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 Green winners revealed

MACDONALD Hotels & Resorts was named Eco-Hotel Group of the Year at the recent AA Hospitality Awards 2012-2013. The group of over 40 hotels

– predominantly located in England and Scotland – has taken big strides towards a sustainable operation since committing to group-wide energy savings and new environmental practices five years ago. Each hotel has a ‘Green

Team’ and a ‘Green Champion’ to take ownership of environ- mental issues at their hotel and the group remains on track to reduce its electricity and fossil fuel usage by 15 per cent by 2015. In the last 12 months the

group has re-diverted 89 per cent of overall waste from landfill and carbon emissions have been cut by nine per cent. Over £700,000 has been invested in various energy saving projects during the same period, including a switch to LED lights in five hotels, a move that has achieved savings of over 850

tonnes of carbon emissions. Gordon Fraser, group finance

director at Macdonald Hotels & Resorts and chair of the Room15 Energy Committee, says, “This prestigious award will further motivate our green teams to achieve our ambitious energy efficiency targets by 2015 and underlines our focus and reputation as a successful, forward-thinking and quality driven business.” One of the group’s hotels,

the Macdonald Windsor (pictured), was also rewarded on the night with 4 Red Star status in recognition of


consistently high levels of hospitality and service. Other winners at this

year’s AA Hospitality Awards included Eco Hotel of the Year, The Green House, in Bournemouth; Hotel Group of the Year, Hand Picked Hotels; Small Hotel Group of the Year, Cotswold Inns & Hotels; and Hotels of the Year: Lime Wood, Lyndhurst, Hampshire (England); The Torridon, Torridon, Highlands (Scotland); The Bodysgallen Hotel, Llandudno (Wales); and the Four Seasons Hotel, Park Lane (London).

Five minutes with... Andrew Coney

General Manager, InterContinental London Westminster

Andrew Coney joined InterContinental Hotels & Resorts in February 2011 with more than 20 years’ experience in hotel management. He is General Manager of the InterContinental London Westminster, which opens at the end of 2012 and becomes the fi rst new InterContinental property in London for 36 years. He is responsible for recruiting and managing a 180-strong team.

What is your most memorable business travel trip and why? I recently visited Washington DC and stayed at our sister hotel, the Willard InterContinental. It’s a fantastic representation of how a hotel can bring some glamour to the world of politics. What made it truly memorable is that one of the hotel porter’s I met has welcomed an impressive seven US Presidents within his time there and was able to recount some fascinating tales.

What is your worst business travel experience and why? I once stayed in a hotel in Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, and after I had checked in a note was pushed under my door telling me that the next day was the ‘Presidents Parade’ and that I should stay in the hotel, keep my curtains drawn and keep away from the window as there were snipers on the surrounding buildings and they were likely to shoot!

What is your favourite destination worldwide and why? It’s been a great year to be a part of the celebrations in London and you can't help but feel very proud of our city. If I needed to escape, South Africa is an incredible destination with wildlife, vineyards, stunning scenery and great hospitality.

GERMANY’S second largest airline, airberlin, has established a new department for the environment and infra- structure to push forward its green initiatives. The carrier has a fleet

comprised of 152 aircraft with an average age of five years – making it one of Europe’s most modern fleets – and its jet engines are optimised for fuel efficiency.

“Airberlin is setting the

trend among airlines in environmental terms,” says the carrier’s CEO Hartmut Mehdorn. “With our fuel consumption of only 3.5 litres per 100 passenger kilometres flown we now stand at the forefront of the European network carriers. By estab- lishing this new department we are showing that we take our responsibility for

sustainability very seriously and mean to increase our efforts in this area.” The airline flies to 170

destinations in 40 countries and carried over 35 million passengers in 2011. It entered into a strategic partnership with Etihad Airways in December last year and became a full member of the oneworld airline alliance in March this year.

What three items do you never leave home without when on business? Packing is not my strong point – I’ve forgotten a coat for a trip to Sweden in December and I usually have to buy a charger or two when I get to my destination. The iPad and a camera are my favourite gadgets.

What destination/s would you like to visit next and why?

South America appeals, not only as it is unchartered territory for me, but it has the mix of enormous cultural heritage and steadily growing business opportunities for London.


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