January 8, 2013
Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,  
                                                  

Our next Boston Green Tourism meeting will be Thursday January 16, from 2:30 to 4:00 at The Fairmont Copley Plaza. Directions are here.

 

Thank you to our hosts: Dragana Kovecevic and other members of The Fairmont Copley Plaza green team.

 

I hope to see you there!

 

Dan Ruben 

SPEAKERS
Dragana Kovacevic, Sustainability Team Chair, The Fairmont Copley Plaza will 
discuss the hotel's green program: its unique aspects, recent projects and lessons 
learned. 

Barry Sanders
, President and COO of American DG Energy will talk about  combined
heat and power (CHP) systems and financing options that use power purchase
agreements (PPA's) for mechanical equipment including CHP, chillers and boilers.


David Flanders, VP of Business Development, Vivreau USA. Recently, there has been a 
surge of hotels in Boston and elsewhere that have replaced bottled water with attractively 
packaged, in-house filtered water. Mr. Flanders will discuss the environmental and financial 
benefits of integrated drinking water programs, and will provide case studies of hotels that made the switch. 
                                        

Dan Ruben, Executive Director, Boston Green Tourism. I will describe the best practices 

used by U.S. hotels to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste streams. I will include many 

ideas for cutting costs and scoring points towards green certification.

 
NEWS

Final Building Energy Reporting and Disclosure Ordinance (BERDO) Established

The City of Boston completed the ordinance that requires Boston buildings over 50,000 square feet to report their annual Energy Star Portfolio Manager score and their water use to the Boston Air Pollution Control Commission. The city will eventually make that information available online. 

 

Buildings must report their 2013 Portfolio Manager scores by May 15, 2014. In 2014, the City will only report on whether the building submitted the required information. It will begin listing buildings' Portfolio Manage scores and water use information in 2015.

 

Later, the City might collect the data automatically. They are working with the Massachusetts Public Utility Commission to facilitate direct reporting of whole-building data by the utilities.

 

The ordinance also stipulates that some buildings will be required to get energy audits every five years: those that don't have high scores and that don't show significant improvement.

 

For buildings that rent space to tenants, the tenants are now required to provide the building owners with energy and water use information.

 

When the City wants to update the ordinance, they will consult with an Advisory Committee composed of property owners. The hospitality representative is Anthony Dinatale, Director of Engineering for Westin Boston Waterfront. 

  

More information about the ordinance is here.

 

The ordinance is part of the City's initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "Tracking energy and water use is a proven technique that helps buildings owners increase energy and water efficiency."

IDEAS

Processing Food Waste: What Do We Now Know about Biodigesters and Dehydrators? 

 

With Massachusetts and other states poised to prohibit large generators of food waste from disposing it in landfills and incinerators, the race is on to develop solutions. A recent article (Analysis Of Biodigesters And Dehydrators To Manage Organics On-SiteZoŽ Neale, BioCycle, October 2013) sheds light on this matter by comparing two of the strategies: using biodigesters and dehydrators.

 

(The other strategies for addressing food waste are having food waste hauled to compost facilities, reducing food waste beneath the one ton per week limit and using pulpers.)

 

Here are some of the author's important points about biodigesters and dehydrators:

  • The industry is still young, and lightly regulated. So, it's difficult to evaluate the sellers' claims.
  • Both machines help restaurants with space constraints, pest control and costs. 
  • The effluent from biodigesters, "may contain relatively high levels of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) that can be corrosive to plumbing, detrimental to wastewater treatment systems and may contain high levels of non-beneficial bacteria." Thus far, permitting agencies are approving the systems. They might reevaluate their stance if biodigesters begin to cause problems in municipal sewer and water treatment systems.
  • The residual from dehydrators can be used successfully as a soil amendment only if the moisture content is low. The moisture content varies from system to system.
  • Biodigesters increase hotel water bills. However, dehydrators require more energy than biodigesters, and the residuals must be hauled away. 
Donating Surplus Food  

Does your hotel donate surplus food to food banks or shelters? Besides addressing an important societal need, food donation helps hotels get under the one ton per week limit, reduces waste disposal costs, generates goodwill and creates a tax benefit.

 

Food donors are protected from liability by the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.

 

The RecyclingWorks Massachusetts website has a food donation guide for businesses and a checklist for starting food donation programs. 

OPPORTUNITIES

Reduce Costs and Greenhouse Gases

A Boston organization called A Better City is offering technical assistance through their green business engagement program, the Challenge for Sustainability.  Going into its 5th year, the Challenge for Sustainability is a one-on-one technical assistance program that helps businesses economically reduce their energy costs and their carbon footprint.  

 

Along with receiving hands-on assistance, businesses have the opportunity to network and share best practices through monthly meetings, workshops, and the Challenge network. 

 

Challenge for Sustainability participants gain from benefits such as:

-          Benchmarking and online data tracking.

-          Customized energy action plans with strategies to reduce energy use.

-          Additional resources on waste & water reduction, employee & customer engagement.

-          Connections to utility incentives that can cover some of the costs of energy projects.

 

To learn more about this opportunity, or to sign up, contact Mihir Parikh at 617-502-6245 or mparikh@abettercity.org.

ARTICLES

Fiber Origin & Type are Just a Part of Linens' Evolving Sustainability Story    

Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News, October 17. 

With Linens, There's More to Consider Than Meets the Eye--Or Hand 

Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News, October 17. 

 

The author explores the question of what makes linens environmentally-friendly. He finds that there are many factors to consider: fiber type; whether the fiber was organically-grown; whether it has recycled content; its durability; whether renewable energy was used to manufacturing it; the amount of energy required to wash, dry and press it; and whether the seller will take back the product when hotels need to replace them. 

UPCOMING MEETINGS   

All of the following BGT meetings will be 2:30 to 4:00. Please mark them in your calendars!

 

January 16: Fairmont Copley Plaza

March 6: The Lenox Hotel

April 17

June 5

July 24

September 18

October 30

December 4                 

 

See you Thursday January 16 at The Fairmont Copley Plaza!