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July - August 2012


Design: Changing the way our World Looks

INTERVIEW Cascades’ Hubert Bolduc on innovation.





Beauty Meets Functionality.

Voluntary regs can help drive new business.

Letter from the managing


Our July/August issue of THE GREEN ECONOMY is our first issue to highlight beautiful design. Not just the inclusion of recycling bins, but significant and fundamental changes to how we do business and what we look like. We find ourselves headlong in a major market transition and we are facing it with style and grace. Incorporating beauty in our business solutions is a step toward providing innovative solutions for businesses in the marketplace. The London 2012 Olympic Organizing Committee chose to take a bold step and build stadiums and venues that will allow East London to continue to capitalize on their use long after the athletes and newscasters vacate Olympic Village. Green walls provide gains in air quality, employee health and satisfaction, while their creative beauty is changing the vision of our city-scapes. Hotels are recognizing that ‘going green’ decreases their overhead and attracts a growing customer base that values sustainability. Individual companies are coming up with beautiful – and sustainable – products that are efficient and cost-effective. THE GREEN ECONOMY continues to bring the voices of our business community together. Our readership is growing exponentially while our connections in social media like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook continue to expand. We are anxious to show you our new iPad and Android app that we are planning for the fall. Louise Coolidge Managing Editor




Stay Connected Join the Conversation Each month THE GREEN ECONOMY posts questions to be included in the next issue of the eMagazine. Questions are posted on Facebook, our Linkedin group, and our monthly eNewsletter. You can respond by sending letters to editor@, or joining any of the social networks listed below. Some letters are edited for brevity. Readers must include name, title and affiliation.

TGEink: Follow us TGEFlash: News we follow Green Econ Green Economy Group Our RSS

06. TGE on the Web Wall Street Finance Forum Ardour Capital’s Annual Event Primus Green Energy in NJ Origiin Oil ‘s New Project

19. FSC Forest Stewardship Council principals are becoming part of more businesses.

20. House in a Box Pop it open and live in it. A new idea called Eco-Pak.

22. The Future Dubai envisions a future that may be dreaming... or not.


Design 08. Living Walls In spite of the somewhat disturbing name, living walls are just that: alive with beautifully planned plants that turn out to keep employees healthy along with a host of other benefits.

14. London Olympics London Olympics are taking the lead with innovative programs that ensure a long life after 2012.

24. Cascades’ Hubert Bolduc In the paper industry, natural resource management drives innovation.

30. Green Hotels

Hotels are attracting mainstream visitors with cost saving measures that are beautiful as well as smart.

5 THE GREEN ECONOMY July - August | 2012

TGE On theWeb

Important posts this month:


REFF WALL STREET, THE RENEWABLE ENERGY FINANCE FORUM, HELD AT THE WALDORF ASTORIA IN NEW YORK ON JUNE 19-20. Combating a year of what was termed scoffing and scorn in the media about clean tech, the REFF focused not on the good news, but the real news. And that is billions in investment, a military dedicated to energy security, initiatives to heal the crumbling United States energy infrastructure, and new financing models. To quote Dragnet’s Sergeant Friday, “Just the Facts Ma’m” could well be the title of this year’s event. Acore (American Council on Renewable Energy announced the launch of, and other speakers reviewed opportunities in finance, public policy and much more. We review the two day event. More>>

ARDOUR CAPITAL‘S ANNUAL FINANCING EVENT IN NEW YORK CITY. Where does a burgeoning industry find financing and what is clean tech anyway? The answer to the first is Ardour Capital’s ‘Speed Dating’. Featuring 38 companies ranging in size and developmental stage, their annual event included digital energy and smart grid technologies, financing vehicles, retrofits, transportation fuel and much more. The event is notable because the investors who attend are not clean tech devotees, but companies looking for new opportunities and — as important — information. Former Governor Pataki talked about energy prices and trends in finance and government. Jigar Shah was bullish on solar but not such a fan of government support. More>>

PRIMUS GREEN ENERGY SHOWCASED THEIR DROP-IN GASOLINE PILOT PLANT for producing an innovative, alternative gasoline just five years after the company’s inception. Distinguishing their product from competitors, the fuel is compatible with traditional car — and aircraft — engines by not requiring any modifications. Funded solely by IC Green Energy, a branch of Israel Corporation, Primus has raised $40 million over the past five years. Dr. Yom-Tov Samia, Chief Executive and President of IC Green Energy said he would like to see more partners from the public and private sectors, including the U.S. More>>

