Education gears up to meet demand for sustainability students: Arizona and Columbia add to lessons

September 19th, 2014 by TRT Blog

The Refinishing Touch has always had a strong commitment to education – from working with colleges and education facilities across North America to supporting these organizations in how they share, teach and implement sustainable practices.  With Campus Sustainability Day approaching on October 22, it seems perfect timing that a number of colleges and universities have added new sustainability programs to their higher education offerings.  These include the University of Arizona which has added an Executive Master’s for Sustainability Leadership. The program is offered by the Rob and Melani Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiatives in conjunction with the School of Sustainability.  Over in New York, Columbia University is offering a new Masters of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy.

Education AheadThese new programs reinforce the importance of having all future leaders that are well-versed in sustainability and apply them into their day to day business practices. What is taught in these classes combined with hands on experience, culminate in a project that features a real-world solution to a sustainability challenge.

For example, when talking about the demands for sustainable education, Michael M. Crow, president of Arizona State University said: “When a company hires a professional with a higher education in sustainability, they’re hiring someone who is up to date on relevant topics and best practices, and will have the leadership and communication tools needed to make a business case for sustainability and help to embed sustainability into their organization’s overall strategy.”

And it’s a need that isn’t being driven by the colleges – it’s market demand as green jobs require green skills.  The National Career Development Association wrote about this last year and not only shared some interesting insights, including this amazing list of job resources and organizations for those green students.

In our upcoming blog posts we hope to speak to some of the education organizations that are looking to shape our green future – so watch this space!

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Take Our Survey

September 17th, 2014 by admin

Who do you think is more responsible for making colleges greener?

a. The students
b. Professors
c. Higher management
d. Facilities

Event roundup: BITAC Symposium

September 16th, 2014 by TRT Blog

We always love the chance to travel, network, learn and explore that our industry tradeshows present. Last month’s BITAC Symposium was held at the Fairmont Banff Spring in Banff, Canada – a property we know well because we’ve completed furniture asset management projects there.

BITAC events are rated number one in the hospitality industry and there’s a number of reasons why they are held in such high esteem.  First, the quality of the content with keynote speakers including John Havens and Josh Linkner, and the quality of the time we spent with our customers, prospective customers and peers.

This year’s event was a bit different from others because we also got to enjoy Canada’s natural beauty. Our marketing director, Ryan, spent time networking whilst hiking through the Johnston Canyon Falls and then on a trip down the Bow River. Meanwhile our president and founder, Mario Insenga, enjoyed discussing furniture asset management, budget-saving strategies and sustainability facts on the fairway.

Take a look through the image gallery below for a view of the beautiful Fairmont property and Canadian wilderness.

If we missed you at BITAC, get in touch today at


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Myrtle Beach Convention Center paves way for local sustainability surge

September 12th, 2014 by TRT Blog

As a company that has worked diligently with leading hotels looking to reduce their environmental footprints, we couldn’t be happier to read that the hospitality industry is finally beginning to see savings from investment in eco-friendly initiatives.


Photo courtesy of Drayton Investigations

Photo courtesy of Drayton Investigations

The Myrtle Beach Convention Center has implemented a number of green initiatives in an effort to become more sustainable including the implementation of a new cleaning machine that uses an oxidizing process instead of chemicals. Myrtle Beach has also invested in LED lighting in bathrooms. This act may sound small, but it serves to cut energy consumption in half, reduce overall costs and cut down on labor.  Stephen Green, Myrtle Beach Area Hospitality Association president, notes that in the past five years alone there has been surge of green activity in the local area.

We understand the costs and pain points associated with sustainable investment, but we also know that there are a number of misconceptions associated with going green.  From our decades of experience, implementing an environmental strategy has proven to cut costs and downtime while improving overall guest satisfaction. We hope that with time more hoteliers consider investing in eco-friendly alternatives.

If you’d like to learn more about how furniture asset management can green your establishment, get in touch today at

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Take Our Survey

September 10th, 2014 by admin

Which hospitality market embraces sustainability more?

a. US
b. Canada
c. Other

Brooklyn Navy Yard proves to be a leader in sustainability after Hurricane Sandy

September 9th, 2014 by TRT Blog

Lights in NortherGreen buildingn Brooklyn continue to serve as a focus on sustainability in a post-Sandy New York City, writes Daniel Stein-Sayles in the Gotham Gazette. Brooklyn Navy Yard has taken on a new persona in recent years. Once a port for workers building US Navy ships, environmental management was never top of the priority list, however today tells a very difference story. The grounds are home to a number of sustainability efforts, including a rooftop vegetable garden growing kale, bok choy, carrots and other produce, whilst the yard is powered purely by solar lighting.  The Yard is now home to over 40 buildings, 330 tenants, and a commitment to environmentally friendly initiatives.
It is understood that many of the companies that occupy the yard have wholeheartedly embraced sustainability and now operate in an eco-friendly fashion, creating products that help others to do the same. BNYDC’s Vice President of External Affairs said “we figured if we’re getting all this money to invest in the Yard, we had better think about developing sustainability…it was almost a no-brainer.”

