Leading The “Ecolution”

Leading The “Ecolution”

August 27, 2008

On a recent trip to Boston and points beyond I had the privilege of attending a monthly meeting of the Boston Green Tourismorganization.

As a visitor to Boston I always spend some time thinking about how revolutionaries such as Samuel Adams, John Adams and Paul Revere thought our country would evolve. Would they be impressed?

I do think they would be impressed with the leadership and commitment to sustainability by some of the “ecolutionaries” that lead the green charge in Boston. Over the past several years I have become acquainted with Tedd Saunders, Dan Ruben, and Matt Moore. I am more familiar with their efforts, but there are multiple examples for lodging properties to follow in Boston (25 Energy Star hotels).

While Philadelphia may be the site of the Continental Congress and the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence, not many historians would deny that Boston was the birthplace of the revolution.

That patriotic spirit and fortitude extends to the greening of hospitality. In the early 1990’s,long before it became fashionable, Tedd Saunders was diligently leading the Saunders Hotels toward sustainability. If there was a Green Hotelier Hall of Fame, Tedd would be among the first inducted. His efforts have been recogized with numerous awards from organizations around the world.

Dan Ruben, executive director and founding father of Boston Green Tourism, previously was in charge of “greening” the Democratic National Convention held in Boston in 2004. That event spurred his belief that all meetings and conventions could and should be more sustainable. This year, Boston will host eight green meetings and conventions. Two of those conventions, GreenBuild and the annual AIA convention, are projected to bring US$38.3 million worth of economic impact.

I don’t know if other cities or CVB’s track this information about the green meetings market but I suspect it they don’t now, they will in the near future.

Recently titled as the director of rooms and environmental programs, Matt Moore is constantly seeking new green initiatives that he can implement at the Seaport Hotel. He was initially drawn to green by a revenue opportunity presented by the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association (NESEA) conference in 2005. Once that challenge was met, the group asked the hotel to do more the following year. Matt and his team were up to the challenge and he has become the principal architect of the Seaport Saves program. If I want to learn more about new technologies products, or services that are available in the marketplace, Matt is a go to guy. He is a frequent speaker about the initiatives that have brought economic and environmental benefits to the Seaport.

In the mid 1770’s Bostonians were leading and feeding the revolutionary spirit. Two hundred and forty years later these “ecolutionaries” and others like them carry the green torch. As Thomas Friedman wrote, “Green is the new red, white, and blue.”

We are always pleased to meet new “Ecolutionaries.” I will be in Phoenix in September for The Lodging Conference. If you are aware of “ecolutionaries” we can visit while in that city please advise.

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