Sustainability101 Blog

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Rethink Your Waste: 77% Of Trash Is Not Trash At All!

Great Forest recently joined over 1,200 attendees and nearly 80 exhibitors at NYC’s first Food Waste Fair to help businesses find effective solutions to this growing and costly waste problem. New York City spends a reported $180 million annually to send food waste to the landfill. Our key message: businesses have to rethink their waste. Why? Because … Continue reading Rethink Your Waste: 77% Of Trash Is Not Trash At All!

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REBNY President Pinpoints Benefits Of Recycling Law Now Being Enforced In NYC

REBNY (Real Estate Board of New York) President John Banks recently reached out to the industry about New York City’s updated commercial waste and recycling laws, which began enforcement on August 1, 2017. As the city with the biggest concentration of commercial buildings in the country, boasting some of the most expensive office spaces in … Continue reading REBNY President Pinpoints Benefits Of Recycling Law Now Being Enforced In NYC

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NYC Businesses: New Rules Being Enforced

Attention all NYC businesses. The warning period is over. Commercial waste and recycling law enforcement is underway. Are you ready? What should you do to be in compliance and avoid fines? Read our  Q&A On New Waste And Recycling Rules – What Should Businesses Do? Waste and Recycling: The updated commercial/business waste and recycling law began enforcement August 1, … Continue reading NYC Businesses: New Rules Being Enforced

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Awards:
Great Forest Wins Daylight Hour Award For Best Monitoring And Analysis

Did you take part in Daylight Hour 2017? This year, Great Forest joined clients and more than 820 offices around the world, turning off the lights in about 100 million square feet of office space, saving enough energy to power 9,400 homes for a day! And we were rewarded for it too! Not just for our … Continue reading Awards:
Great Forest Wins Daylight Hour Award For Best Monitoring And Analysis

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Insights From The WasteExpo – How Waste Management Trends May Affect Your Planning and Operations

Great Forest attended the Waste Expo in New Orleans in May to discuss trends with industry experts and get a peek into new innovations in the field. The event drew over 12,000 participants and 620 exhibitors. Here is our quick summary: High Tech: We saw lots of high tech trucks and equipment, such as self-cleaning … Continue reading Insights From The WasteExpo – How Waste Management Trends May Affect Your Planning and Operations

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#WeAreStillIn: The Team That Will Make Your Summer (And Beyond) Sustainable

This could be the summer of reckoning. Americans just learned that the U.S. is turning its back on the Paris Agreement. With that at the back of our minds, Great Forest team members from across the country gathered recently in Pennsylvania to discuss issues, swap solutions, and learn from each other. We are happy to report that team members … Continue reading #WeAreStillIn: The Team That Will Make Your Summer (And Beyond) Sustainable

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“Emergency” Waste Management Seminar To Help NYC Hotels Avoid Fines Being Issued

NYC hotels are being fined.  Now help is on its way. Join us for the upcoming HANYC Waste Management Seminar on June 29, organized by the Hotel Association of NYC with support from Great Forest. The event was organized quickly in response to the increasingly stringent waste regulations that are affecting hotels and their bottom … Continue reading “Emergency” Waste Management Seminar To Help NYC Hotels Avoid Fines Being Issued

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Case Study: Daylight Hour Adds Up For Easy Energy Savings Boost At Great Forest

We are thrilled to receive the Daylight Hour 2017 “Gear Head” award for best monitoring and analysis, as documented in our case study, which is also featured at the Building Energy Exchange.  Thanks to the creative folks behind the annual Daylight Hour movement for continuing to push for energy savings in such a fun way.  Are … Continue reading Case Study: Daylight Hour Adds Up For Easy Energy Savings Boost At Great Forest

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Client Spotlight:
Fairmont Hotel Keeps Two Baby Grand Pianos Out Of The Landfill

The music will go on, at least for two baby grand pianos past their prime. The instruments came from the Grand Ballroom of the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco. Rather than disposing of the old pianos, the hotel worked with Great Forest to find new homes for them. While the pianos needed a refresh and repairs, … Continue reading Client Spotlight:
Fairmont Hotel Keeps Two Baby Grand Pianos Out Of The Landfill

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Reporting To You From The WasteExpo On Industry Trends, Insights