ORIGINOIL, INC. AND PARIS-BASED ENNESYS ENGAGED IN A JOINT VENTURE to test OriginOil’s newly-introduced entry-level Algae Appliance. The program will demonstrate that algae can help achieve eco-sustainability for large building complexes by generating oil from algae, while helping with water purification. After building utility scale custom systems for Australia, the company is now adding a standard, entry-level production harvester that is compact and selfcontained. More>>

THE GREEN ECONOMY reviews industry news and events for a general business audience. Please send press releases or requests for coverage to We review all requests daily, and will reply promptly if your release is of interest to our readers. We are nonpartisan, and will not publish material that is politically motivated, contains biased or unsubstantiated information, or is libelous in nature. For our privacy and editorial policies, please see our website at about us. For advertising and sponsorship opportunities, please email, or call 609.520.0056.




‘Living Wall’ conjures up images of the wall behind Al Pacino in The Devil’s Advocate, the movie depicting Mr. Pacino as the Devil, and the wall a swirling mass of people writhing in ecstasy and agony. But for companies like SAP and ING Direct, Living Walls are a vibrant attraction that draws all the right attention, while saving money and making work a better place.

The concept was initiated by Stanley Hart White in the 1930s. But he may have gotten inspiration from the buildings like those that gave ‘Ivy League Colleges’ their name. It can be a short leap from an ivy covered cottage to the famous living wall of the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, France.

NOT ‘THE DEVIL’S ADVOCATE’ Longest Living Wall in the US: Longwood Gardens, PA. Photo by Louise Coolidge


Musée du Quai Branly. Photo by Lauren@Clemson

Internal Living Walls 10

While Living Walls have been a popular feature in European public buildings for some time, they have been adopted more slowly in the United States. For designers like Patrick Poiraud, principal at Green over Grey, a company that specializes in Living Walls, it’s a matter of art and aesthetics, and improving the work experience. “Our greatest goal is to create art and to do it in the most sustainable way possible. We want to reintroduce nature into people’s lives.” His approach is supported by a report from Coughing Fatigue the University of Norway, which indicates that plant environments improve physical and mental health by providing soothing visual input, reducing noise, and filtering pollution. In a double blind study — comparing results from employees’ questionnaires both with and without plants — scientists found complaints about coughing and fatigue were reduced by 37% and 30%, respectively. The sum of all symptoms was 23% lower during the period when subjects had plants in their offices compared to the control group, who had none.

37% 30%

Mr. Poiraud’s web site has a chart which outlines all the additional benefits coming from Living Walls.

Patrick Poiraud

SAP Corporate Offices. Photo Courtesy Grey into Green


Edmonton International Airport, Alberta, Canada


Living Walls have other financial benefits, such as providing a jump on Cap ‘n Trade programs — in the US and Canada — that could put a price on carbon emissions. Since Living Walls are great absorbers of Carbon Dioxide and emitters of Oxygen, they qualify for carbon credits.

External Living Walls With the rise of high-rise dwelling and the interest in sustainable building practices, cities are thinking about how to add more biodiversity to their environment. External Living Walls have a host of advantages unique to their environment: they absorb and filter storm runoff, reduce pollution in local water systems, and add biodiversity to ecologically challenged urban areas. “With more and more people moving to cities, we have to find new and innovative ways to better incorporate nature into our everyday lives,” Mr. Poiraud added. Businesses that support public spaces and work environments becoming infused with beauty and sustainability will benefit. In addition, clients that have robust sustainability or ‘green’ initiatives want a visual indicator that reflects their company policy.

Dreamers And living walls are not without their dreamers. In a marriage of Living Walls and Green Roofs, plans for vertical farms are on the drawing boards. One of the most ambitious is Gordan Graff’s design, begun while a Masters of Architecture student at Waterloo University in Canada. He developed the concept for a 58-story agricultural tower called the Sky Farm, for his home city of Toronto. With 8 million square feet of growing area, equal to over 180 acres, the building would have the potential to provide enough food for 35,000 citizens per year. Because of the building’s large floor plates, plants would be grown primarily with artificial lighting, which in turn uses nearly 82 million kilowatts of power per year, equivalent to 8,000 households. The plan is for 50% of this need to be provided by bio-fuel from the plant waste, producing less carbon dioxide than other fuels. For now, the more practical uses of Living Walls are expanding, brightening street corners and office towers alike.

