At The Refinishing Touch our customers not only want to reduce their carbon footprints, they want to know precisely how much they are cutting it. This makes a lot of sense to us. Forward-thinking businesses are always keen to share their innovation and success stories, and the clearest way for them to do this is […]
Part of our vision is to help organizations in hospitality, education and government to reduce their impact on their environment. If you know us at all, you know that one measure we use consistently across projects and with our clients is carbon dioxide emissions, or carbon footprint – our carbon footprint calculator shows the impact of buying new furniture compared to furniture asset management techniques such as refinishing.
We’re not alone in our bid to reduce carbon footprint size. Businesses, public associations, and governments are increasingly committed to reducing their impact on the environment – and to quantify their results. We know ourselves that our customers not only want to know what their carbon footprint has been reduced by, they want to share it. Earlier this year we shared our ‘cut the carbon’ infographic to highlight some of the facts behind carbon dioxide emissions.
Yet there are businesses out there that may be ‘talking the talk’ they are not ‘walking the walk’. This includes social networking behemoth Facebook, which has refused to share essential data with the Carbon Disclosure Project that would show the company’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, and could be used as a benchmark to monitor the company’s carbon-related activities year-on-year.
The Carbon Disclosure Project, or CDP, is an international, not-for-profit organization that provides a system to measure, disclose, manage and share vital environmental information. CDP works with institutional investors with assets of more than $92 trillion to motivate companies to disclose their impact on the environment and natural resources – and take action to reduce them.
We say ‘talking the talk’ as Facebook not only has a huge standing among green-conscious millennials but was one of the founding companies behind www.collectively.org which encourages millennials to “Take meaningful action. Choose to make a difference.” It seems hypocritical to have a large footprint in the millennial market and to keep your carbon footprint a secret.
Unfortunately Facebook isn’t alone – a handful of other companies that refused to share carbon-related data with the Carbon Disclosure Project include Amazon, Time warner Cable and Comcast.
But it’s not all bad news. In its report, ‘The A List: The CDP Climate Performance Leadership Index 2014’ the CDP shares the 187 businesses that: ‘”demonstrated a superior approach to climate change mitigation,” citing BMW, Centrica, Samsung Electronics and Unilever. The CDP also calculates that the climate performance leaders have reduced emissions by 33 million metric tons in the last year – which is apparently the equivalent to turning all of London’s car owners into cyclists for two and a half years. That’s a great statistic to share – even over Facebook.
Check out our full ‘Cut the Carbon and the Cost’ infographic here.
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 email@example.com.
Over the past 35 years in business, The Refinishing Touch has been proud to provide sustainable and fiscally-responsible furniture asset management services to some of the largest, most well-known hotel corporations, including the Hilton, Hyatt, Best Western, IHG and more.
From our work, we’ve witnessed firsthand the tremendous progress in sustainability and environmental leadership throughout the hospitality industry – from the smallest gestures, like adding more easily-accessible recycling bins, to larger-scale initiatives like the construction of green roofs and solar panels.
Recently, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council hosted a conference where individuals and businesses alike shared this one common goal – making the world a better, greener place. Held in New Jersey, the conference highlighted the major trends and achievements in sustainability both in the city and worldwide.
Some of the key takeaways from the event included:
– 41% of leisure travelers today expect some progress in energy efficiency, waste recycling and water conservation in hotels
– Nearly two-thirds of business travelers cite an establishment’s eco-friendly initiatives when booking a room
– Wyndham is the greenest hotel company, according to Newsweek, while Fortune rates it as ‘the most admired company in the industry’
With these figures in mind, it’s important that property managers think outside of the recycling box, when attempting to further sustainable practices. For example, when undergoing renovations, one should think twice before buying new furniture in an effort to help prevent wood from making its way into landfills. Not only will The Refinishing Touch’s refinishing, re-upholstery and remanufacturing help reduce the amount of waste, but it will also lessen a property’s carbon footprint and prevent deforestation.
Operating a sustainable hotel is not only beneficial to the environment; it is also a low-cost way to capitalize on short- and long-term ROI. By up-cycling furniture assets, one can save up to 80 percent in renovation costs – a critical factor when faced with the increasing number of budget cuts. While some may view ‘green tourism’ as a pricey goal, it is now more cost-effective and attainable than ever before.
For more information on The Refinishing Touch and its refinishing, re-upholstery and remanufacturing in the hospitality, government and higher education housing sectors, please visit our website or listen to an audio overview here.
During our 35 years’ of providing on-site, cost-efficient furniture asset management services, we’ve noticed a common trend throughout various industries – the need for improved sustainability. The ongoing push towards green is seen each time The Refinishing Touch delivers its refinishing, re-upholstery and remanufacturing solutions to hotels, government offices, military barracks, college dormitories and more, all across the US and Canada.
The need for environmental preservation has even hit the grand seas, as large cruise lines like Royal Caribbean Cruises have begun implementing waste and carbon reduction techniques into overall corporate missions.
