By Brandon Dervishian
USGBC MA is All In for a wicked green Greenbuild 2017! As the three-time top ranked city in the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s annual City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, Boston not only talks the sustainability talk, it walks the walk. The Greening Committee for Greenbuild 2017 is convening conversations around sustainable operations in Boston’s hospitality and service industries and encouraging Greenbuild attendees (you all!) to support local green businesses during your visit to Boston.
We expect 30,000 green building advocates and practitioners to visit Boston this fall to learn and collaborate at Greenbuild ’17. Most of those attendees will be booking hotel rooms, navigating Boston’s streets and public transit networks, and eating out along the way. Greenbuild itself always strives to be a sustainable and environmentally responsible conference, with particular attention to hospitality and waste management…So what are some ways we can practice what we preach during Greenbuild?
Let’s start with hotels, which are typically large consumers of energy and water with a median EUI of 187 kBtu/ft2. Energy is the second largest operating expense for a typical hotel after employee payroll. Utilities usually account for 4 – 6 percent of revenue, but can be as high as 10 percent. The excessive use of energy is extremely costly for a hotel’s bottom line. As large energy and water consumers, even minor adjustments in behavior and operations can lead to massive cost savings and environmental benefits.
TripAdvisor’s GreenLeaders Program is a five-tier rating system developed with input from national and international green industry experts, including the USGBC’s LEED Certification Program. GreenLeaders must achieve numerous minimum requirements to be qualified, including linen and towel reuse plans, energy benchmarking and tracking, recycling plans, energy efficient lighting, staff and guest outreach and education, and properly treated waste water (on-site or municipal sewage system). TripAdvisor offers different certification tiers, including Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, based on numerous performance and prescriptive criteria. Upon proving their commitment to sustainability and high-performance operations, GreenLeaders earn a badge – TripAdvisor’s green leaf logo – on their property’s listing page. Hotels must renew their GreenLeader surveys annually, driving long-term commitments to sustainable operations in the industry.
Greenbuild is proud to partner with seventeen Boston hotels that are leaders in environmentally responsible business practices, as demonstrated by their TripAdvisor GreenLeader certification. The USGBC Massachusetts’ Greening Greenbuild committee is developing strategies to help promote and support these green leaders by coordinating educational meetings to share best practices and resources related to energy efficiency and climate resiliency. We will help you determine your hotel’s own energy and water performance, encourage hotel leaders to excel in their GreenLeader certification, and promote resources and opportunities for investing in energy efficiency and sustainability in Boston. Stay tuned for additional resources and information collected to help inform you about your hotel options during Greenbuild, and to make this year’s Greenbuild the biggest and greenest yet!
Brandon Dervishian CxA, CEM, LEED AP
R.W. Sullivan Engineering
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