Temporary installation at the national convention of the American Institute of Architects, Boston, June 2008. Young Architects Boston Group

One PNC Plaza, New York, NY. Mingo Designs

Sky Farm by Gordon Graft



Millions around the globe will eagerly watch the London Olympics this July, when starting pistols signal thousands of athletes to participate in 36 intensely competitive events. While all of the traditions associated with the Olympics will be on full display, London 2012 will sport some noticeable changes that align with one of the world’s most pressing concerns: sustainability.

By Kelly Velocci, Special to THE GREEN ECONOMY Photograph by Rich


Dating back to 776 B.C., the Olympics are rooted in a centuries-old traditions of skill, camaraderie and competition. The modern Games began again in earnest in the 20th century, in a very different world where separate countries vie for the rights to hold the Games in their premier cities. Now, not only do the Games represent athletic skill, but they are a source of tremendous pride for the host city. While London can boast holding the Olympics a record three times, their current plans are taking a new direction.

In 2007, two years after London won the bid to host the Olympics, former Prime Minister Tony Blair said the London 2012 Olympic Games had the potential to become a “cutting edge example of sustainability.” London is the first host city to track its carbon footprint, commit to zero waste and pledge to construct new venues that would have a future use, decades after the Games. Such policies exemplify London’s focus on sustainable practices and design.

Photo by Fabio Montale

However, it is after the excitement has left the Olympic Village and the world’s attention is no longer on East London that Blair’s statement will truly be put to the test. If the 2012 games are able to escape the fate of many previous Olympic venues – lack of use or being simply torn down – their example will be one to follow. Successfully designing an Olympic Village that addresses the long-term needs of East London and its people is a difficult feat. One, in fact, that many

former host cities have been unable to conquer. By learning from prior hosts, London 2012 has worked to ensure that the result of the Games is not one of massive waste. At the forefront of this sustainable mission is the London Organizing Committee of the Olympics and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), that has implemented a sustainability guide, Towards a One Planet 2012. Focusing on the notion that the world should operate within its means, the guide’s sustainability practices encompass nearly every aspect of the iconic event, including venues, travel, food and waste. As a result, the London 2012 Games has helped promote a new international standard for sustainable events, ISO 20121, an extension of the ISO 14001 for environmental management, that is more familiar in the European Union than LEED (Leadership in Environmental Design), popular in the United States. Both LOCOG and the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) adopted the standard during the planning of the Games.

Designing with the future in mind, several venues were constructed to allow for partial or complete deconstruction. This will enable the buildings to fulfill the needs of future events that are unlikely to require the same capacity as the Olympic Games. In order to receive certification, the management of the forest must meet FSC standards (see below). Such standards include monitoring the impact on indigenous people and plantations in the surrounding area as well as the environment. As the athletes leave the Olympic Village, medals in tow, exuding pride or disappointment, this summer’s games will be a testament to both world-class Olympic athletes and the city of London. In their quest to design for the future, the 2012 Games has the potential to become the new standard for future host cities.

Ten FSC Forest Stewardship Council Principals 1. Compliance with laws and FSC Principles – to comply with all laws, regulations, treaties, conventions and agreements, together with all FSC Principles and Criteria. 2. Tenure and use rights and responsibilities – to define, document and legally establish long-term tenure and use rights. 3. Indigenous peoples’ rights – to identify and uphold indigenous peoples’ rights of ownership and use of land and resources.

4. Community relations and worker’s rights – to maintain or enhance forest workers’ and local communities’ social and economic well-being. 5. Benefits from the forest – to maintain or enhance long term economic, social and environmental benefits from the forest. 6. Environmental impact – to maintain or restore the ecosystem, its biodiversity, resources and landscapes. 7. Management plan – to have a management plan,

implemented, monitored and documented. 8. Monitoring and assessment – to demonstrate progress towards management objectives. 9. Maintenance of high conservation value forests – to maintain or enhance the attributes which define such forests. 10. Plantations – to plan and manage plantations in accordance with FSC Principles and Criteria.



