Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,
Our next Boston Green Tourism meeting will be Thursday May 1, from 2:30 to 4:00 at the Hostelling International Boston, Community Room. Directions are here.
HI-Boston provides an interesting, 11-section green tour on their website that is worth a look.
Thank you to our hosts: Andrew Laliberte, Paul Kuhne, Sandra Roque and Bob Sylvia!
Please note that two of our speakers have multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS). Please refrain from using fragrances, so that they can stay safe and remain in the room.
I hope to see you at the meeting!
Sarah will discuss strategies to improve disaster resilience for hospitality organizations, including a framework for assessment and planning. The talk will draw upon the report the Built Environment Coalition completed with Linnean Solutions and the Resilient Design Institute for the Boston Green Ribbon Commission. The talk will focus on immediate, mid-term, and long-term actions that organizations can implement to become more resilient and sustainable.
Disaster resilience covers all types of extreme conditions, from extreme temperatures (cold or hot), high wind, blizzards, icy conditions, severe rain and localized flooding, power outages, etc. Hotels need to pay attention to resilience approaches, since they care for their guests (including those that can't leave when weather is extreme), and may act as a refuge for people in close proximity.
Hotels have certain advantages, since they provide shelter, potable water, sanitary systems, food, and often communications services. Yet, without specific attention, these critical services could be at risk. There are many actions that hotels can undertake immediately, often at no/low cost, to improve resilience, and other actions that can be incorporated into mid and long-term plans.
Margaret Ricciardelli, Presenter, Massachusetts Association for the Chemically Injured
The speakers will discuss Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), an increasingly prevalent, debilitating disability that is environmentally-related. They will tell us who is affected and which environmental exposures that can initiate MCS. They will describe how hotels can reduce toxins to increase accessibility for people with MCS, improve indoor air quality and provide a healthier facility for all guests and staff.
See the bottom article in the IDEAS section for more information on this subject.
Craig MacIntyre, President, EcoThermal Filters
Craig will discuss new technology that captures the waste heat that normally leaves kitchen ventilation hoods. It then transfers it to restaurant dishwashers or other equipment that uses hot water. The ROI is impressive.
Paul Kuhne, Community Engagement Manager, Hostelling International Boston
Andrew and Paul will discuss HI-Boston's green program, including recent projects, achievements and plans for 2014.
Saunders Hotel Group Publishes Sustainability Report
When hotels communicate their green goals, practices and achievements, they set an example that their guests and peer hotels can emulate, and distinguish their business to environmentally-concerned customers.
This month, the Saunders Hotel Group (SHG) did so by publishing a beautiful and substantive Sustainability Report. Four SHG's six hotels are in Greater Boston: The Lenox, Comfort Inn & Suites in Revere, Hampton Inn Norwood and Boston Common Hotel.
SHG's Jeff Saunders explained why they created their sustainability report. "I think about the 307 employees of Saunders Hotel Group and how the decisions that we make impact their lives and livelihoods...Making a decision for the short-term that undermines our commitment to long-term success would mean compromising the livelihoods of the stakeholders who depend on us the most-Our Teams."
The report highlights SHG's progress on sustainability in 2011 and 2012. During that period, SHG formalized its, "company-wide goals for greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions, water efficiency, solid waste reduction, and sustainable purchasing."
The report displays SHG's goals and their progress towards achieving them. For example,
- they strive to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per available room by 20% between 2008 and 2020; and they are currently at 15.2%. (If you want to calculate your hotel's greenhouse gas emissions, see how SHG calculates it on page 21.)
- SHG hotels have cut water use by 7.7% since 2008.
- a waste audit at the Lenox showed an 88% recycling rate! The rate does not include the hotel's restaurants, which are leased.
The report is great reading, particularly for green team members and marketing staff.
Sheraton Commander Addresses Noise and Saves Energy with New Windows
I have written about many environmental issues, but this is my first article about noise reduction.
