Hyatt Regency Buffalo’s Rooftop Garden

A new
rooftop herb garden on top of the Hyatt Regency Buffalo hotel in Downtown Buffalo is a milestone that the two-year old Buffalo Green Hospitality
Initiative is producing economic dividends for the region.

The
Buffalo Green Hospitality Initiative was formed in August 2007, with a goal to develop and maintain environmentally responsible practices and
promote a green experience for travelers and conventioneers visiting our
region. Through embracing these practices, it will create economic development
opportunities for the region by reducing business operating costs, while
attracting eco-conscious conferences, meetings, and visitors. 

A
rapidly increasing number of conventions are requiring sustainable practices by
the cities they select to host their events. “Being Green” is no longer a novelty; is it a requirement. As a result of Buffalo having a sustainable hospitality
program, the following conferences have scheduled or held meetings in Buffalo: American
Solar Energy Conference 2009 (4,000 attendees), North American Association of
Environmental Educations 2009 (1,200 attendees), US Environmental Protection
Agency (500 attendees), National Brownfield Association 2008 (200 attendees)
and Building Materials Reuse Association (170 attendees). Due to the maturation
of Buffalo’s program and the lengthy meeting planning schedule, the number of
conventions coming to Buffalo that require green initiatives will increase
significantly moving forward.

“My
administration is strongly focused on bringing more tourists to Erie County and
I’m happy to see our local hospitality industry adjusting to changing trends in
the tourism industry,” said Erie County Executive Chris Collins. 
“The cooperation of numerous public and private stakeholders demonstrates
community-wide support for the Buffalo-Niagara Green Hospitality Initiative. 
I’d like to thank the Convention and Visitors Bureau for leading this important
effort.  I’d also like to thank Buffalo State College for partnering with
our County Department of Environment and Planning to help organize this program.”

Led by
the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau and a consortium of over
20 local partners, the industry examined numerous ways to improve performance
in the areas of waste management, energy savings, food production and disposal,
water savings, environmentally safe cleaning products, paints, and office
practices.

A prime
example of the Buffalo Green Hospitality Initiative in action is the herb
garden on the rooftop of the Hyatt Regency in Downtown Buffalo. There, over 13
tons of food scraps were taken to Good Earth, who then donated the compost soil
back to the Hyatt, who in turn used it for soil in their rooftop herb garden.
The garden is then watered by rain barrels provided by Buffalo Niagara
Riverkeepers. The herbs are then harvested and return to the end-user through
the Hyatt Regency’s culinary services. 

“At
Hyatt Hotels and Resorts, we have a passionate commitment to genuine and
strategic stewardship of the environment,” said Mike Marsch, general manager,
Hyatt Regency Buffalo. “Our efforts include a variety of initiatives in each of
the following areas: 1. Awareness, education and communication.  2. Waste
and harmful emissions reduction.  3. Energy and water conservation. 4.
Responsible purchasing and supply chain management. 5. Building design and
construction.  At the Hyatt Regency Buffalo, we have taken a leadership
role in sustainability.”

A
sampling of activities that are now taking place within the Buffalo hospitality
industry, include:

·                 
Bike
racks installed to encourage pedal power

·                 
Trees are
being planted to offset electric use

·                 
No
Styrofoam is being used and recycled products are utilized

·                 
If
possible, food and beverage is purchased from locally produced sources

·                 
Encouraging
the use of reusable serving utensils instead of disposables

·                 
Promote
the use of bulk food and beverage products

·                 
Plastic,
cans, cardboard, paper and kitchen oil are recycled

·                 
5% of the
energy is US EPA Certified Green Power

·                 
Paper
contains 30% post consumer waste

·                 
Light
bulbs are energy savings products

·                 
Recycles
printer cartridges

·                 
E-mails
preferred to paper correspondence

·                 
Customers
are encouraged to recycle convention supplies

·                 
Use
environmentally friendly cleaning supplies

·                 
Operates
on state-of-the-art energy efficient HVAC system

·                 Restrooms
are equipped with electronic flush and faucet systems and include                     automated
soap and paper dispensers

·                 
Unused
foods are donated to food banks and shuttles

·                 
New dish
machine uses 30% less water and cleaning products than standard

·                 
Internal
correspondence is printed double-sided.

 

“Going
green is no longer a choice, but is a requirement,” said Cheryl Zanghi,
Director of Services & Special Projects, Buffalo Niagara Convention &
Visitors Bureau. “Industry research shows that over 67 percent of meeting
professionals are looking for sustainable practices when considering holding an
event in a particular city. By embracing the Green Hospitality Initiative two
years ago, Buffalo is ahead of our peers in New York State and reaping the
benefits.”

Another
significant result of the green hospitality initiative is a self-certification
program, available from the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning and the Buffalo Niagara Convention & Visitors Bureau, that properties can use as guidelines for implementing green practices. After
completing the workbook and a certain level of self-certification, the facility
will earn the right to be a green service provider and the CVB will assist the
certification partner in marketing efforts.

Participating partners are: Adam’s Mark Buffalo, Buffalo Bisons,
Buffalo Blue Bikes, Buffalo Lodging, Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo Niagara
Convention & Visitors Bureau, Buffalo State College, City of Buffalo,
County of Erie, Delaware North Companies, Ecology and Environment, Inc., Edible
Buffalo, Hyatt Regency, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, Niagara
University, NYSERDA, Re-Tree WNY, Rich Products, Tifft Nature Preserve, Uniland
Development, and University at Buffalo.

About the author  ⁄ ToddS

4 comments
TeamBuildingNY
TeamBuildingNY

i am happy to see places like the hyatt making preliminary efforts to make a green WNY. My concern is that it will not last. Many of these initiative are only a facade to "increase conferences" and once you dig deeper you soon realize that all this work is just putting makeup on a pig. At the heart it is still a pig.

I truly hope that this continues - I would like to see a follow up to this especially about the Hyatt in 2 to 3 years and see what has happened to the roof top garden.

orlanmon
orlanmon

This is great... these initiatives should become the norm for all of WNY...

buffloonitick
buffloonitick

agree, time to join the 20th century now that it's over...

PaulBuffalo
PaulBuffalo

Light bulbs are energy savings products and e-mails are preferred to paper correspondence? I'm glad to see Buffalo forging ahead into the late 20th century.

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