I was struck by the willingness, openness and accessibility of the Governor and his Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Ian Bowles, to new, fresh and bold ideas, and their commitment to making Massachusetts a state in which there will be incentives, rewards and opportunities for companies and organizations to do the right thing from an environmental standpoint.
I was especially encouraged, despite the tough economic times, by the Governor’s commitment to make the necessary investments to enable Massachusetts to become a national and international “green” hub for sustainability, cleantech and other environmental innovations.
Over the weekend, I had the chance to read an interesting profile on Tedd Saunders, a principal of his family’s Saunders Hotel Group and a leading proponent of “green” business practices in the lodging industry. The article, published in Connecticut College’s quarterly magazine CC: Connecticut College Magazine, discussed Saunders’ (Class of 1983 from Connecticut) long-time commitment to the environment, and was titled “On The Green List: Hotelier Tedd Saunders ’83 is helping the world’s largest industry set environmentally friendly standards.”
Saunders, in addition to his ownership stake in his family’s business, also founded Ecological Solutions Inc. in 1992, an environmental consulting firm focused on the lodging industry. A web link to the article from CC Magazine was not available. However, to read more about Tedd, please see the following link from the Green Lodging News: http://www.greenlodgingnews.com/content.aspx?id=1663
According to Green Lodging News, an industry publication on “green” issues, at the Saunders Hotel Group’s 212-room Lenox Hotel in Boston, environmental retrofits and other thoughtful business practices have produced impressive annual savings: 1.7 million gallons of water, 110,000 kilowatt hours of electricity, 37 tons of trash from the waste stream, 175 trees through paper recycling. For these and other efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, the Environmental Protection Agency recognized the Lenox with its Energy Star rating in February 2008. Please see an article in the Boston Globe for more information: http://www.boston.com/realestate/news/articles/2008/02/12/how_green_is_my_building/
The main takeaway from reading about the pioneering work that Saunders and his family are doing is that green business practices can not only result in cost savings (water, energy, etc.) but they can also strengthen a company’s relationships with their existing customers and attract new business from eco-minded travelers. In fact, in 2006 the Lenox was included in Condé Nast Traveler Magazine’s Green List. What’s more impressive about this is that the Lenox was the only urban hotel in the world to be honored. (Here’s a link:http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/articles/10419)