Aquatics Center Olympic Stadium The most sustainable and lightweight Olympic stadium built to date, the structure sits within a hollowed bowl-shape in the ground. As much as 800,000 tons of soil were excavated for its construction, much of which was cleaned and used in other locations throughout the Olympic Park. The stadium was built using approximately 11,000 tons of steel, 31,000 tons less than that used to construct the 2008 Beijing Olympic stadium, the Bird’s Nest. The stadium currently holds 80,000 seats, but will be partially deconstructed at the conclusion of the games. The lower tier holds 25,000 permanent seats and the upper tier contains 55,000 temporary seats. Unlike traditional stadiums, vendors will not be housed inside the venue, but in temporary facilities, known as pods, along the outside of the stadium. This design feature allowed for less construction, such as mechanical ventilation and fire-suppression equipment. The stadium will be the host of the 2015 International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Championships.

The stadium will be the host of the 2015 IAAF World Championships.

Distinguished by its wave-shaped roof, the aquatics center will be a permanent structure in East London. The 17,500 seat center houses two competition pools, one for swimming and the other for diving, as well as a warm-up pool. After the games, the center’s east and west ‘wings’ will be disassembled, reducing the capacity to 2,500. The seats are rented and will be returned after the games. Similarly, the steel braces supporting the temporary seating were designed to enable their use in future projects once it is deconstructed. In the future, the center is projected to draw 800,000 annual visitors and will be used as a community pool and an arena for elite swimmers.

The seats are rented and will be returned after the games.

Basketball Arena Fashioned in orange and black to symbolize a basketball, this 12,000-seat arena will be completely disassembled at the end of the Games. A minimum of two-thirds of the structure can be recycled or reused. It is constructed of six individual pieces, which will allow for varied future use: the portal frame and the PVC envelope; the seating and the seating bowl; the interior fit-out; the mechanical and electrical work; and the foundations. A possible future for the portal frame and textured shell may be at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil, according to Architectural Record. Similar to the main stadium, the arena’s additional services, such as the warm-up court, security and catering are housed outside of the facility.

A possible future for the portal frame and textured shell may be at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil

Velodrome: Cycling Track One of the most sustainable and iconic venues of the London 2012 Games, the venue is crafted of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) wood. The building is equipped with a natural ventilation system, which reduces the demand for air conditioning. Similarly, the structure’s design emits natural light, which decreases the need for artificial lighting. A glass wall separating the upper and lower seating tiers will give spectators a 360 degree view of the surrounding Olympic Park. The roof of the venue collects rainwater, which is expected to reduce the demand for water by 70%. At the conclusion of the Games, the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority will take ownership of the venue, to be used by athletes and the local community.

The building is equipped with a natural ventilation system, reducing the demand for air conditioning.



Imagine unpacking your house. And then living in it. The helicopter descends, leaving a shipping container at your location Within hours the house begins to emerge, as you take components from the container, eventually leaving the packaging as part of the house. That’s the vision of James Green’s Eco-Pak. He selected Coates Design to help reinvent the possibilities of container housing with an architecturally pleasing, multi-level, container housing. Both sustainable and economical, the Eco-Pak is modular housing right out of the box. This innovative concept begins with out-of-date shipping containers, whose lifespan in the transportation industry typically ranges between 10-15 years. Once the containers reach retirement, they are refurbished, cleaned and filled with the necessary framework for construction. Aircraft structural engineer, James Green and seasoned architect, Matthew Coates combined their expertise to create Eco-Pak. Distinguishing their product from competitors, the shipping container acts as part of the framework, with the remainder of the structure extending beyond the container, says Green. The framework for construction, including the flooring, windows and support beams, are packaged directly in the container itself. Such packaging reduces the cost of shipping the materials separately, and enables the container to act as both the mode of transportation and part of the foundation

of the home. “The design is based on sustainability using eco-friendly materials with both the container and the steel framework capable of being recycled at a later date,” said Green. According to Green, the containers will be clad with either wood or metal, depending on the environment of the home’s location. Customization is possible in both the inside and outside of the home, including the form of insulation. A “skin” is put on the outside of the container that enables it to be concealed and blend in with the greater structure. However, Green says, customers can opt to not have the shipping container concealed. The Eco-Pak does not require elaborate construction. According to Green, “simple tools” can be used for assembly. This is made possible because the framework that comes inside is bolted directly onto the container, without the need for welding. Due to the ease of construction, Coates explained that the Eco- Pak is a viable option for emergency shelter in addition to long-term housing. “They can be erected in a day or two for quick shelter use, such as after a hurricane,” said Coates.

