August 9, 2013

Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,


The minutes from the August 1 meeting are below, with links to the presentations. See the other sections, too.  
Our next meeting will be September 12 at the Seaport Hotel.



Boston Green Tourism Meeting 


                                                                                   August 1, 2013


Location: Taj Boston Hotel

Host: Maureen Albright 


Present: Maureen Albright, Marcella MacKenzie, Marc Cohn, Ed Dustin, Lindsay Swetsky, Andre Rivas, Steve Brewin, Kevin Lubinger, Conor Healey, Dmitry Solovyov,  Steve Burrington, Jeff Mann, Dianna Dixon, Andrew Shakman, Shawn Whalen, Bret Gundersen, Dan Ruben. I missed several people.



Taj Boston: Green Projects in 2013 and 2014

Maureen Albright, Director of Engineering, Taj Boston

Ms. Albright discussed Taj Boston's EarthCheck certification, their successful condensate recovery project, their decision to purchase the Ecovim food dehydration unit and their 2013 and 2014 energy efficiency projects.


Preventing Food Waste in Hospitality

Andrew Shakman, President, CEO of LeanPath, Inc.

Mr. Shakman showed how many U.S. restaurants have cutt their food waste in half and their food purchases by 2% to 6% by tracking and analyzing their pre-consumer kitchen waste. Such efforts could bring some restaurants under the one ton per week mark, so that the MA food waste ban would not apply to them

He discussed the LeanPath system, and also mentioned other tracking systems.


Infrared Heating Solutions for Hotels

Shawn Whalen, Regional Manager Schwank USA


Infrared heating systems, which project radiant heat, are more efficient and comfortable for many outdoor and high ceiling applications. Taj Boston uses them outside their front door. Other hotels use them for their outdoor restaurants.  


Bret Gundersen, Northeast Regional Sales Manager, Panasonic 

Energy Star ventilation fans are up to seven times as efficient as other units. They are also quieter, and they require less maintenance. Humidity or sensor controls add even more value. Hotels should consider these fans when they renovate or if they have mold, maintenance or noise problems with their current units. 


The Colonnade and The Lenox are Finalists for Conde Nast World Savers Awards 2013 

The Colonnade and The Lenox are two of six finalists for this prestigious award. There were 174 hotel applicants from around the world. The links below are to the hotels' website green pages.


The Colonnade Hotel 

"WHY IT'S COOL: Since its recent renovation in 2009, the small Boston hotel has emerged as a model for hotels going green; installation of low flow toilets to reduce water use and recycling of soap to be redistributed to families in need are only a few of the eco-friendly measures the Colonnade employs." 


The Lenox Hotel 

"WHY IT'S COOL: From its farm-to-table restaurant to its use of Lexus hybrids to transport guests, the Lenox saves energy, manages waste, and conserves water. The hotel, while increasing its occupancy by 20%, has managed to reduce its overall water consumption by 25% in the last five years." 


Alternatives to Bleach and Other Laundry Products  

For decades, hotels have used harsh chemicals in their laundry, and many still do. (For a list of cleaning chemicals and their health impacts, see Dirty Secrets: What's Hiding in Your Cleaning Products, Helen Scranton, November 2011.) 


Bleach, in particular, is associated with unhealthy residues for staff and guests; it leaves towels unnaturally stiff; and the outflow fouls our rivers and harbor.


EPA's Design for Environment program certifies greener laundry products and other cleaning products. They help "businesses, and institutional buyers identify...products that perform well, are cost-effective, and are safer for the environment."   DfE's Laundry Products listing contains many alternatives to bleach and detergents. BGT member Clean Green Solutions sells one of them: Vaska's Oxygenbleach.


Also, I recommend this article, which expands on the problems and solutions associated with bleach and other harsh chemicals in hotel laundries: Bleach - Does it Really Clean?," by Bill Scherer, President, Clean Green Solutions.  


Free Energy Audits for Boston Area Hotels  

A Boston organization, A Better City, is offering a free, Virtual Energy Assessment (VEA) to hotels and other commercial buildings.


This VEA will be performed by Retroficiency, a Boston-based building energy auditing firm. It's a high-level audit conducted remotely, in which hotel electricity and steam use is analyzed and fed back to the hotel in a report that illuminates their usage throughout the year, and compares it to an ideally efficient hotel with all efficient systems. See the attached example


The time commitment from the hotel is about 15 minutes of background work and a 30-minute meeting with staff from Retroficiency and A Better City to review the report.


To learn more about this opportunity, or to sign up, please contact Mihir Parikhat 617-502-6245 or 


Webinar: Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI)  

Has your hotel had requests to use the HCMI to calculate and communicate the carbon footprint of hotel stays and meetings? If so, and you want to learn more about this tool, then I recommend this EcoGreenHotel webinar, scheduled for September 10, 2:00 - 3:00. It will:

  • "Provide carbon footprint information your customers are increasingly requesting.
  • Understand your environmental impacts and start to reduce these, as well as your costs!
  • Enhance your reporting."
You can register here.  

Energy Star Portfolio Manager Webinars and Training Documents
If your facility is not using Portfolio Manager yet, or if you want to get more out of it, see this web-page. It lists the many available training documents and upcoming webinars.
Jim Newman, Sarah Slaughter, Alex Wilson, July 13. 

This report was prepared for the Boston Society of Architects, the Boston Green Ribbon Commission and the City of Boston. It provides property owners and government officials with strategies and specific measures to reduce their vulnerability to floods and other extreme weather events.Section 3 is the most relevant part for hoteliers.

September 12: Seaport Hotel

October 24

December 5: Renassance Boston Waterfront   


See you September 12 at the Seaport!