June 5, 2015

Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,


The presentations from the May 21 meeting are linked below. See the other sections, too.  

Our next meeting will be Thursday July 16 at Mandarin Oriental Boston. 
                               Boston Green Tourism Meeting   
                                             May 21, 2015 


Location: Fairmont Copley Plaza

Hosts: Paul Tormey, Ellen Ryan, Eric Ulvila and Brooke Lizotte.


Present: Brooke Lizotte, Ed Dustin, Rachel Hamacher, Samantha Sorrin, Ganga Singh, Rob Vass, Alex Alexandrovich, Pamela St. Aimee, Beverly Spence, Monica Mattingly, Bob Shatten, Cameron Ritzenthaler, 

Karen Weber, Kathryn Wright, Dinesh Wadhani, Noah Wilson-Rich,  Dan Ruben. 


Enhancing Resilience in Boston: A Guide for Large Buildings and Institutions

Kathryn Wright, Consultant, Meister Consultants Group, Inc.


Commercial buildings in Boston and Cambridge are at increasing risk from sea level rise, an increase in heavy precipitation events and the urban heat island effect. Flood maps in the presentation indicate the the most vulnerable locations today, and the projections for 2050 when sea level will be higher.

In her presentation,Ms. Wright helps hoteliers determine whether to make investments that improve their properties' resilience, what measures they should consider and the regulatory agencies that must be contacted for each measure. The measures and regulatory touch-points are described more fully in the resiliency toolkit

The presentation also raises questions that hotels should address when developing contingency plans for city-wide weather emergencies.

LED Retrofit Kits for Fluorescent Tubes:

Dinesh Wadwhani, Chief Executive Officer, ThinkLite

Fluorescent tubes are the most common lighting product in the world. Recently, ThinkLite has developed dimmable and driver-less LED replacements. These products:

  • produce a very impressive 131 lumens per watt, 
  • have great light quality (CRI of 93),
  • last 65,000 hours, and
  • are compatible with occupancy sensors.

They are eligible for Mass Save incentives and have an ROI of well under two years. They illuminate hotels and other commercial buildings on five continents.


Bee-Keeping for Hotels

Noah Wilson-Rich, Founder & Chief Scientific Officer, The Best Bees Company


At least eight Boston hotels have active beehives. So do scores of hotels around the world--and the number keeps growing. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts' highly-regarded Bee Sustainable Program has hotel-roof apiaries on three continents and "pollinator bee hotels" in Canada. 

Studies show, surprisingly, that urban beehives produce far more honey than suburban and rural hives. Hotels use the honey in their restaurants, bars and spas. 


Beekeeping is an effective symbol of hotel green programs because of the growing concern for the plight of bees. Some hotels show off their beehives on hotel tours and use live video-feeds so guests can watch the hives. Liability has not been a problem, because the bee species that inhabit hotel roofs are docile.


The Best Bees Company installs and manages beehives. They make beekeeping simple for their hotel customers.


BostonGreenFest: How Hotels Can Benefit

Karen Weber, Executive Director, Boston GreenFest


This free annual event will be held this year at Boston City Hall Plaza from August 21 to 23. It's the region's largest multicultural environmental music festival. Hotel green team members can learn ideas that they can bring back to their properties.



Sheraton Recognized for Largest Energy Reduction in 2014

Sheraton Boston was honored for achieving the largest energy reduction in 2014 among the 105 participants in A Better City's Challenge for Sustainability

The hotel reduced its electricity use from 12.4 million kWh's in 2013 to 11.3 million kWh's in 2014. 


Jeff Hanulec, Sheraton' Boston's Director of Engineering, listed the property's most significant projects in 2014:

  • They installed thousands of LED lights.
  • They upgraded their bathroom ventilation system by installing an American Aldes product that precisely and automatically regulates airflow, thereby eliminating unnecessary ventilation.
  • They completed a boiler optimization project.
  • They installed removable Thermaxx insulation jackets on their steam traps and hot water pipes.
  • They reduced equipment run-time by adding controls, educating housekeepers to shut off unused equipment and scheduling activities more tightly.

Eversource and National Grid provided substantial financial support for the capital projects.


Sheraton Boston also reduced their water consumption by 12% in 2014, in large part by installing WaterSense toilets in one of their towers. 


A Pen Can Speak to Your Guests        

How much difference can one pen make in a sales and marketing effort? If you're providing eco-friendly products and services, then one eco-friendly pen can make a powerful statement about your hotel's environmental awareness and social responsibility.


Gerri Weiner, VP Business Development, Green Promotional Items, said, "When I founded Green Promotional Items in 2008, I wanted to fill a void. Hotels and suppliers in the hospitality industry were greening everything but underestimating the impact of their promotional items. I would go to an eco-friendly conference and see that the notepad and pen on the table weren't eco-friendly. Think of what it says when you promote your environmental awareness with gifts that pollute the environment."


Weiner points out that most green hotel practices are unseen by guests. "If your business is committed to the environment," she argues, "why keep it a secret?


Some of the many green promotional items visible to guests included recycled pens, recycled notepads, organic lip balm, recycled tote bags, biodegradable mugs, biodegradable golf tees and balls. Yes, a pen can speak to your guests!


Ms. Weiner (gerri@greenpromotionalitems.com) helps hotels and their suppliers achieve their promotional goals. 


"WaterSense kicks off its 2015 H2Otel Challenge technical training webinar series on June 25, 2:00 to 4:00, with "A for Assess: Conducting a Water Assessment with WaterSense's WaterUSE Tool". 

Learn how to conduct a facility water assessment, identify areas to reduce water use and [see a] demonstration of the Water Use and Savings Evaluation Tool."

Recordings of past WasterSense webinars can be found here


The Element Hotel brand is installing solar canopies at all 16 of their properties. The canopies, designed by Sistine Solar, have a nature theme. The units enable guests to re-charge their devices while relaxing in the shade. 


The following meetings will be 2:30 to 4:00. 


July 16:              Mandarin Oriental Boston

September 17:  Hyatt Regency Boston

October 22:       Taj Boston

December 10:    Le Méridien Cambridge-MIT


See you July 16 at Mandarin Oriental!