Traditional shipping container architecture uses the container as the sole structure of the home, and has seen minimal success. However, the Eco-Pak potentially conquers many of the obstacles often associated with such architecture, including high pricing, space and comfort. Shipping container transportation is the most carbon efficient form of transit, according to World

Shipping. By shipping containers to ports, located throughout the world, affordable housing such as the Eco-Pak is a sustainable solution for many locations. Buyers may choose an international and domestic version of the Eco-Pak. Both versions will offer customers a choice of container size. The domestic version is projected to offer either a “turn-key� option or just the container, while the international version will begin with only shipping the container itself, with guidelines to finish the home. Green found himself driven to create the Eco-Pak while constructing a home in Turkey. Since then, he has received a patent for his innovative design. Coates, an architect specializing in sustainable design, says he was attracted to Green’s project because of it potential. The Eco-Pak is currently under development, with the prototype projected to be complete by 2013.



Counting chickens before they hatch is rarely a good idea. However, it hasn’t seemed to stop dreamers in Dubai. From realistic projects, like the Atkins Design and Consultancy Group’s so-called ‘Lighthouse Tower’, to 600 foot Ferris Wheels and man-made islands, “Dubai” still plans for a huge future. According to recent reports from Bing Maps, Dubai is still building, in spite of rumors to the contrary. But really, there can only be so many wealthy Arab exiles who can afford to flee to Dubai, as Arabian Money pointed out, adding that Dubai is becoming a cheaper city with average house prices down 62 per cent from the peak. Some of the tallest residential buildings in the world will be completed within two to three years, while office vacancy rates are above 40 per cent and rising.

One of the more realistic projects may be the ‘Lighthouse Tower’. Focusing on energy and water conservation — essential in a desert city — the tower has LEED (Leadership in Environmental Design) points to spare. Located in a 110 acre zone at the Dubai International Financial Center, at 400 meters, it will be the 18th tallest building in the world. The design calls for a LEED platinum rated low-carbon commercial building with energy generation embedded in the façade, and passive solar architecture — windows and shades designed for heat and cooling efficiency — embedded in the design. Energy production includes three large 225 kW wind turbines with the freedom to yaw — move with wind direction — and 4,000 solar panels. The tower will reduce its overall energy consumption by 65%, and its water consumption by 40% in comparison to an equivalent building. At the building’s base, a four story glass lobby will house an environmental visitor center. Images from Forum. Skyscraper

Is Dubai crazy to be completing its towers? Will most developers end up bankrupt and the banks own the real estate? Arabian Money speculates that the city will have a magnificent infrastructure ready for the next oil boom, available at low cost. If they are counting new residents before they come, only the future will tell who they will be, and what new businesses they will found in the futuristic city.






Building market share through sustainable innovation


A multibillion dollar industry, paper has a myriad of uses. A crucial and necessary product, yet its consumption of energy, water and pulp are increasingly costly. For Cascades, business success in this challenging market is designing new products and formulating long term goals. To enhance the process, they use the unique tactic of inviting and implementing comments and ideas from outside stakeholders.


Cascades Recycled Paper Plant: 1964 Adirondack chair from recycled plastic.

26 Cascades, the Canadian based paper company, has a unique approach to product development and long range planning: They talk with NGOs and governmental agencies, aligning company goals with expectations. Hubert Bolduc, VP of Communication and Public Affairs, talked with THE GREEN ECONOMY about the company’s recent report — Sustainable Development (SD) — and how those goals are fueling product and process innovation.

engaging their employees, and for reaching out to communities surrounding their paper-making facilities. The company then set about meeting those targets, along with hiring an independent NGO to monitor and validate their findings.

accompanied by clear graphics that assess their success on a project-by-project basis.

