Westin: Green Rewards

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Westin now gives you the incentive to “make a green choice” by declining housekeeping during your stay. All you have to do is hang the pictured door hangar on your door the night before, and they will give you a $5 gift card to participating food outlets within the hotel.

 

I think this is a really creative idea. The Westin saves money on housekeepers, cleaning supplies, and utilities, and the guest is rewarded for making the decision.

 

I have always thought it was silly to clean a hotel room so often. I don’t wash my own towels and sheets every single day at home, why do I need that while on the road?

 

I will take them up on this tomorrow.

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Hot, Flat and Crowded: Exclusive Preview Excerpt

I posted last week on my excitement for Thomas Friedman’s new book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded.  I received a comment notifying me that Thomas Friedman’s publisher is giving away the free audiobook of The World is Flat in anticipation of the release of his new book in September.  In addition to the audiobook, the publisher has posted an exclusive audio preview excerpt from chapter nine of the new book.

To download the mp3s, including the exclusive audio excerpt of Hot, Flat, and Crowded, go to http://www.thomaslfriedman.com/giveaway between now and August 11, 2008.

I listened to the excerpt, and from what I heard, I am excited for the full book.  Friedman highlights the difference between the current symbolic green movement and a truly systemic solution that would require “transformational green legislation.”

One of my favorite quotes from the excerpt is:

I am starting to believe that there actually can be too much publicity when it comes to climate change, especially when it reaches the fashion world. Seriously, if I read the word ‘eco-chic’ one more time, I’ll jab my eye out with my biodegradable pen. I just fear that as soon as all of the magazines get these green issues out of the way, they’ll feel like it’s out of their system, over and done with, like any other trend.

Click here for a video of Thomas Friedman talking about his new book at the Energy Efficiency Forum 2008.

I plan to blog more once I get my own copy of the book in September.

Join the Green Discussion – HBR Green

I listened to Episode 79 (January 31, 2008 ) of the HBR Ideacast™ this morning, and the second half of the podcast was an interview with the Editor of the Harvard Business Review, Thomas Stewart. He was discussing an online discussion that HBR has launched entitled HBR Green. The conversation is six bi-weekly commentaries from green strategy experts. Stewart claimed that HBR has decided to launch this discussion for two reasons:

  1. The magnitude of the issue, and HBR’s opinion that climate issues—just like globalization—are forces that will reshape the general business climate for years to come.
  2. Climate issues present opportunities for those companies that want to help solve the problems.

Corporate Sustainability

I just finished reading the cover story (Little Green Lies) from the October 29, 2007 issue of BusinessWeek magazine. The article offered a fascinating look into the difficult job of a “corporate sustainability” advocate.

Over the past decade, some companies have been quick to cash-in on the beneficial PR that comes with corporate environmentalism. For many firms, this has meant buying renewable energy credits (RECs), and releasing statements claiming that the company is committed to minimizing greenhouse gases. In many cases, the firm does nothing to actually minimize its own share of greenhouse gas emission. The company buys RECs, and continues to pollute as it always has in the past.

This article highlights the fact that businesses have a lot to learn about true environmental stewardship. Will there come a day when the “Chief Sustainability Officer” has the same amount of clout as the CFO when it comes to corporate financial decisions?

We will have to wait and see.

Update: The Triple Bottom Line Blog has some critical points to make about the BW article.