June 14, 2018
Boston Green Tourism
...advancing the green hotel movement

Dear Boston Green Tourism Members, 

The presentations from the May 31 meeting at the Lenox Hotel  are linked and  summarized below. See the other sections, too.

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Boston Green Tourism Meeting

April 5, 2018
Location : Lenox Hotel
Hosts:  Daniel Donahue, Tedd Saunders, Scot Hopps, Samantha Sorrin
Present Tedd Saunders, Samantha Sorrin, Scot Hopps, Stephan Fitz, Lori Laporte, Cecil Alkins, Ashley Dilieto, Miranda Aisling, Bill Scherer, Cameron Ritzenthaler, Michelle Guiney, Brad Jones, Dan Ruben.  

Scot Hopps, Vice President, Operations & Sustainability, Saunders Hotel Group
Samantha Sorrin, Director of Responsibility, Saunders Hotel Group
The Saunders Hotel Group's (SHG) Genuine Responsibility Program has five pillars:
  • Local: sourcing local food, drinks, vendors, etc.
  • Community: engaging the community, focusing charitable work and donations locally, etc.
  • Travel: carbon offsets for guests and for corporate travel, alternative fuel vehicles, etc.
  • Sustainability: reducing energy, water and waste; engaging vendors and other stakeholders in sustainability; etc.
  • People: programs to attract, retain staff and foster their growth; develop women and minorities; etc.
SHG set a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 2050, and is developing its plan to achieve that goal.
Staff input on sustainability and community-building programs has been important.

Regarding staff well-being, the Lenox started a fitness class and program for staff; they ordered a Bevi water cooler to replace the staff soda machine; and they introduced Meatless Mondays in the staff cafeteria.

Stefan Fitz, Assistant Director of Food and Beverage, Seaport Hotel & World Trade Center
The Seaport Hotel publishes the weekly Seaport Saves newsletter for staff. It engages and informs them about the hotel green program. 

The May 28 edition  includes recycling instructions and information about the hotel's bikes, herb garden and food rescue program.
The June 5 edition discusses plastics pollution--how the hotel is taking action and what staff can do in their own lives. Seaport is replacing its plastic straws with straws made from hay. They're also replacing their plastic condiment wrappers and plastic bags.
The hotel has improved its in-room messaging about its sustainability program.
The Seaport recently installed two Kone elevators with Eco-Disk technology. That project cut elevator energy use by 62%--almost 30,000 kWh's per year. The new elevators work better, too.
The hotel has focused on improving its recycling program, and achieved a most impressive 86% rate for the month of October. Both their food waste and their K-cups go to an anaerobic digestion facility.
The Seaport participates in the Global Reporting Initiative, which helps them benchmark their CSR programs, and understand what aspects of sustainability their customers and staff value.
The presentation linked above also covers aspects of their transportation program (they can now charge 10 electric vehicles at a time), water conservation program (1.5 gallons / minute shower heads, no-flush urinals) and the fun they have with beehives.

Michelle Lee Guiney, Total Recycle Program Manager, Waste Management
China, which took ½ of the world's recyclable waste until recently, has severely restricted the materials that they'll accept. They no longer take mixed paper and mixed plastics (#3 - #7), for example. And they now have an exceptionally low tolerance for contamination.
The implication for the global recycling market is profound; the pressure on haulers and recyclers is severe; and recycling costs are soaring. It will take at least several years for recycling markets to adjust. Markets are likely to get worse before they improve.
Haulers are now rejecting more loads, because they have no place to send them when they're too contaminated. 

Waste Management now takes plastics #'s 1, 2 and 5--and not #'s 3, 4, 6 and 7.
Some recyclers have stopped taking glass, at least temporarily.
Hotels should talk to their haulers about what the implications of the recycling market changes: which materials are still recyclable, particularly plastics; which materials are compostable; and how well their property is doing with contamination. It's also important to stay current with MA waste bans.
Ms. Guiney suggested that hotels focus more attention on waste reduction, waste audits, staff education and good signs.
This Waste Management website, Recycle Often, Recycle Right, has a great 5-minute training video, posters and an educational brochure.
Besides Ms. Guiney's presentation, you can see helpful articles in BGT newsletters here and here.

Brad Jones, Principal, High Performance Buildings, Cadmus
Retro-commissioning projects are tune-ups that optimize hotel energy efficiency, comfort and maintenance; and identify opportunities for operational improvements and cost effective investments.
Mr. Jones said that it's common for retro-commissioning projects to identify opportunities to improve HVAC scheduling, sequencing and controls; the use of water-side economizers; and install variable frequency drives and variable air volume (VAV) systems.
Retro-commissioning should be conducted every three to five years.
See the two hotel case studies in the presentation.


'Green Lifestyle' Strategies to Lower Your Carbon Footprint
Green Newton, June 10

I teach a course called, "Living a Green Lifestyle." I describe how to live in a more environmentally-friendly way--and reduce the cost of living by doing so.

The article linked above has my presentation and handout.

I've made presentations (15 minutes to one hour) on this subject to staff in several hotels. The purpose was to provide a benefit to staff, and to help employees better understanding their hotel's green program.

If you, want me to make this presentation at your property, please contact me. It's free for member hotels.


Green Restaurant Association, April 25

The livestock industry produces even more greenhouse gas than the transportation sector; their chemicals and sewage harm waterways and soil; and much of the industry uses inhumane practices. The article should say, but doesn't, that red meat impacts the environment far more than poultry.

Restaurants can help the environment by serving less red meat, offering more vegan dishes and purchasing meat that's raised more sustainably. Here are reputable certifying agencies:
Also, see the Green Restaurant Association's Sustainable Food & Beverage point system for certified green restaurants. It helps put the impact of different practices into perspective.

Glenn Hasek, Green Lodging News, June 7

Ms. Sorrin was interviewed about the Saunders Hotel Group's Genuine Responsibility program and her role.


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

October 11
The Langham, Boston

* We'll have one more meeting in the fall. I don't have a date for it yet.

Boston Green Tourism
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