March 2, 2018

Dear Boston Green Tourism Members,  

Our next meeting will be Thursday March 8 from 2:30 to 4:00 at Lenox Hotel

I thank our hosts: Daniel Donahue, Samantha Sorrin, Scot Hopps and Tedd Saunders.
I hope you can come!

T edd Saunders CSO, Sa unders Hotel Group,  & CEO, EcoLogical Solutions

Scot Hopps Vice President, Operations & Sustainability,  Saunders Hotel Group

Samantha Sorrin Director of Responsibility,  Saunders Hotel Group

Mr. Saunders, Mr. Hopps and Ms. Sorrin will discuss the Saunders Hotel Group's expansion of their sustainability program. The new and broader program, called Genuine Responsibility, will include a focus on wellness for guests and staff, and greater engagement with the community. 

Rachel Barney, Evening Housekeeping Manager, Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center

Ms. Barney will discuss 2017 green highlights for the Seaport Hotel.  She'll focus on new technologies that the hotel has incorporated, and on actions the hotel has taken to improve its sustainability message to clients and employees alike.

Cindy Zhu , Fellow, U.S. Department of Energy

The US Department of Energy's Better Buildings Initiative works with the hospitality industry to demonstrate energy efficiency successes and recognize market leaders. 

Attendees will learn about strategies for portfolio-wide energy reduction, the Better Buildings Financing Navigator tool, the latest in energy management and smart building technologies and relevant case studies featuring hotels that partner with DOE. 

Michael Youngs, VP Sales, Motili  

Mr. Youngs will show how hotels can streamline their HVAC, plumbing and electrical projects, maintenance and repairs with the use of the latest technology platform.  By using this platform, combined with the world's largest HVAC manufacturer, hotels can save time and reduce costs. 


Healthy Hotel Mattresses
Hotel brand mattresses maximize comfort and promote good sleep. However, few of them meet  the highest health standards.
Most hotel mattresses are made primarily of polyurethane foam, which emits VOCs (volatile  organic compounds) that can cause respiratory and other health problems. Off-gassing declines  over time, but some chemical exposure persists.
Harmful flame retardant chemicals are common mattress components, too. They're linked to 
cancer, hormone disruption and immune system impacts. Wool and polylactic acid are healthier  alternatives.
Common crib mattresses release almost 30 different kinds of VOC's,  fragrances, allergens and phthalates according to recent studies. This is particularly concerning, because chemical exposure harms babies more than adults.
Mattress covers can be problematic, too. Some are made of PVC plastic (vinyl), which off-gas  phthalates, a class of chemicals that are hormone disruptors. It's better to use covers made of polyurethane laminate, fabric or polyethylene.
The healthiest mattresses, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG):
  • are made of at least 95% certified organic materials like cotton, wool and natural or organic latex. 
  • are certified to be low-VOC.
  • don't contain polyurethane foam, chemical flame retardants, fragrances, antimicrobials or vinyl.

Both EWG and Consumer Reports say that the most comprehensive and stringent mattress 

certifications are the Global Organic Textile Standard  (GOTS) and the  Global Organic Latex Standard  (GOLS) .
While polyurethane foam mattresses aren't optimal, and don't qualify to be GOTS and  GOLS certified, some are healthier than others. The Greenguard Gold  and the  Oeko-Tex Standard 100  certifications recognize low-VOC mattresses, including some made from polyurethane foam.
The CertiPUR-US  certification applies to polyurethane foam mattresses only. These mattresses must be relatively low in VOC's and made without certain injurious substances (harmful flame retardants, heavy metals, formaldehyde and phthalates). It's important to note that CertiPUR-US is comprised of  chemical company and foam fabricator representatives. Its standards  are weaker  than the other certifications.
Hotels maintain the health of their mattresses by:

  • airing out ones that off-gas before using them.
  • vacuuming them periodically to reduce dust mite allergens and microbes.
  • using zippered pillow and mattress covers made of tightly woven fabric--not made from PVC.


Survey: January "Bombogenesis" Storm Stimulates Boston Businesses to Adopt Resilience Measures

The speed, intensity and flooding depth caused by the January storm caught many waterfront businesses by surprise, according to a survey of 24 properties by A Better City. Their report is titled, The Impacts of the January 2018 Winter Storm: How the Winter Storm Affected a Segment of the Boston Business Community

Almost 60% of the surveyed property owners will upgrade their building resiliency and emergency response plans as a result of their experience with the storm. 

The document linked above contains helpful resources for commercial building managers, and some interesting insights.

BGT presentations about hotel resiliency and preparedness can be found on the BGT website in the Hotel Resilence section of the Index of Presentations.


Jena Tesse Fox, Hotel Management, November 30

One of the three trends described by the author is biophilic design, which incorporates nature into the hotel experience.

Manhattan lobbies that had biophilic design elements like large plants, running water, wood and stone had a 44% higher user rate, according to a twelve-hotel study. 

Designs that evoke nature are well-suited for spaces where plants and running water are impractical. They generate a positive response that can be measured in the human brain.


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

March 8 
The Lenox Hotel
April 5 
The Ritz-Carlton, Boston
October 11 The Langham, Boston

* We'll have one more meeting in the fall. I haven't scheduled the date yet.

See you Thursday at the Lenox!
Boston Green Tourism
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