The approach has seeped into every facet of operations, and has produced a culture of transparency and honesty, according to Mr. Bolduc. Cascades backed up that claim with a public report that documents progress in reaching their goals,

about new product innovation. As an example, he mentioned an intelligent antibacterial hand towel — launched in Canada in 2010 and scheduled to launch in the U.S. later this year — that reduces risk of infection from sinks and door handles by 99.9%

Product Innovation When asked about successes, Mr. Bolduc talked with excitement

History Cascades is a company dedicated to careful resource management, dating back to 1964 when the Lemaire brothers started using recycled paper, managing energy and conserving water. When current executives, led by President and CEO, Alain Lemaire, wanted to look five and ten years ahead to see what Cascades could be doing to expand that vision, they took the unusual step of asking NGOs in the United States and Canada to critically appraise how and where Cascades could do better. Based on the feedback, the company developed a series of benchmarks that defined goals for new products, for

Waterproof, recyclable winter rose protector


for 30 minutes after using. Aimed at hospitals and doctors’ offices, Cascades is making inroads into a notoriously conservative market, increasing market share exponentially. (Product image on article first page).

“The ‘Dark Green’ people swear by Cascade,” said Mr. Bolduc. “The ‘Light Greens’ are ready to make an effort to buy a sustainable product, but where we have difficulty is fighting the perception that ‘green’ means not high quality. There is an impression that recycled is not as good as something else, and we have to fight that.”

Solving Industry Challenges Another innovation is the award-winning NorShield, a recyclable cardboard container that can be used to replace the

narrow margins prevent training employees in procedures. Nor do they have the additional staff time and floor space needed to separate recyclable from nonrecyclable cardboard. As a result, much recyclable product is sent to the landfill, costing thousands per store. For restaurants, CoRR estimates that a Restaurant Costs of using coated OCC fast food chain (Old Corrugated Cardboard) with 100 restauWaxed Boxes per Day 10 25 rants could be Wax Boxes per Year 3650 9125 saving $131,482 Cost to Landfill (tip fee) $160 $402 per year. (See OCC Lost Revenue $365 $912 chart)

paraffin-coated, water-proof cardboard used to ship perishables. Putting the issue in perspective, Lily Kelly, Program Associate and Interim Director of the Coalition for Resource Recovery (CoRR), a division of Global Green USA, said that there is $200 million in annual revenue lost from the



50 Locations

Potential profit per location



100 Locations



sale of valuable, recyclable old corrugated cardboard (OCC). Combined with the expense of ‘tipping fees’ — that is the price for hauling away un-recyclable material — it represents a sizable sum, not to mention the problems for already overburdened municipal landfills. For grocery stores,

The size of the market is considerable: Produce, according to CoRR, represents 49% of the OCC market. For Cascades, the long term goal is to address not just that market, but also design a product that will withstand the slushing – adding slushy ice – needed for perishables such as fish and poultry, which represents another 12%

Compostable Kitchen Compost Bag Recycled Tissue

to 46% of the market for coated containers.

One-Step Beyond Some suggestions took an added commitment. A potential pitfall for the company came when several NGOs expressed a desire for all of Cascades’ virgin fiber to be FSC certified. Since the company uses more recycled fiber than most of their competitors, they “didn’t want to go there.” But, as Mr. Bolduc said, “If we wanted to continue to be a leader, we realized we had to. So we went back to the executive committee and made the recommendation. And now that is what we do.”

Employees Mr. Bolduc said that the company has met half their objectives, which he thinks is not good enough. One of the areas he

mentioned is employee work satisfaction and the way the employees engage in their communities. In one instance, the company was surprised to find that United States workers were not as worried about water and recycling as Canadians, but were concerned with health and safety: an issue in which Cascades believed they were very engaged. He followed up by adding that ten years ago Cascades had one of the worst ratings as a great place to work, but is now better than the industry average.

profit-sharing, which began in 1967.

In general, while Cascades has a great reputation in Quebec, being considered a model and rating Number One in public opinion polls, Mr. Bolduc looks to extend that goodwill across Canada and the US. He believes that students and others who might like to work for the company aren’t as familiar with Cascades as they could be – particularly with their

By imagining their future — with help from many sources — Cascades is determined to make the plan for the future a reality. If their growing market share is a reflection of that desire to be a leader, then Cascades’ approach to product innovation is paying off.

When asked why Mr. Bolduc is so honest about the company’s failings as well as successes, he said that it is due to the company culture, starting at the top with President Lemaire.

“You know, many companies look backward. They see what their successes are and then they create a report that shows what great progress they have made. We don’t do that.”



Louise Coolidge Managing Editor

Once a luxury for eco-conscious tourists, green hits the main stream.

