November 2007 Archives

Cooper Hotels in Florida

Cooper Hotels, a leading, multi-brand owner and operator of 22 hotels in the eastern half of the U.S. today announced that its four Florida properties are in the process of becoming certified "Green Lodges" by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The hotels are the Hilton Naples, Hilton Orlando/Altamonte Springs, and two Fort Myers hotels, the Homewood Suites by Hilton and the Crowne Plaza Hotel at the Bell Tower Shops.

Certification depends not only on implementing green practices required by the department, but also on securing the commitment of top management. In this case it is Pace Cooper, President and CEO of the Memphis, Tennessee-based company. "While all of our hotels practice conservation, our Florida hotels are taking it to the next level with constant monitoring of results and feedback," said Mr. Cooper. "Most importantly, we will involve our guests in our efforts. Since many of them practice some level of conservation at home, they will appreciate the opportunity to contribute while traveling."

Criteria in five areas must be met in order to attain green status. Communications efforts must include a "green team" chaired by the hotel general manager, with representatives from each job position. The hotel staff must be familiar with the hotel's environmental policy and their role in it. Discussions on green practices at staff meetings are mandatory and require documentation. Guests and staff must receive communications on environmental initiatives via newsletters, or placards in guest rooms. Finally, a suggestion box or survey form must be provided for guests and staff to give feedback on green practices.

For water conservation, towel and linen reuse programs are required along with low flow faucets, showerheads and toilets and automatic faucets or toilets in public restrooms.

Energy efficiency measures include using Energy Star-rated equipment, programmable thermostats, sensor-controlled lighting, high-energy efficient lighting and a computerized energy management system.

Waste reduction is accomplished by recycling ink and toner cartridges, paper, cardboard, aluminum and steel cans. Use of recycled office paper, toilet tissues, paper towels or paper napkins is required as is bulk purchasing or reduced packaging.

Clean air practices consist of environmentally preferable cleaners, high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, cleaning air handler units and coils at least annually and following up with a preventive maintenance schedule.

Hilton Mississaugua

A groundbreaking will take place in Mississauga this morning for the first new “green” hotel in Canada that will have official certification for its long-term sustainability.
The 224-room Hilton Garden Inn is the newest of 10 hotels owned and operated by Sukdhev (Dave) Toor of Mississauga and his Manga Hotel company.
In an interview yesterday in his Hampton Inn and Suites Hotel, which is two doors down from the site where the new hotel will be built on Caroga Dr. in Malton, Toor said his children’s interest in the environment helped convince him to go green with his new project.
The 15-storey hotel has been designed by a LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified consultant to ensure it meets internationally-approved green standards.
“It will have a green roof and energy-efficient electrical and mechanical systems, carpeting that gives off less emissions so you can breathe fresh air, special paints and even a bicycle rack,” said Toor, who has lived in Mississauga for the past 12 years.

Green Rhode Island Hotels

A survey is being unveiled today to identify the state's most environmentally progressive hotels, part of a campaign to nudge hoteliers to voluntarily go "green."

The initiative is being organized by the state Department of Environmental Management and organizations that promote the hospitality industry. It will be announced at the annual meeting of the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"I'm hoping the business community embraces this," Martha J. Sheridan, the bureau's president, said yesterday. "It is an important concept."

The final survey is not complete, but organizers recently sent a draft to 20 of the state's largest hotels.

The 17-page questionnaire delves deeply into hotel operations. Owners are asked whether they recycle computer disks, buy milk and cheese from local farms, compost kitchen waste and donate leftover food to food pantries.

Each question lists a point value. Hotels that keep chemicals out of the garden, for example, earn 5 points. Relying exclusively on compact fluorescent bulbs is good for 15.

Modeled after a program in Maine, Rhode Island officials will reward "green" hotels by certifying those that accumulate at least 100 of the nearly 600 possible points. That recognition includes an "environmental leader" sticker for public display, a listing on a state Web site and state assistance in pursuing environmental improvements.

"This is moving quickly," said Dale J. Venturini, president of the Rhode Island Hospitality and Tourism Association, who will speak at today's gathering. "It is very encouraging."

The event is scheduled to start at 11:45 a.m. at the Feinstein IMAX Theatre at the Providence Place mall.

Terrence Gray, assistant director for air, waste and compliance at the DEM, said the survey could be modified before it is more widely distributed, after the responses of the initial participants are reviewed.

But organizers are moving swiftly to implement the rankings system, in part to reward business owners who have already invested in "green" strategies.

At the Renaissance Providence hotel, for example, the office staff uses recycled paper and in the hotel gym, bottled water is being replaced by a water cooler to reduce waste.

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