Jamie Sweeting, vice president of Environmental Stewardship at Royal Caribbean, elaborates on such efforts in a recent video interview by Environmental Leader. “We’re doing more in the way of waste management and waste handling,” Sweeting says in the clip. “We can have larger spaces to hold recyclables, for example, and that allows us to maximize the amount of recycling from our ships.”
Along with increasing consumer recycling, the popular international cruise line is also utilizing state-of-the-art technology to reduce and track the amount of energy and carbon used by each passenger. According to Sweeting, studies have shown a traveler on a cruise ship sends less than two pounds of trash to the landfill each year, compared to the over four pounds produced when at home.
Corporations are taking both small and large steps towards achieving minimal waste and carbon production. Whether through intricate implementation of technology, or by simply re-purposing existing furniture to avoid the environmentally-damaging need to buy new, the hospitality industry is showing signs of immense progress when trying to make guests’ stays as green as possible.
The global community may disagree on issues ranging from economics to religion to politics — as evident in articles on virtually any international news site.
But when it comes to global warming and resulting heat waves, floods and drought? It’s a common concern — and it’s why nearly 200 nations just came together in Qatar in a U.N.-led effort to find solutions to slow the process, which is wreaking havoc in our world.
Despite attention to greenhouse gas emissions, the burning of fossil fuels and combustion of carbon-based fuels is a real threat. One study, according to Reuters, predicts a 2.6-percent rise in greenhouse gas emissions this year — and that’s despite a slowdown in the economy and production.
Earlier this month, the countries agreed to extend the Kyoto Protocol, a treaty that limits the greenhouse gas output of some countries. However, the pact only covers about 15 percent of emissions worldwide.
The U.N. may be the only entity that can work to prevent global warming on a broader, international scale. But these exact environmental issues have long been behind what The Refinishing Touch factors into its mission: cost-efficient and visually-appealing alternatives to furniture. Our innovative process reduces impact on Mother Nature and our clients’ bottom line by using budget-friendly existing assets.
Clients such as hoteliers, colleges and universities, businesses and government agencies who opt for sustainable methods — transforming existing furniture into new, functional, attractive pieces — are part of the solution, not part of the problem. And reduce their costs, to boot.
The Refinishing Touch is proud to serve these smart, environmentally conscious clients. Our innovative approach to furniture refinishing, reupholstering and remanufacturing makes a difference: cutting carbon emissions by up to 90 percent and slashing project costs by an average of 80 percent, when compared with buying new furniture.
We are doing what we can here at home, and will continue to proudly serve clients looking outside the box to greener pastures.
Guest author: Mary Ann Hart, General Manager of Hampton Inn Batesville
Throughout my 24 years of working in hospitality, I’ve seen the industry persevere through many obstacles by changing its key practices and overall approach, and most recently, ultimately overcoming the aftermath of the 2008 recession.
Even today, as general manager of Hampton Inn Batesville, a position I’ve held for nearly 16 years, I am still witnessing the gradual upturn in business. During the last half of 2012, I’ve seen more leisure traffic than in many years’ past, with more people wanting to venture farther away from home as the economy slowly recovers.
This increase in business has also fueled a fundamental shift in business practices – moving more towards finding ways to satisfy the consumer’s needs, while remaining conscious of bottom line. One business practice in particular that we’ve begun implementing is sustainability – a venture that comes with many benefits, including appealing to green lodgers, preserving the environment and saving on costs.
An example of these benefits came into play when The Refinishing Touch completed a large-scale refinishing project at our Batesville location. At the time, we were looking for a solution to preserve our locally purchased case goods. We didn’t want to replace them, since they’re well liked amongst our guests and staff, and are very high-quality assets. After hearing positive feedback from a Hampton Inn corporate representative (whom The Refinishing Touch has worked with before), I was convinced – furniture asset management was the right solution for our hotel.
The Refinishing Touch team restored numerous wardrobes, desks, nightstands and luggage benches in 80 of our guest bedrooms, back to their original, like-new condition. Scratches and common wear were erased, all in a quick and seamless process. One of the best aspects of working with The Refinishing Touch was the fast on-site refinishing process, which helped us avoid completely shutting down the establishment. The production team was very conscious of our business operations, and when a block of rooms were occupied, they would only renovate them as they became vacant.
By investing in The Refinishing Touch’s furniture asset management services, we saved thousands of dollars, or about 80 percent in budget costs. Our case goods look new again, and we continue to receive positive feedback from guests and staff members alike. Not only did we save money, but we also saved an estimated 90 percent in carbon emissions, when compared to buying new furniture – helping reduce negative impact on the environment.
And Hampton Inn Batesville’s green initiatives do not stop there. We offer a towel and linen reuse program and have installed water aerators on our faucets, reducing water consumption. The free daily breakfast bar is equipped with ‘Enviroware’ plastic ware, a product that is easily compostable. We have also changed our light bulbs to become more energy efficient and provide recycling bins throughout the hotel.
If you are ever in Southeastern Indiana, why not book a stay at Hampton Inn Batesville and discover a balance of luxury, comfort and sustainability. We are conveniently located between Cincinnati and Indianapolis, right near golf courses, parks and water ways. To reserve your room today, visit our website.
