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SAA one of only two global airlines to achieve IATA green status

South African Airways (SAA) this week became one of only two global airlines to achieve Stage 2 status of the IATA Environmental Assessment Program (IEnvA). IEnvA is a comprehensive airline environmental management process that measures a range of operational aspects.

According to Tim Clyde-Smith, SAA’s Country Manager, Australasia, the IATA program introduced sustainability standards for airlines to cover all areas of operation to help them achieve world’s best practice.

“These key standards include air quality and emissions, aircraft noise, fuel consumption and efficient operations, recycling, energy efficiency, sustainable procurement, biofuels and many more. SAA was one of a number of airlines to participate in Stage 1of the program that commenced in June 2013, “Tim said.

“IEnvA is a strict assessment program based on recognized international environmental management systems such as ISO 14001. It was developed jointly by leading airlines and environmental consultants and SAA has been part of this process from its commencement,” Tim said.

“We’ve been involved from the very beginning of this important program and SAA currently chairs the IEnvA Oversight Working Group in recognition of our contribution,” he said.

“SAA conducted its Stage 2 assessment in record time, finalizing it six months prior to the two year deadline. “Participation in the program and this achievement affirms SAA’s commitment to a dual mandate as a leading African and global airline,” Tim Clyde-Smith said.

Moreover, the IEnvA standards will act as a guideline for 240 other airlines around the world so I’m delighted SAA has played a pioneering role in this significant project,” Tim said.

SAA’s participation in the program is not the only area where environmental impact plays an important role in the airline’s operations.

“Last year we launched the first African biofuels project, the transformation of tobacco oil to jet fuel, with sector role players. Responsible environmental management will help deliver commercially beyond social and environmental benefits. Projects like this could provide several future commercial programs ranging from input cost benefits through to the value of technology.”

“As well as our fuel-efficient navigation approach, SAA has an internal drive to create a culture of sustainability to enable us to reduce emissions wherever we operate,” Tim concluded.

Copenhagen Airport to accept monster planes
Copenhagen Airport is launching preparations to make the airport able to accommodate the Airbus A380, the world’s largest passenger aircraft, as part of its overall growth plan.

The growth plan, called Expanding CPH, is a vision for the airport’s gradual expansion over the coming two or three decades to enable it to handle 40 million passengers a year. The airport will reach an all-time high of 25 million passengers in 2014.

In summer 2015, CPH plans to carry out a renovation of its two main runways, and in connection with this it is now obtaining quotations for widening its 3.3 kilometre-long runway. This would be necessary to accept the Airbus A380’s enormous wingspan, which needs a runway wider than the standard 45 metres.

CPH is also currently carrying out an expansion of Pier C, which is where the largest planes park, a project that will cost in the region of DKK 250 million (€33.6 million). Three stands will have direct access from the gates and one will be fitted with two jet bridges – an improvement that will allow Pier C to accommodate the largest aircraft types including the A380, which seats more than 500 passengers.

Copenhagen Airport says it has attracted nine new intercontinental routes over the last five years, bringing the total to 27 routes.

“As we are currently carrying out a major terminal and runway expansion and maintenance program, it makes good sense for us to seize this opportunity to gradually prepare Copenhagen Airport to also accommodate the world’s largest passenger aircraft, the A380,” said Copenhagen Airport CEO Thomas Woldbye.

“Until now, the largest intercontinental aircraft […] are only used on services to the very largest hubs in the world. However, we believe that there is still room in the market for the most important medium-size hubs, including Copenhagen, to be added to the route network.”

Carlson Rezidor first major international hotel chain to sign agreement with Safehotels
Carlson Rezidor, one of the largest and most dynamic hotel groups worldwide, announces the signing of an agreement with Safehotels – a globally recognised security consultancy. The agreement marks a unique achievement for a hotel chain, with Carlson Rezidor being the first to obtain such a credit.

“Safety & Security play an increasingly important role for all global businesses. The agreement with Safehotels allows us to further develop our industry leading safety and security programme and to create additional value for our guests, staff and owners”, said Paul Moxness, Vice President, Safety & Security at Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.

From January 2015, the first Carlson Rezidor hotels selected across the EMEA region will begin the formal Safehotels certification process. Within this, a number of criteria will be covered including security equipment, staff awareness & training, fire security, and first aid. Safehotels will also evaluate Carlson Rezidor’s existing self-assessment internal hotel security programme through monitoring, reviewing and reporting on the self-assessment hotel database and submittals. The self-assessment programme is freely accessible globally to all hotels in the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group portfolio.

To ensure all criteria are met, Carlson Rezidor has worked closely with Safehotels to align the brand expectations and self-assessment programme with the Safehotels standard.

“By reaching the level of Safehotels certification, it shows the hotel focuses on key elements of guest security relating to personal property and has the right response if ever there’s an accident or any kind of emergency. The certificate shows the hotel is sincere in its guest’s personal well-being. Being audited and certified yearly by a third party strengthen the value of that communication immensely. The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group has taken the already high level of internal precautions one step further by signing with Safehotels for a global certification of its hotels”, Hans Kanold, CEO of Safehotels Alliance AB.

This announcement builds on the existing safety and security measures implemented by Carlson Rezidor across all their hotels. The hotel group continues to maintain exceptional standards in its properties, with 24/7 monitoring via a global security operations centre and access to the self-assessment programme, learning tools and templates for incident response and crisis management.

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About Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group is one of the world’s largest and most dynamic hotel groups and includes more than 1,350 hotels in operation and under development totaling 180,000 rooms and a footprint spanning 105 countries and territories. The Carlson Rezidor portfolio includes a powerful set of global brands: Quorvus Collection, Radisson Blu®, Radisson®, Radisson Red, Park Plaza®, Park Inn® by Radisson and Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM. In most hotels, guests can benefit from Club CarlsonSM, one of the most rewarding loyalty programs. Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group employs 88,000 people worldwide and is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., and Brussels, Belgium. Visit www.rezidor.com for more information.


