Energy.
ARTICLES

WaterSense at Work: Best Management Practices                 

The EPA has developed an outstanding resource for cutting water water bills.

 
"WaterSense at Work [is] a compilation of water-efficiency best management practices [that] help commercial and institutional facilities understand and better manage their water use." It has sections on Water Use Monitoring and Education, Sanitary Fixtures and Equipment, Commercial Kitchen Equipment, Outdoor Water Use, Mechanical Systems and Onsite Alternative Water Sources.

 

Each section has tips on operations and maintenance; retrofit and replacement options and estimates for how much water can be saved by implementing their recommendations.  

 

Proving Luxury Hotels Can be Green  

Cindy Atoji Keene, The Boston Globe, January 20.  

 

In this interview, Scot Hopps, Environmental Program Manager Saunders Hotel Group & EcoLogical Solutions provides insight into The Lenox Hotel's green program. Currently, The Lenox is installing  water filters and amenity dispensers. 

 

Pineapple Hospitality's Amenity Dispensers

Speaking of amenity dispensers, Pineapple Hospitality offers five different kinds of them. They estimate that these devices save $44/room/year.  

2013 MEETINGS   

February 14: InterContinental Boston 

March 21

May 9

June 20  

August 1

September 12

October 24

December 5

 

See you February 14 at InterContinental Boston!