Once each month at the headquarters of the Hotel Association of New York City (HANYC), the Big Apple’s leaders in sustainable hospitality gather as part of the HANYC Sustainable Hospitality Committee. Now in its fourth year, the Committee was founded by Hervé Houdré, Regional Director of Operations & General Manager, InterContinental New York Barclay. Houdré now chairs the Committee. There are now 19 Committee members representing a diverse group of hotels. Within the Committee there is also one HANYC representative (Richard Amato, Vice President of HANYC) and two legal counsels.
“We try to have a diversity of people around the table—ownership groups, management companies, small hotels, big hotels, engineers, professionals of sustainability,” Houdré says.
“It is a good, energetic team,” says Geoffrey Mills, Chairman of the Board of HANYC. “It is all about leaving this world, and this city, a much better place.”
According to the Committee’s website, its mission is the following: “We will work tirelessly with our membership to implement and support critical initiatives required to achieve our vision, continuously searching for new and innovative ways to enhance New York City’s reputation as a premier sustainable travel destination. To accomplish this, we agree to share best practices and remain innovative, continuously improving sustainable initiatives within our industry. Together, we will strive to promote economic prosperity, social responsibility, and environmental protection.”
Houdré says a key objective of the Committee is to entice the 275 members of HANYC to embed the three core principles of sustainability—people, planet, profit—into their business strategy.
Online Resource for NYC Hotels
According to Diana Beltran, a Committee member and Sustainability Manager, Sustainability and Innovation, Wyndham Worldwide, one of the Committee’s key accomplishments so far has been the creation of its website. A sub-section of the HANYC site, it includes information on getting certified as part of the Green Key Eco-Rating Program (HANYC members receive a discount), and includes links to organizations and other helpful resources that can assist with understanding NYC green legislation, as well as guidance on how to reduce energy and waste as well as conserve water.
A “sustainable initiatives” survey on the Committee’s site was posted to give the Committee some idea of what New York City hotels are doing in the area of sustainability. The survey also is meant to give the Committee some idea where instruction needs to be focused. So far, 41 properties have responded to the survey that Beltran says is in need of a revamping.
The HANYC Sustainable Hospitality Committee is active in the local community. “We are going to have a tent at the Earth Day New York festival on April 22 at Union Square,” Beltran says. “They will have a green travel area. It is exciting that we are going to be representing the Committee there.” Committee members that will be in the event are from: Crowne Plaza Times Square, Denihan, InterContinental New York Barclay Hotel, Sofitel NYC, Tryp Hotel, W New York Times Square, Wyndham Worldwide, and Wyndham Garden Chinatown.
On April 12, the Committee partnered with New York Cares to clean up New York City area parks. A total of 75 employees gathered from the Hilton Times Square, Crowne Plaza Times Square, Fitzpatrick Hotel, Hampton Inn Times Square, Tryp Times Square, Wyndham Garden Chinatown, and W New York Times Square.
Committee members also participate in other volunteer events throughout the year, including those organized by HANYC. In 2012/2013, HANYC raised $130,000 to assist victims of Superstorm Sandy, $30,000 of which was raised through gift certificates offered by HANYC member hotels through a BiddingForGood online auction.
Follow the HANYC Sustainable Hospitality Committee on Facebook.
This article first appeared on the Green Lodging News website. To sign up to receive the weekly Green Lodging News newsletter, go to www.greenlodgingnews.com. Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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