While travel for business hasn’t returned to pre-2009 levels, sometimes a trip to Chicago or New York is inevitable. As hotels seek to reduce costs while attracting cost conscious – but lucrative – business travellers, they are finding ‘green’ can meet both goals. Signs to re-use towels or to alert hotel staff not to change sheets every night can make visitors feel that they are ‘doing their part’ in conserving water. In drought stricken areas, such approaches are becoming necessities. One example is the Hotel Andaluz in drought parched Albuquerque, New Mexico. The hotel cut its water use from 730,000 gallons a month to 300,000 after a $30 million remodel. The hotel is meeting that goal using ‘oxygen-assisted’ low-flow shower heads (which add air to the water to give it the feel of higher water pressure) and low-flow toilets, along with a rainwater collection system to irrigate all of its landscaping. The hotel can heat about 60% of their water from a thermal solar hot water system, sensors turn off lights when no one is in the room, the hotel benefits from beautiful fluorescent and LED light, and much more. The hotel is applying for gold LEED (Leadership in Design) status (in had previously aimed for silver) and when it receives the certification, will be one of the first historically renovated gold LEED hotels in the U.S. Another retrofit is The Orchard Garden Hotel, the first hotel in San Francisco to achieve LEED certification. Its owner, Mrs. S.C. Huang, is devoted to creating an environmentally safe and sustainable hotel. “Mrs. S.C. Huang, pursued a LEED certification for several important reasons,” said Stefan Mühle, general manager. “Studies prove that LEED certified buildings have lower operating costs, higher employee productivity, and happier, healthier occupants. We’re extremely proud to set a national example by being one of the first to open the next generation of hotels.” The hotel



boasts unusual but elegant comforts like Egyptian cotton linen on the beds, real feather down pillows, super-insulated rooms and a rooftop garden. While the ambiance is warm and relaxed, it contains stateof-the-art facilities. While operating hotels are gradually buying into sustainable practices as sound business, new hotels being built are clearly the next generation. Many designs include a myriad of clean technologies and architectural appointments that marry environmental sustainability with beautiful design. One example is the newly built Hotel Indigo, the first sustainably built hotel in downtown San Diego. A new addition to the Indigo Boutique hotel chain, the new building earned their LEED certification by implementing a waste management plan to recycle non-hazardous materials and divert waste in the construction, along with a package of savings such as two green roofs with native plants and shrubbery that reduce storm water runoff and aid in heating and cooling, a robust recycling and composting program along with eco-friendly food and beverage containers, low VOC paints and carpets for better indoor air quality, and ample natural day lighting to help optimize energy efficiency. Staff can use installed bike racks and shower facilities for those who bike to work. On a truly grand scale, the new Omni Hotel in Dallas opened in 2011, with construction practices and architectural designs that earned it a LEED gold certification. “The Omni Dallas Hotel is living up to its expectations in every way,” said Mayor Michael S. Rawlings. “We promised to create a hotel that added to downtown development and brought in more convention business all in a sustainable manner, and we are proud that with great teamwork, we have surpassed our goal for LEED certification.” From reused timber for interior design to a massive cistern to capture rainwater run-off, the Omni combines environmentally responsible design with beauty.

Another large hotel, The Epic Hotel in Miami sits at the edge of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay. Sustainable practices like the use of non-toxic cleaning products and a restaurant that serves in-house purified water continue the attention to environmental concerns initiated with water and energy conservation and lowimpact construction materials. The Epic is owned by the Kimpton Hotel chain, noted for their green policies. Kimpton is notable for being a forerunner in the hospitality industry for their innovative EarthCare program, which combines green tips for travelers, earth friendly cleaning products, reduced parking rates for hybrid vehicles, local produce and a lot more. Is such a focus on stainability good business? According to Market Metrix Hospitality Index™, Kimpton has the highest customer satisfaction scores (93%+) and emotional attachment scores (89%) of any hotel company operating in the United States. This kind of customer loyalty does indeed bring rewards in an industry where repeat customers are the key to long term, sustainable success.

ƒƒ Green Meeting: ƒƒ The Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Meetings Initiative ƒƒ Green Hotel practices: ƒƒ Green Hotels Association ƒƒ Green Hotels and Responsible Tourism Initiative ƒƒ Information for Hotels ƒƒ Ecogreen Hotel



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Design 2012  

Creating what our World Looks Like

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