Great Forest will be in New Orleans for the WasteExpo, a key annual gathering of waste industry experts.  If you are attending, look for us.  We will be meeting with vendors and talking to industry insiders to keep you in the know about the latest solutions, trends, challenges, and news you can use. We will be sharing … Continue reading Reporting To You From The WasteExpo On Industry Trends, Insights

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Insight: Getting More Accurate Metrics From Your Hauler

Accurate metrics is key to a successful waste and recycling program.  It helps you evaluate the effectiveness of your efforts, and determine if changes are needed. The numbers also inform your overall sustainability reporting and affect your goals. But what happens when those numbers are not correct? Many businesses and organizations simply accept the metrics … Continue reading Insight: Getting More Accurate Metrics From Your Hauler

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“Further With Food” – Online Hub For Food Waste Solutions Features Resources From Great Forest and Others

With regulations targeting organics on the rise nationwide, a new online resource backed by the USDA, EPA, and other partners, aims to gather relevant material together in one place to make it easier for businesses and organizations looking for information and help addressing food waste issues. Great Forest’s guide to new and emerging food waste technologies is … Continue reading “Further With Food” – Online Hub For Food Waste Solutions Features Resources From Great Forest and Others

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Compliance Checklist – Your 4-Step Guide To Avoiding Fines

No matter where your business is located across the country, staying on top of new and updated regulations is key to avoiding fines, which can add up. Take note of the date a law goes into effect, and the date at which enforcement starts. Give yourself enough time to get ready to be in compliance. Here’s your … Continue reading Compliance Checklist – Your 4-Step Guide To Avoiding Fines

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Regulation Alert: Fines Being Issued To NYC Businesses

In NYC, inspectors are currently out in force issuing fines for non-compliance of the city’s new organics law, and gearing up to enforce updated waste and recycling rules in a few months. NYC hotels seem to be bearing the brunt of penalties issued as they are more likely to have food operations covered under the city’s … Continue reading Regulation Alert: Fines Being Issued To NYC Businesses

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Compliance Guide For NYC Hotels

ORGANICS  New rules began enforcement Jan. 2017. Fines are being issued now. The new business organics rule applies to hotels and businesses with food and beverage operations. Law includes hotels over 150 rooms with any size back-of-house food preparation and delivered provisions. Law does NOT cover retailers if their end product destination is the consumer. For … Continue reading Compliance Guide For NYC Hotels

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Here’s Your 5-Step Sustainability Checklist For Success In 2017. How Many Have You Completed?

The beginning of whole new year is a great time to review your sustainability strategy, and set the tone for the months ahead. What should you do? 1) Check on new and upcoming regulations Ensure you are in compliance to avoid fines.  Make sure your staff and tenants are aware of the changes. NYC Alert: If … Continue reading Here’s Your 5-Step Sustainability Checklist For Success In 2017. How Many Have You Completed?

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS! – See What We Accomplished Together in 2016

CONGRATULATIONS ON ANOTHER GREAT YEAR 2016 has been such an eventful year. What did we all accomplish together? Below is a short list of highlights. Happy holidays from the entire Great Forest team. The EPA incorporated Great Forest’s volume to weight (VTW) data into its updated industry standard for calculating waste and recycling weights from volume. For the first … Continue reading HAPPY HOLIDAYS! – See What We Accomplished Together in 2016

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EPA Incorporates Great Forest’s Metric Into Updated Industry Standard

The Environment Protection Agency (EPA) recently incorporated Great Forest’s volume to weight (VTW) data into their updated industry standard for calculating waste and recycling weights from volume. These conversions can now be used across all industries to help standardize how waste and recycling is tracked. This is the first time an acceptable standard is available for calculating … Continue reading EPA Incorporates Great Forest’s Metric Into Updated Industry Standard

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Transforming Waste – A Guide To Donating For Reuse, Avoiding Landfills

During this season of giving and thanks, we thought it might be helpful to put all our advice on donating for reuse into a handy guide. Each year, over 100 million tons of material end up in landfills. This includes many reusable items–such as furniture, equipment and electronics–from businesses that are renovating or clearing out their … Continue reading Transforming Waste – A Guide To Donating For Reuse, Avoiding Landfills

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Client Spotlight:
Hotel Establishes Ongoing Partnership With Nonprofit To Avoid The Landfill

