December 13, 2014

Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,


The presentations from the December 4 meeting are linked below. See the other sections, too.  
Our next meeting will be January 15, 2:30 to 4:00 at the Millennium Bostonian Hotel.

Happy holidays!
                               Boston Green Tourism Meeting    
credit: hoteljunkie.mag

                                            December 4, 2014


Location: The Langham Boston 


Host: Fred Mahoney


PresentFred Mahoney, Tedd Saunders, Samantha Sorrin, Ganga Singh, Brandan Barber, Rachel Hamaker, Marc Cohn, Amy Martinichio, Kevin Lubinger, Pamela St. Aimee, Karen Weber, Beverley Spence, Cameron Ritzenthaler, Bill Scherer, Hugh Leahy, Rich Finn, Dan Cook, Liyang Wang, Peter Kuhn, Tom Wallace, Maria Wallace, Jeff Patterson, Jonathan Benjamin, Dan Ruben. 


The Langham Boston's Plans to Cut Electricity Use by 3.5 Million kWh's

Fred Mahoney, The Langham Boston


Mr. Mahoney discussed the hotel's recent and upcoming energy efficiency projects, including their window film installation on the top three floors, new chillers, kitchen hood exhaust and supply fan drives, a lighting upgrade, variable speed drives on their air handlers and their planned heating and cooling projects.


Set It and Forget It?

Peter Kuhn, NSTAR Electric & Gas Corporation


NSTAR's EnergyLink is a building analytics tool that enables customers to monitor and manage their energy consumption. By tracking and analyzing energy use and costs through EnergyLink, customers can quickly spot anomalies. Real-time alarms enable EnergyLink to notify customers when problems occur, like equipment that is malfunctioning or running when it shouldn't.


The presentation includes a case study of three already efficient office towers that cut their energy use by 13% by using a building analytics tool and a firm to monitor the data. The problems they discovered are listed on page 7. In the program's first year, it saved $74,000.


Welcome to Xeros: A Revolution in Cleaning

Jonathan Benjamin, Xeros Inc.


Xeros's patented polymer bead laundry system provides high-quality cleaning performance while sharply reducing the use of water, energy and laundry chemicals. It's gaining traction in the U.S hotel industry. A Hyatt hotel that purchased the Xeros machines had a payback of two years.


The Langham Boston Hotel Window Film Project

Jeff Patterson, Eastman Chemical Company

Tom Wallace, New England Window Film


The top three floors of The Langham were uncomfortable, because they are mostly glass and thus experienced excessive heat gain on sunny days. The hotel addressed this issue by hiring New England Window Film to install EnerLogic window film, which reduced the solar heat gain and improved the windows' insulation value. Occupants are now more comfortable, glare has been reduced, the hotel likes the aesthetics and the project ROI is well under two years. NSTAR supported this project. 


Does It Make Sense to Convert your Hotel Van to a Hybrid?  

The City of Boston recently installed XL Hybrid's Electric Drive System in four city-owned vans. This technology improves gas mileage by 25 percent and thus reduces the required number of refueling stops for each vehicle. XL's drive systems are installed in six hours, and don't take up cargo space.


Boston is not alone. XL Hybrids has converted many other organizations' vans and buses to hybrids, including Coca Cola, Pepsico and FedEx.


XL's Electric Drive System might be a good fit for some hotels, though it won't be financially-compelling for others. The economics for retrofits work best for vans that have at least ten years of useful life left and are driven at least 25,000 miles per year. If one assumes that the price of gasoline will bounce back to $4 per gallon over that period, the payback would be slightly more than three years.


The financial advantage of this technology will be more compelling when incentives are provided for hybrid conversions, as they are in Maryland and Chicago, and when batteries come down in price.


Beyond dollars and cents, some companies use their converted vans to boost their image. Coca Cola writes boldly, "Hybrid Electric Van," on their vehicles.


I'll keep you updated on new developments with this promising technology. 



Video Conveys Hotel's Commitment to Environment and Wellness

Some hotels use videos to publicize their green programs. One such video was made by the Chiva-Som International Health Resort in Thailand. It's impressive in both style and content. 


If you or your Marketing staff want links to other effective green hotel videos, please contact me.


Hotel's Stylish Website Communicates its Environmental Commitment

The Brown Palace Hotel & Spa  website page that describes its green program is one of the best that I have seen. It's bold, clear and attractive


Brown Palace's website also features a touching and informative page on their Bee Royalty Initiative.


Like the video mentioned above, I encourage you to visit these pages to see both their style and content.



2015 Challenge for Sustainability Announced

A Better City's Challenge for Sustainability is gearing up for 2015.


The Challenge, a program for City of Boston commercial building operators, "encourages businesses to adopt best practices in energy efficiency and sustainability through a platform of benchmarking and a peer support network." Participants are invited to monthly workshops and networking events, and may also take advantage of free energy audits. Several BGT hotels have participated.


To learn more and register, visit the Challenge website.
Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News, December 3. 

Hotels can benefit the environment by recycling their toner and ink cartridges. They save 20 to 50 percent when they purchase re-manufactured units.

I drafted the following schedule for BGT meetings in 2015. Each meeting will be 2:30 to 4:00.


January 15: Millennium Bostonian

March 5

April 9

May 21

July 16

September 17

October 22

December 10


I avoided the biggest city-wide conventions and major holidays. However, I'm not aware of every busy date for the lodging community. So, if any of these dates would cause a conflict for Boston hoteliers, please contact me.


See you January 15 at the Millennium Bostonian Hotel!