Successful Meetings - October 2007 - (Page 36)

Conference Centers Suffering from “GREEN” FATIGUE? It turns out that conference centers aren’t just going green for the positive PR—they are making a big difference By Kinley Levack Tired of hearing about how property after property is saving the world, one reused towel at a time? With the recent onslaught of “We do that too!” announcements, it’s easy to be cynical. But many conference centers have made remarkable strides—making a business case for green initiatives, backing up claims with facts, and incorporating unique programs for employees, guests, and planners. “green before green was cool,” says General Manager Kevin Carter. Airlie boasts a Green Seal certification and the Department of Environmental Quality’s E3 rating—the highest attainable. The property has incorporated buffer zones around its lakes and ponds so wildlife has the most natural habitat possible, and spent $40,000 to replace all light bulbs with compact fluorescent and LED bulbs—a project that Carter expects will garner significant savings in the future. The Conference Center at NorthPointe in Lewis Center, OH, has established its own green team and has also taken cues from its surroundings in terms of how best to coordinate efforts. The property is in an area of rapid development, but is also near a tremendous amount of farmland, so NorthPointe worked with an adjacent metropark to plant trees and works with local growers to procure some 60 percent of its ingredients as well as offer unused food waste to farmers for composting. “Okay, it reduces your carbon footprint, but the big secret is that it tastes a lot better,” says General Manager Sean Anderson of the benefits of local food. Airlie also grows its food locally. In hard numbers, Airlie’s organic garden in one year supplied its kitchen with more than 4,800 pounds of vegOCTOBER 2007 SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS THE NUTS AND RECYCLED BOLTS In 2005, the Marriottmanaged University of Maryland University College Inn and Conference Center became the first U.S. hotel and conference center to achieve LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), but conference centers were at work on environmental initiatives long before that. The Airlie Conference Center in Warrenton, VA, was 36

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Successful Meetings - October 2007

Successful Meetings - October 2007
Editor's Note
On the Record
Technology Talk
Mouth for Sale
On Site
Tools of the Trade
Striking a Balanace
IACC’s New Generation
Suffering from “Green” Fatigue?
There Once Was a Group in Nantucket . . .
A Trick and a Treat
Places & Spaces
Reno / Lake Tahoe
New Orleans
Los Cabos & Baja
Ontario Province

Successful Meetings - October 2007