About Safe Hotels Alliance

Safehotels Alliance AB is a Swedish company founded in February 2001 and launched in October 2002. The company was formed after years of extensive research of the Travel Trade in general and the Hotel Trade in particular. Safehotels Alliance AB is formed and supported by experienced and highly respected individuals and organizations in the international travel and security industry.

The company was created due to the fact that safety is one of the main concerns within the international hotel and meeting industry today. However, according to several sources there are not enough initiatives taken to meet the growing concerns. Safehotels’ solution is to provide objective third party evaluation of business hotel and conference venues’ security standard world wide – covering all important aspects of hotel and conference security. www.safehotels.se

Europe’s Largest Fully Integrated Venue Opening in Gothenburg

Europe’s largest fully integrated city centre venue is now finished and the opening ceremony is on Saturday, 6 December. With three towers and many new resources, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre and Gothia Towers are set to compete globally for big events.

Since mid-November hotel guests have been able to book rooms in Gothia Towers’ new third tower, opposite Liseberg amusement park. The whole complex is opening on 6 December, and involves a 130 million EUR investment, the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre Group’s largest ever.

“The whole investment aims to generate growth in our operations and we’re pleased to say that the order book for 2015 looks good,” said Carin Kindbom, CEO of the Swedish Exhibition & Congress Centre. “We’re looking forward to a year with brand new, increased capacity and we’re expecting several hundred thousand more visitors in 2015. As a result, we’re for the first time anticipating sales of more than one hundred million Euros next year.”

This also paves the way for new recruitments. It is estimated that the investment will generate around 100 new work opportunities, mainly in the hotel sector.

The new Tower 3 has 29 floors, is 100 metres high and consequently Gothenburg’s tallest building. Together with the additional storeys to the central tower, a new entrance, new restaurants, an extended lobby etc., a unique venue has taken shape.

“We’ve decided to position ourselves as the most attractive venue in Europe by offering the best total experience,” said Kindbom.

Accor Reaffirms Participation at IT&CM China 2015

Long-time exhibitor Accor has confirmed its participation at IT&CM China 2015 for the 4th year running. Bobby Ong, Vice-President of Sales & Marketing – Greater China said: “The IT&CM China platform allows us to build brand exposure for our new hotels. This is where we can secure new leads and businesses from the one-to-one appointments we have with these buyers.”

He added: “The Chinese market is important for Accor. We have been here since 1985 with our first hotel and we are still growing aggressively. There is a lot of demand in the second and third tier cities inline with business growth and travel, and hotels are predominately catering to the Chinese market.”

With over two decades’ of operation in China, Accor operates 144 hotels in 51 cities in the country. With a portfolio of 8 brands – Sofitel, Pullman, MGallery, Grand Mercure, Novotel, Mercure, ibis Styles and ibis – Accor covers the full spectrum of the hospitality market from economy to luxury.

IT&CM China 2015 will take place from 14 to 16 April 2015.

VisitDenmark Wins EIBTM Sustainability Award 2014 for New Stand

VisitDenmark today received the EIBTM Sustainability Award 2014 for its brand new stand design based on the principles of the Danish Meetovation concept and launched at this week's EIBTM expo in Barcelona.

The EIBTM Sustainability Award 2014 recognizes and highlights industry suppliers' commitments and achievements within sustainability and targets exhibitors, agencies and suppliers who can showcase good examples of sustainability in their activities.

The sustainable Danish stand is based on a foldable furniture system designed and built by young Danish artist/designer Thomas Dambo who specializes in building from trash/recyclable materials. The box system created for VisitDenmark is based on a brief to create a sustainable, highly flexible and creative stand based on the principles of the Danish meeting design concept Meetovation and to stress sustainable living in Denmark. The system's 45 boxes can be stacked to make seating and tables in different sizes and all boxes as well as two magazine stands are foldable to fit inside the stand's mobile bar. In addition, the environmentally friendly box system takes up 40 per cent less space when transported to expos and business events worldwide.

Steen Møller, Head of Business Events for VisitDenmark explained: "The EIBTM Sustainability Award 2014 is a great acknowledgement of our destination's tireless efforts to get sustainable meetings management higher on the agenda worldwide. The Danish stand symbolises everything that our Danish Meetings Industry believes in and builds on; creating MINDblowing Meetings via responsible thinking, flexibility, creativity, involvement and innovativeness in order to achieve the highest Return of Meeting Investment on any type of business event."

Inspire others within the industry

"In recent years, Denmark has shown great results within sustainable meetings management; We developed the CSMP – Copenhagen Sustainable Meetings Protocol methodology and used it for two pioneering sustainable events in Denmark, the COP15 Climate Conference and the ISO-20121 certified Danish EU Presidency. We also developed event sustainability strategies in Copenhagen, Aarhus and Aalborg, and have been part of creating the first ever 'ICCA Scandinavian Sustainability Index'. In fact, there are few countries in the world with such a high percentage of certified hotels and venues, catering companies and restaurants that serve organic food at parity prices, and agencies with such an indepth knowledge of sustainability, as there is in Denmark nowadays. We've also created tangible tools for Responsible Thinking in meetings, Meetovation style, and most recently the #Beesustain campaign was created by Copenhagen CVB and nominated for the ICCA Best Marketing Award 2014, and hopefully this helps to inspire others within the industry to follow suit too," Steen Møller added.

It is the second time in  five years that VisitDenmark has recieved an accolade for the destination's sustainable efforts; In 2009 the official national tourism organisation received a 'Sustainable Activites Initiative' Award at EIBTM.