Monday, March 30, 2009

Chief Sustainabilty Officers on the Rise!

Believe it or not, though companies are dropping jobs at record numbers, some new and novel ones are being created. The NYTimes ran a short blog about companies adding "Sustainability Officers". I've heard of these being added at the VP through C-level at organizations. Of course even if you don't get a formal title like that, you may still be on the hook for making your companies' practices sustainable.

From the NYT:

"Last month, PGI, a maker of materials for medical and industrial uses, announced the creation of a similar post, and Flowserve, a Texas-based maker of pumps, valves and seals, announced that its vice-president for public affairs would also take on the newly created title.

A number of other big companies, like Sun Microsystems, Georgia Pacific and Dupont, already have chief sustainability officers."

This is valuable news for any environmentally friendly product or service provider as these rolls tend to dictate green behavior across the board. Fine the new Chief Sustainability Officer at that prospective client you have been eying and pitch to them.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Crowne Plaza Cabana Hotel, Palo Alto, A Certified Green Hotel


A client had booked their conference at the Crown Plaza Cabana Hotel in Palo Alto, CA finally giving us the opportunity to work with this Certified Green property.

The hotel recently went through major eco-friendly upgrades including light sensors in every room to ensure no energy is wasted when a room is empty. Classically beautiful things like the black and white, Art-Deco-esq pool decks were kept in tact.

Aside from the building itself, the hotel’s staff offered impeccable service under Sr. Catering Events Manager Renee Reagan. Ms. Reagan was available for any request of our high profile client, providing outstanding customer service. Her staff was professional and attentive.

The Cabana Hotel has combined upscale hotel service with environmentally friendly options. If you plan a meeting here, the majority of your green event planning has been done for your with location, accommodations, food and beverage and waste management all being coordinated with sustainability in mind under one roof.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Startbucks Not Recyclable?!?!

This note came to me from my colleague Cat Lincoln, blogger-extrodinaire (I say that with complete bias as she writes about Twirl and my events from time to time). This news was actually surprising to me and I assumed Starbucks would be a bit more responsible as a to-go based business. I mean, even McDonalds has cut out it’s egregious Styrofoam packaging (I will not admit how I know this but it’s not from something I’ve read).

“I'm pinging you to send you two links about this campaign that I started to get Starbucks to switch to recyclable and/or compostable cups. You probably know this, but right now their to-go cups are not recyclable! I was shocked, and almost everyone I tell is surprised, too.

With all of your knowledge about recycling and helping large groups of people eat and drink, (plus your networking skills!) I'm interested in your thoughts about solutions, and ways to spread the word.

Here is the TONIC post I wrote: http://news.tonic.com/featured/step-up-starbucks-disposable-cups-are-not-recyclableyet/

And here is the campaign I started on The Point: http://www.thepoint.com/campaigns/starbucks-eco-cup-switch-in-2009”

Now, I am in no way on the “I HATE STARBUCKS” bandwagon. They go above and beyond certified Fair-Trade practices with their growers and give millions of dollars to education projects. Their hiring practices are to be applauded: Many friends worked there through college or bad economies WITH HEALTH INSURANCE and other full-time benefits with opportunities to move up. Additionally if you compare the diversity behind the counter of a Starbucks and your average hipster coffee shop you might get a very NIMBY feeling about the whole debate.

Nonetheless, by their product offering Starbucks is a huge procurer and creator of landfill waste. Them switching to compostable corn cups and the like isn’t my recommendation as very few communities offer the proper composting programs. But not having the option to recycle their containers hurts my head as much as brain freeze from a Grande Mocha Frappacino.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Holiday Season 2008



Phew, That was a doozy! We worked on over 13 fabulous holiday events in the month of December through New Years Eve. For a small, growing company this kept us on our toes but I was proud that the work flow is in such a good place that we balanced the intense work load with perfection for our clients.

There is a sense of dread in the market place, despite the festive season. Many parties slashed their budgets over 50%, some pushed back until after the New Year to save on Holiday-Season rates and a few canceled. The oddest request we got was, “We will pay you the same contracted amount, can you just make it look like we paid less?” Spending right now is considered gauche and frivolous. It will be interesting to see how this spreads throughout the industry as the recession evolves.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

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Friday, October 10, 2008

The MacCallum House & Green Weddings in Mendocino


I attended a dear friend’s destination wedding in the lovely town of Mendocino. The majority of the events took place at the amazing MacCallum House. The town of Mendocino paired with the venue of the MacCallum House is a lovely option for a green destination wedding in Northern California. The hotel restaurant and bar specializes (and damn near perfects) organic and local cuisine and culinary cocktails. The dill and other spices in my Bloody Mary the morning after nearly sent me over the edge.

A large, Raj-style tent was erected in their front lawn and the d├ęcor the hotel spearheaded was elegant and simple with draped paneling, hanging chandeliers offering both incandescent and candlelit dinning. The hotel let us dance and celebrate into the night only shutting us down at the same time as their bar, at 2am – a rarity for most hotel destinations that usually close events down by midnight.

For guests who did not stay at the MacCallum House, there were many options within walking distance at all price points from 2 to 4 star accommodations. Camping was also available for the more adventurous guest.

The location offered carpooling and wine tasting options to and from Mendocino through one of my favorite regions – The Anderson Valley. Shuttle/Wine train service was also available from San Francisco (or other metropolitan areas) to Mendocino with stops at wineries, cheese shops and farms along the way.