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Environmental Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: Best Practices, Guest Participation, and Customer Satisfaction

May 18, 2015 Comments off

Environmental Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: Best Practices, Guest Participation, and Customer Satisfaction
Source: Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, Center for Hospitality Research

Certain sustainability practices could be considered nearly universal in the lodging industry, based on a study of 100 resorts in the United States. Among the common green practices are water conserving fixtures and linen-reuse programs. A separate survey of 120,000 hotel customers finds that guests are generally willing to participate in sustainability programs, but the presence of green operations still do not override considerations of price and convenience in selecting a hotel. Additionally, the study finds an increased willingness to participate when hotels offer incentives, such as loyalty program points, for participating in environmental programs. Although the link between environmentally sustainable programs and improved customer satisfaction is weak compared to standard drivers like facilities, room, and food and beverage quality, hotels are increasingly expected to maintain sustainability programs as a regular feature of their business. At the same time, the study did find that environmental sustainability programs do not diminish guest satisfaction. Consequently, the decision regarding which programs to implement should rest on cost-benefit analysis and other operating considerations.

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The UN World Water Development Report 2015, Water for a Sustainable World

March 27, 2015 Comments off

The UN World Water Development Report 2015, Water for a Sustainable World
Source: United Nations

The 2015 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report (WWDR 2015), titled Water for a Sustainable World, will be launched at the official celebration of the World Water Day, on March 20.

The WWDR 2015 demonstrates how water resources and services are essential to achieving global sustainability. Taking account of economic growth, social equity and environmental sustainability, the report’s forward-looking narrative describes how major challenges and change factors in the modern world will affect – and can be affected by – water resources, services and related benefits. The report provides a comprehensive overview of major and emerging trends from around the world, with examples of how some of the trend‐related challenges have been addressed, their implications for policy‐makers, and further actions that can be taken by stakeholders and the international community.

CRS — Agricultural Conservation: A Guide to Programs (January 12, 2015)

March 10, 2015 Comments off

Agricultural Conservation: A Guide to Programs (PDF)
Source: Congressional Researach Service (via National Agricultural Law Center)

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Farm Service Agency (FSA) in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) currently administer close to 20 programs and subprograms that are directly or indirectly available to assist producers and landowners who wish to practice conservation on agricultural lands. The differences and number of these programs has created general confusion about the purpose, participation, and policies of the programs. While recent consolidation efforts removed some duplication, a large number of programs remain.

CPW Bushmeat Sourcebook

March 10, 2015 Comments off

CPW Bushmeat Sourcebook
Source: Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (Collaborative Partnership on Wildlife)

The e-sourcebook on bushmeat provides an objective and comprehensive understanding of the global tropical bushmeat issue, by disentangling the topic into the following sections:

  • Bushmeat and conservation issues
  • Bushmeat and local livelihoods
  • Bushmeat and human health
  • Bushmeat and governance issues
  • Bushmeat and climate change
  • Bushmeat and extractive industries
  • Bushmeat and sustainable management
  • Recommendations from the Liaison Group on Bushmeat of the CBD

Each section synthesizes available global scientific knowledge, drawing attention to relevant and current references for further reading.

Greener Hospitals: Building Consensus for Health Care Sustainability

March 5, 2015 Comments off

Greener Hospitals: Building Consensus for Health Care Sustainability
Source: Knowledge@Wharton (University of Pennsylvania)

Until recently, health care was not a major part of the sustainability discussion. And the reverse was just as true: Few within the health care industry thought much about sustainability. Yet the two fields overlap in many important ways.

Health care has a sizeable impact on the environment. In her book, Greening Health Care, Kathy Gerwig, vice president of employee safety, health and wellness at Kaiser Permanente, notes that hospitals are the second-most energy-intensive commercial buildings in the U.S. and that the industry is responsible for 8% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. “Health care institutions are consistently among the top 10 water users in their communities,” she writes, and they are “the single-largest users of chemical agents.” The volume of waste flowing out of hospitals is mammoth — more than 2.3 million tons per year — including everything from paper and cardboard to infectious materials and radioactive waste.

Options for Improving Conservation Programs: Insights from Auction Theory and Economic Experiments

February 25, 2015 Comments off

Options for Improving Conservation Programs: Insights from Auction Theory and Economic Experiments
Source: USDA Economic Research Service

USDA spends over $5 billion per year on conservation programs, mostly on voluntary programs that pay farmers and landowners to provide environmental services. This report studies the use of auctions in conservation programs to determine if auction design can reduce Government expenditures or encourage landowners to provide greater environmental services.

2014 NHL Sustainability Report

January 5, 2015 Comments off

2014 NHL Sustainability Report
Source: National Hockey League

Perhaps more than any other sport, hockey is impacted by environmental issues, particularly climate change and freshwater scarcity. The ability to skate and play hockey outdoors is a critical component of the League’s history and culture. Many of the NHL’s players, both past and present, learned to skate outside on frozen lakes, ponds and backyard rinks. The game of hockey is adversely affected if this opportunity becomes unavailable to future generations.

With this 2014 NHL SUSTAINABILITY REPORT, the first of its kind for the League, we address head-on the connection between hockey and the environment, and the impact we have on our planet. It is in our best interest to confront this challenge, to be transparent with our impacts and to discuss and explore with all of our stakeholders a strategy for long-term environmental sustainability.

In this report, we put forth our first carbon inventory, which details the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the many facets of our operations, including energy and water use, waste and travel. We acknowledge that NHL hockey games are energy intensive. We also acknowledge that the geographic locations of our Clubs require a substantial amount of travel over the course of a season. Like the other professional sports, these business operations affect the air we breathe and our supplies of clean, fresh water. We are determined to address these environmental challenges without sacrificing the integrity of our game.

While we have made some progress to date, we concede there is still much to do. Our plan for the years ahead, given our unique constrains, is to capture additional data and information related to the impacts of our business and to create meaningful goals to reduce those impacts. It is our objective to raise the level of environmental consciousness among our fans and arena operators, and encourage improvements within our Clubs’ buildings, our operations, employees, partners, vendors, fans and communities.

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