As a commercial contractor, I’ve seen the toll that traditional construction and design can have on the environment. For the longest time, I firmly believed that there was nothing that could be done about it- the way it was done was the way it would always be done. Imagine my surprise when I started to realize that a number of organizations weren’t satisfied with that answer, and were actively trying to supply a new one. My job allows me to travel to a number of cities and experience a number of things.
Located in a place not exactly known for its pristine environment, ink48 in New York City has taken an active role in the green movement. This is one of my favorite places to stay and the first time I visited I was able to learn quite a bit about the organization. In addition to serving organic food, drinks, and snacks, the ink48 hotel features an array of materials and devices designed to be eco-friendly. As a top-rated boutique hotel, ink48 has used its prominence to promote a program called “Earthcare.” Designed to bring together members and other organizations, Earthcare is a platform through which leading members of the green-movement can come together and discover new and better routes to sustainability.
My travels have taken me to the other side of the country. In San Francisco, I learned the entire city is working with ESRI and NAVTEQ on a program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Combining NAVTEQ’s detailed map data and ESRI’s Arc Logistics software, the city is attempting to optimize its fleet operations. If successful, the pilot program will not only reduce the city’s carbon footprint, it may also save money in the process. Arc Logistics software, which enables dispatchers to feed real-time road and traffic information to drivers, has shown fleet-related savings between 15-20%.
However, my favorite place to travel for work could be in the desert. Located on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip, the Palazzo Hotel and Resort was recently named the “Most Eco Friendly Hotel in America.” As one of the most famous and most popular hotels in Vegas, the importance of the Palazzo leading the way on environmental issues cannot be overstated. Pushing the limits of sustainability, the Palazzo features a water-recycling system, solar panels, and even the ability to reuse its own waste.
Throughout my travels I’ve had experiences with a number of green facilities. Every time I am able to stay at a new one, I make it a goal to ask questions and learn about the facility. I have also noticed that more businesses and organizations are going green. This trend especially continues for the new green Las Vegas hotels going up everyday. Businesses who haven’t gone green yet can learn from ink48, the Palazzo and even the city of San Francisco and work towards a greener future.
© Sam Marquit, an independent ‘green’ contractor and co-author of Fair Marquit Value