What do you do if you need to get rid of 100 gallons of furniture polish and clear out over 400 beds? While many businesses would simply pay to get the items hauled away, often to the landfill, the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco turned to a nonprofit it had worked with before. In September, we told … Continue reading Client Spotlight:
Hotel Establishes Ongoing Partnership With Nonprofit To Avoid The Landfill

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2016 HANYC Awards: NYC’s Greenest And Most Socially Responsible Hotels Are Revealed

Congratulations! Winners of the 2016 HANYC Sustainability Awards were revealed in New York City on November 14, 2016 during HX: The Hotel Experience 2016, North America’s largest hospitality industry trade event. Presented by the Hotel Association of New York City, the HANYC Sustainability Awards recognize and honor hotels leading the way in sustainability, and making a … Continue reading 2016 HANYC Awards: NYC’s Greenest And Most Socially Responsible Hotels Are Revealed

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20 Tips To Get You Started For America Recycles Day On Nov. 15

America Recycles Day is November 15. It is the one day to remind yourself and everyone around you about the importance of recycling. NEED HELP? Here are 20 TIPS to get you started. Following this list of 20 tips will set you on the path to reducing waste and increasing recycling in the most efficient … Continue reading 20 Tips To Get You Started For America Recycles Day On Nov. 15

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Regulation Updates: NYC’s Energy Efficiency Laws Expand To Cover More Buildings. Is Yours Affected?

Oct 2016–NYC’s expanded energy efficiency laws will now cover more buildings than before. An additional 10,000 properties to be more precise, covering nearly 350 million square feet. Chances are that your NYC building, portfolio of buildings, or your tenants WILL BE AFFECTED by these newest changes so take note. For this next round, newly compliant properties under LL84 will not be … Continue reading Regulation Updates: NYC’s Energy Efficiency Laws Expand To Cover More Buildings. Is Yours Affected?

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What The Surprising Results From 3,550 Site Visits Reveal About Businesses And Recycling

This blog post is from Great Forest sustainability research intern Kathleen Emerson, a recent graduate from Hunter College holding a B.A. in Environmental Studies: Policy and Management. She is a zero waste enthusiast who is actively mindful of reducing consumption and properly handling waste. She is passionate about sustainability and waste management and wants to continue … Continue reading What The Surprising Results From 3,550 Site Visits Reveal About Businesses And Recycling

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Making A Difference:
Golf, Green “Beer” and Generosity

A big thank you to Mike Doherty, President/CEO of Building Maintenance Services; Ralph Scopo from Classic, the team from Royal Waste, and all the other industry folks who turned out in force to support this year’s Pure Earth golf benefit. As many of you know,  the nonprofit Pure Earth was established by Great Forest president Richard Fuller … Continue reading Making A Difference:
Golf, Green “Beer” and Generosity

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Deadline Alert:
Last Day Approaching To Register For LEED 2009 Projects

October 31, 2016 is the last day to register LEED® projects under LEED 2009 rating systems. After that date, all new LEED projects will transition to using LEED v4. Register at LEED online with your project details, payment and any forms to show you are authorized to act on the project owner’s behalf, if you are not the project … Continue reading Deadline Alert:
Last Day Approaching To Register For LEED 2009 Projects

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How The Peninsula New York Topped the Hotel Category in the Zero Waste Challenge

Read the full story, which first appeared in Green Lodging News. The results of the New York City Mayor’s Zero Waste Challenge were recently revealed, with The Peninsula New York emerging tops in the hotel category. The Peninsula was able to double its diversion rate in just a few months during the Challenge, in the process, … Continue reading How The Peninsula New York Topped the Hotel Category in the Zero Waste Challenge

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Success In Schools Prove The Power Of Standardized Recycling Labels

Have you seen our new recycling stickers?  They have been so popular that we have had to re-stock them already. And that is good news because these standardized recycling bin stickers/labels have super powers… well, sort of. What can they do?  When standardized labels were introduced into Orlando Public Schools, recycling levels increased 90%  in the … Continue reading Success In Schools Prove The Power Of Standardized Recycling Labels

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Thinking Outside the (Debris) Box: How the Generous Act of Donation for Reuse Allows Hotels to Avoid the Landfill