At The Refinishing Touch, we are also pleased to see businesses tackling green issues head on and not being afraid to change methods and practices to fall in-line with sustainability. Bien Heco, one of the companies on the Yard that markets itself as a sustainable company. Similarly to Bien Hecho, The Refinishing Touch uses non-toxic lacquers that contain no Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) so are safe, and clean and non-carcinogenic.

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Wells College gets a new director for its sustainability center

September 5th, 2014 by TRT Blog

As a whole, The Refinishing Touch would like to extend our congratulations to Marian Brown, who has been named the new director of Wells College’s Center for Sustainability and the Environment.  The center was founded as a place for students and faculty to meet and address issues around ecology and ways in which to develop a more sustainable approach to living.

Sustainability is becoming a deciding factor when choosing a college to attendWe’re delighted to see more higher education institutions taking a proactive approach to sustainability and having open forums to discuss issues, practices and solutions is a great way to interact and support the wider movement. As Brown observes, “sustainability is an educational and operational imperative – something that we all need to be learning about and doing”.

Over the past 36 years, we’ve worked diligently to demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and providing eco-friendly onsite furniture asset management services to higher education facilities across the US and Canada is just one way of greening college campuses.

Wells College ethos to balance considerations of the environment, society and the economy echoes our own sentiments regarding sustainability and it’s encouraging to know there are advocates that are keen to have these conversations.

For more information about The Refinishing Touch, and our furniture asset management services.  Please email us at: or tweets us: @TRT1977

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Take Our Survey

September 3rd, 2014 by admin

Are sustainable efforts in your local government buildings prevalent?

a. Yes
b. Depending on the season or event
c. No, sustainability never takes center stage

Cutting the carbon and the cost with furniture asset management

September 2nd, 2014 by TRT Blog

We pride ourselves on being as green as can be and taking an innovative approach to environmental management. Our onsite furniture asset management services are clean, non-toxic and eco-friendly. Revamping furniture, rather than replacing, puts less of a burden on forests – and it even reducing budgets.

Our latest infographic demonstrates the environmental impact of manufacturing new furniture. We investigate how hospitality, government and higher education facilities worldwide can lower their carbon footprints and overall impact on the environment simply by deploying a furniture asset management strategy.

There are approximately 15 steps in the manufacturing process journey. It all starts with cutting down the tree, which emits a whopping 58.3 tons of carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, transporting the tree to a factory for manufacturing expels 3.7 tons of CO2.  From tree to table the overall carbon footprint equates to an astonishing 125.32 tons of carbon dioxide.

To date, our onsite refinishing, reupholstery and remanufacturing services have saved two million trees, reduced 124.08 tons of CO2 per 100 rooms and completed 1.3 million room refinishing projects sustainably. To learn more, see the full infographic here.

If you’d like to learn more about the work we do at The Refinishing Touch, or how we can help reduce costs and carbon emissions through our furniture asset management services, please email us at

The Refinishing Touch_Cut the carbon and the cost infographic

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Generation Y’s flexible loyalty: Hospitality research from Bridge. Over Group

August 29th, 2014 by TRT Blog

A recent survey of Millennials conducted by Bridge. Over Group questioned how loyal Generation Y is to hotel brands when choosing a place to stay, and how exactly the group defines loyalty. The survey of 350 Millennials (with an average age of 26) raised some interesting points.

70 percent of Millennials born between 1980 and 2000 feel that they have less brand loyalty than their predecessors and when asked about their own customer loyalty, 81 percent said they do not feel a particular loyalty to a specific hotel brand. The remaining 19 percent who did feel a sense of loyalty to their hotels mentioned Starwood, Hilton and Marriott.

Interestingly, Generation Y see brand advocacy as proof of loyalty with 65 percent saying that frequenting a specific hotel, or choosing where to stay, is the obvious display of loyalty. Recommendations of hotels and brands follows closely behind with 58 percent of respondents saying that is also a clear sign of loyalty.

Getting value and a good deal is also cited as essential to Millennials when picking a place to stay, highlighting that they are a particularly price conscious consumers and eager to get a good ‘price – value ratio’.

The team at The Refinishing Touch has provided furniture asset management services to many reputable hotel brands such as Hilton, InterContinental, Marriott and Starwood. In our experience, innovation, creativity and forward thinking are appreciated by Generation Y and we echo the advice from eHotelier suggesting the inclusion of social elements and metrics within marketing strategies.

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