For more information on The Refinishing Touch’s large-scale refinishing project at Hampton Inn Batesville, read the entire press release here.
With Election Day in full swing, our government’s commitment to sustainability and environmental preservation has never been more important. Here at The Refinishing Touch, we have firsthand experience working with government agencies and military branches to solidify that sustainable commitment, and ensure our country’s tax dollars are being used wisely and effectively. Through our on-site, sustainable furniture asset management services, including refinishing, reupholstering and remanufacturing, we’ve helped countless state, local and federal governments save approximately 90 percent in carbon emissions and 80 percent on budget, when compared to buying new furniture.
And because of our continued involved and investment in our nation’s sustainable future, we’re always interested in learning about new eco-friendly initiatives and programs the government is enacting. Most recently, we’ve been hearing more and more about the push to go paperless. In fact, The Obama Administration recently set a goal for federal government agencies to be completely paperless by the end of 2019. Among other requirements, agencies must have plans in place as to how this will be accomplished by next year. Another part of the initiative, being spearheaded by NARA (the National Archives and Records Administration) is for federal agencies to fully manage both permanent and temporary email records by the end of 2016.
While going completely paperless will not be the easiest feat, President Obama has said in a previous statement: “…we’re going to comb the federal budget, line by line, to eliminate as much wasteful spending as possible.” Similarly, according to the EPA, conserving paper will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, extend the fiber supply, save landfill space, and reduce energy and water consumption.
The Refinishing Touch applauds the government’s efforts to create a more sustainable nation, and going paperless is a great step toward that goal. We look forward to the positive effects such a program will have on our environment and we hope other organizations, including those outside for the government, will push for similar paperless standards.
To learn more about The Refinishing Touch’s government projects, visit our website, or to get more information on how our furniture asset management services can help your organization save on budget and carbon emissions, request a free quote.
Throughout the years, sustainability has become a growing concern – not only for us at The Refinishing Touch, but across different industries and organizations as well. One of the primary industries we’ve seen implementing and leading the way on sustainability is higher education. Countless college campuses around the country have established programs, implemented initiatives and even introduced specialized courses focused on sustainability, including Duke University, Georgetown University, and Texas A&M University. So much so, it’s fair to say sustainability has become a headlining issue to administrators, faculty, students, and even prospective students.
Several green resources, including blogs, tip websites, and news sites, such as USA TODAY, have acknowledged that high school students see sustainability as an important factor in what college they attend. In fact, 69 percent of 2011 college applicants cited a commitment to a greener future as a contributing factor to what higher education institution they would go to.
One such outlet, The Princeton Review’s Guide to 311 Green Colleges, even provides college applicants with tips on financial aid, preparation for college, lists of campuses with LEED certified buildings, and schools with sustainable communities, or STARS.
While construction and new projects are often a major aspect of improving sustainability on college campuses, not all renovations have to strain budgets and increase carbon emissions. Here at The Refinishing Touch, we specialize in on-site, sustainable furniture asset management services – including refinishing, reupholstering, and remanufacturing. By reusing quality furniture, instead of unnecessarily filling our country’s landfills, our services help colleges save approximately 80 percent on projected budgets and 90 percent on carbon emissions. So in addition to the traditional recycling and tray-less dining programs colleges implement, encourage your campus community to support other means of sustainability – every action matters when preserving our environment.
For more information on our furniture asset management services, visit our website at www.therefinishingtouch.com.
Here at The Refinishing Touch, every project we complete is important, but not all are of the same breadth and scope. While some projects take months to complete and encompass entire hotels, others focus on revitalizing everyday furniture pieces that, without refinishing and remanufacturing, would otherwise end up in landfills.
One such project was at the Sofitel Philadelphia – a four-star hotel in the middle of the historic city. The Refinishing Touch teams were brought in to refinish and re-upholster 42 of the hotel’s restaurant chairs and 34 of the restaurant tables, some of the most used furniture assets in the entire establishment. By refinishing and reupholstering existing furniture instead of buying new, the Sofitel Philadelphia saved approximately 80 percent on their originally projected budget and around 90 percent in carbon emissions.
The Sofitel Philadelphia is a luxury hotel in the downtown, French Quarter of Philadelphia, and is managed by the French hotel group, Accor. Accor has influence in over 90 countries and owns or operates over 4,400 hotels around the world. Sofitel is Accor’s top luxury brand and its Philadelphia site is described as a mix of French and American style, and regarded for its upscale accommodations, dining and overall environment. The Sofitel Philadelphia’s location is convenient for travelers, whether visiting for business or leisure, for its close proximity to the city’s primary convention center and most visited historical sites. To learn more about the Sofitel Philadelphia or to book a trip, visit their website here.
To learn more about The Refinishing Touch’s furniture asset management services, including refinishing, re-upholstery, remanufacturing, and armoire modification, visit our homepage or sign up for our insightful quarterly newsletter, InTouch. For a free quote or to inquire about starting a project at your organization, send us an email: firstname.lastname@example.org.