The Sheraton Commander Hotel in Cambridge recently replaced all of their exterior windows on their guestroom floors, according to Al Vaughn, Director of Engineering. The primary purpose for the project was to improve hotel guests' experience by reducing the sound level in their rooms. Since the project was completed, there has been a dramatic decrease in guest complaints about noise.
The new windows will also decrease the Sheraton Commander's energy bills. The hotel purchased Peerless Series GS5 Energysave Solarban 60 Low E Laminated windows. This product has good insulation qualities (a low U-Value); it reduces solar heat gain, which cuts cooling costs; and it reduces air infiltration.
NSTAR is working on a 2014 Custom Application for a possible energy savings rebate.
Tips for Creating a Healthy Environment for Guests and Staff
For most people, exposure to toxic chemicals has a subtle impact, and can cause health problems over time.
For people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS), toxic exposures have exceeded their bodies' limit, and caused serious injury. This population has become permanently hypersensitive to many chemicals. They often avoid public buildings, or ask for special accommodations that will keep them safe.
The chemicals that trigger people with MCS can harm the rest of us over time. So, when hotels make their properties safer for the MCS population, they create a healthier environment for everyone.
These documents identify safety strategies and common chemicals that impact people with MCS and the rest of us:
Products That Increase Risk of Chemical Injury
20 Most Common Chemicals Found in 31 Fragrance Products
Chemicals to Watch Out For
Accommodating People Disabled by Chemical Barriers that are unhealthy for everybody.
W Boston Hotel and Irving House Achieve TripAdvisor GreenLeader Platinum; InterContinental Boston and Onyx Hotel Move Up
Greater Boston is now distinguished by three platinum hotels! W Boston Hotel and Irving House recently joined the Lenox by achieving this elite ranking.
Congratulations go to W Boston's Rob Vass, Irving House's Rachael Solem and their colleagues.
Also, InterContinental Boston and Onyx Hotel have recently moved up to Gold and Silver status, respectively.
TripAdvisor: The Lenox is One of the 10 Highest-Rated Green Hotels In The U.S.
The Lenox is on quite a roll. They were cited this month as one of the top ten hotels in the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders system. Most of the other hotels are under 100 rooms. Congratulations go to Dan Donahue and his team at The Lenox Hotel, with support from EcoLogical Solutions.
Sheraton Boston and Onyx Hotel Win Massachusetts Lodging Association's Good Earthkeeping Award
The hotels were honored at MLA's 2013 Stars of the Industry Awards Luncheon. Congratulations go to Sheraton Boston's Jeff Hanulec, Onyx Hotel's Joe Capalbo and their colleagues.
This free event, "Everything You Need to Divert Food Waste from Your Waste Stream," will help commercial buildings comply with the October 1 MA food waste ban and achieve other waste reduction goals. It will take place June 12 from 9:00 to 2:00 at Sheraton Framingham Hotel & Conference Center.
"Attendees will have a chance to connect with a wide range of vendors, including haulers, compostable product vendors, food donation and rescue organizations, and onsite organic waste reduction technology vendors."
RecyclingWorks experts will be available for one-on-one consultations. The event will also include presentations on the food waste ban and the best management practices for commercial food waste separation.
EPA WaterSense Wants to Highlight Hotel in Case Study
I mentioned the EPA WaterSense webinar series in recent newsletters. On May 8, they will be hosting a webinar on how to, "Minimize Water in Mechanical/HVAC Systems."
They want to highlight a hotel that has undertaken one the following projects:
- Increased its cycles of concentration in its cooling tower.
- Offset the potable water demand from its cooling tower by adding an alternative source of water as make-up (air handler condensate, captured stormwater, etc.).
- Eliminated single-pass cooling equipment (e.g., water-cooled ice machines).
- Reuses condensate in its steam boiler.
- Installed efficient chillers/boilers.
They are also interested in case studies for their webinars on water efficiency in commercial kitchens and employee education on water efficiency.
If you want your hotel to get recognized for its work in any of these area, please contact me and I will forward your contact information.
The following BGT meetings will be 2:30 to 4:00. Please mark them in your calendars!
May 1: Hostelling International Boston
See you May 1 at HI-Boston!