This post is by James Bernard in Great Forest’s San Francisco office. Recently, I was reminded of the three Rs of waste diversion—Reduce, Reuse, Recycle—set to music by mellow musician Jack Johnson as a children’s song. Johnson’s deceptively simple “3 R song,” with the recurring line “we’ve got to learn to Reduce, Reuse Recycle” is a chant everyone should … Continue reading Thinking Outside the (Debris) Box: How the Generous Act of Donation for Reuse Allows Hotels to Avoid the Landfill

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Making A Difference:
Walk-Through Of Agbogbloshie E-Waste Dump Site Spreads Message About Safe Recycling

Great Forest is a proud supporter of Pure Earth, a nonprofit that works to clean up some of the world’s worst polluted communities. Our blog features regular stories about their work is Making A Difference. Recycling is a great thing.  But it has to be done properly. When improperly processed, e-waste can pollute and poison communities.  This … Continue reading Making A Difference:
Walk-Through Of Agbogbloshie E-Waste Dump Site Spreads Message About Safe Recycling

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Spotlight: Our New Standardized Labels Can Increase Recycling

Our new recycling stickers have arrived!  These new labels have been proven to increase recycling, and are part of what has been called the “#1 solution to fix recycling.” Great Forest is proud to be working with the nonprofit Recycle Across America to encourage the use of standardized recycling bin labels in order to make … Continue reading Spotlight: Our New Standardized Labels Can Increase Recycling

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Regulation Updates (NYC):
Q&A On New Organics, Waste And Recycling Rules – What Should Businesses Do?

NYC businesses should take note of new/updated rules covering organics, and waste and recycling: New organics rules went into effect July 19, 2016.  See the official notice for details. Rules enforced Jan 2017. New waste and recycling rules went into effect Aug 1, 2016. See the official notice for details. Rules enforced Aug 1, 2017. What should … Continue reading Regulation Updates (NYC):
Q&A On New Organics, Waste And Recycling Rules – What Should Businesses Do?

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New Report:
How Are NYC Buildings Using Water and Energy?

For the first time, data submitted by some of the NYC’s biggest buildings under Local Law 84 (benchmarking) and Local Law 87 (auditing) have been analyzed together to give a clear picture not only of the amount of energy and water used by these buildings, but also what heating, cooling, and other systems are being used. This data, … Continue reading New Report:
How Are NYC Buildings Using Water and Energy?

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ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager’s New Waste Tracking

EPA’s ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager has introduced a new feature to track “Waste and Materials” in addition to Energy and Water, in an effort to streamline sustainability data. 29 types of materials can be tracked (eg: Trash, Mixed Recycling, Paper, Glass, Metal, Compost, E-Waste, Lamps, Donations, Furniture, etc.).  In addition, trash is tracked to its … Continue reading ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager’s New Waste Tracking

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Regulation Updates (Arlington, VA):
New Recycling Code, Businesses May Be Inspected

Aug 2016 — Businesses in Arlington, VA, should be on the lookout for a notice from the County’s Department of Environmental Services, which details changes to the recycling code.  Note that Arlington businesses may be inspected by the County for compliance. An inspection fee of $66 per business will be assessed by Arlington County. According to the … Continue reading Regulation Updates (Arlington, VA):
New Recycling Code, Businesses May Be Inspected

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News:
Great Forest Clients Top Mayor’s Zero Waste Challenge, Become Role Models For New Organics Rule

Earlier this year, the Mayor challenged New York businesses to go zero waste. The results are in.  Great Forest’s NYC clients are among the top performers, with the Peninsula New York leading the way in the “hotel” category. The challenge attracted over 31 different businesses in more than 39 locations across all five boroughs. Great Forest worked … Continue reading News:
Great Forest Clients Top Mayor’s Zero Waste Challenge, Become Role Models For New Organics Rule

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Apply Now:
Looking For Most Sustainable and Socially Responsible NYC Hotels

The search is on again. Apply now for the 2016 HANYC Sustainability Awards from the Hotel Association of NYC. The HANYC awards identify and honor New York City hotels that are leaders in environmentally friendly lodging practices and socially responsible initiatives. Now in its third year, the HANYC awards was developed by the Hotel Association’s Sustainability Committee … Continue reading Apply Now:
Looking For Most Sustainable and Socially Responsible NYC Hotels

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Award Spotlight:
What Makes A Building Outstanding? Ask First Potomac

Congratulations to First Potomac Realty Trust for their double wins at the recent 2016 TOBY (The Outstanding Building of the Year) Awards! Not only was First Potomac named the grand winner, taking the big prize of the night for their Atlantic Corporate Park property, but they also won the prize for Outstanding Building in the … Continue reading Award Spotlight:
What Makes A Building Outstanding? Ask First Potomac

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Great Forest Wins Daylight Hour Award, Announces Daylight Fridays

Great Forest was one of over 650 offices worldwide that participated in the 2016 Daylight Hour movement on June 17. The fun event, designed to encourage the use of daylight instead of electricity when possible, reached over 10 million people on social media, and we are thrilled that Great Forest was named “Hype Master” this year, winning the … Continue reading Great Forest Wins Daylight Hour Award, Announces Daylight Fridays

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Join Us Today – #DaylightHour Starts At Noon

At noon today, flip the switch to join the movement. We challenge everyone to work by daylight for just one hour. Then use this calculator to see how much energy and money you saved today.  You can also estimate what you can save if you commit to one hour of daylight all year long. See what … Continue reading Join Us Today – #DaylightHour Starts At Noon

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Rethinking “Waste” Helps School, African Orphanage, Global Crisis Nonprofit

It is that time of the year again. Over the past few weeks, Great Forest has helped clients do a bit of spring cleaning.  But instead of treating the unwanted items as trash, we found them all new homes–in a school, an African orphanage, and an international nonprofit. This is part of our effort to “rethink waste” … Continue reading Rethinking “Waste” Helps School, African Orphanage, Global Crisis Nonprofit

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GPS Tracks America’s E-Waste HalfWay Across The World
What Can You Do?

As noted in this blog a few months ago, with e-waste rules firmly on the books across the country, the trend now seems to be towards greater enforcement, with bigger, multi-million dollar fines being levied. Why? Perhaps because a new investigative report has found that some e-waste is still being illegally dumped rather than recycled. The nonprofit Basel … Continue reading GPS Tracks America’s E-Waste HalfWay Across The World
What Can You Do?

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Spotlight
Composting With Veterans

Great Forest has installed new composting programs in a number of buildings in Washington D.C. that is making a difference in more ways than one. Launched earlier this year, the program at the U.S. Department of Transportation is already diverting approximately 5 tons of food waste per month from the landfill, sending it instead to Veteran Compost, a … Continue reading Spotlight
Composting With Veterans

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Regulation Updates: May/June 2016

San Francisco is proposing the most extensive ban on Styrofoam in the country, building on its decade-old ban on most foam food containers. While some applaud the move, others are pushing for recycling the foam. Read more. NYC Approves Bag Fee.  This month, the City Council voted to require certain retailers to collect a fee on each … Continue reading Regulation Updates: May/June 2016

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NYC Alert (April 2016):
New Fines, the Retrofit Accelerator, Energy Map and more

A roundup of alerts for NYC: LL 84/2009 benchmarking enforcements: Note: beginning with the May 1, 2016 compliance deadline, submitted reports with one or more missing or inaccurate data fields will be considered non-compliant, and will result in a violation if not corrected. Read more. NYCECC and ECB enforcements: New rules covers energy compliance during … Continue reading NYC Alert (April 2016):
New Fines, the Retrofit Accelerator, Energy Map and more

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Earth Day and Beyond – Online Portal Of Resources Keeps Momentum Going

“The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity… that’s all there is. That’s the whole economy. That’s where all the economic activity and jobs come from. These biological systems are the sustaining wealth of the world” — Gaylord Nelson, Founder, Earth Day As … Continue reading Earth Day and Beyond – Online Portal Of Resources Keeps Momentum Going

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News:
NYC’s Most Sustainable Hotels Are Identified, Artworks Awarded

Congratulations! Seven New York City hotels were honored for their environmentally friendly lodging practices and socially responsible initiatives as recipients of the second annual Sustainable Hospitality Awards, presented on Nov. 9 by the Hotel Association of New York City (HANYC). This year, Great Forest worked with the HANYC to expand the number of awards given … Continue reading News:
NYC’s Most Sustainable Hotels Are Identified, Artworks Awarded

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