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Eight Benchmark Hospitality Properties Receive Top Level Sustainability
Recognition from International Association of Conference Centers

Benchmark’s Wingspread, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece, Achieves Sole Platinum



The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, May 2009 … Benchmark Hospitality International has announced that eight of its properties have achieved Platinum, Gold or Silver-level recognition in the new Code of Environmental Sustainability introduced recently by the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC).  The rigorous new Code of Sustainability provides for 59 best practices in environmental sustainability.  IACC-member properties must adhere to at least 75% of the tenets of the Code, and join other member organizations that have signed the Code in a global, association-wide effort to strive for greater sustainability.  Wingspread, a private conference center Benchmark operates for the Johnson Foundation located in Racine, Wisconsin, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural masterpiece, was the only IACC member to achieve Platinum Level status, demonstrating that historic buildings can be Green.

“We are extremely proud of each of these Benchmark properties for achieving such a high level of sustainability out-of-the-gate,” said Greg Parsons, vice president and companywide champion of Benchmark’s own Evergreen Program of environmental sustainability and eco-friendly hospitality.  “Our goal is for 100 percent sustainability compliance moving forward as we continue to roll out new green initiatives systemwide that complement IACC’s Code of Environmental Sustainability.”

Announced at IACC’s annual meeting last March, the Code of Sustainability was designed to encourage member properties around the globe to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable practices in nine areas: Education and Awareness, Waste Management, Recycling, Reuse, Water Conservation, Purchasing, Energy Management, Air Quality, and Food & Beverage.

Benchmark Hospitality’s proprietary Evergreen Program was formally introduced throughout the company this spring as a Core Value of the leading hospital management company.   The program provides for differing levels for green hospitality best practice compliance within Benchmark’s portfolio of properties, and specifically addresses green meetings and events.   “Evergreen is designed to minimize our environmental  impact on the planet and introduce and disseminate within our company environmental best practices.”  Parsons concluded with, "Our Evergreen Program is dynamic … it will continually evolve as we integrate new information and ideas into the program."

Benchmark Hospitality International properties that have achieved Top-level IACC Sustainability recognition include:

Platinum Level
100 % Code of Sustainability compliance

  • Wingspread, a private conference center for the Johnson Foundation, Racine, Wisconsin
Gold Level
85 % Code of Sustainability compliance
  • The Council House, an exclusive international conference center for SC Johnson, a Family Company, Racine, Wisconsin
  • Eaglewood Resort and Spa, Chicago, Illinois, www.eaglewoodresort.com 
  • Edith Macy Conference Center, Briarcliff Manor, New York, www.edithmacy.com/ 
Silver Level
75 % Code of Sustainability compliance Lois Berg, Benchmark’s director of administrative services at Wingspread and chair of IACC’s Sustainability Committee, stated that the new Code will enable IACC-member properties to commit to sustain and support the IACC™s Environmental Policy and join other members that have signed on in a association-wide, global effort to strive for greater sustainability.

About the International Association of Conference Centers 

The International Association of Conference Centers (IACC), founded in 1981, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting understanding and awareness of the conference center industry.  Active members meet a stringent set of Universal Criteria and agree to a Code of Ethics.  Currently, the association includes approximately 400 members from the United States, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, France, England, The Netherlands, Germany and Japan. For more information on IACC, visit www.iacconline.org.  

About Benchmark Hospitality International

Benchmark Hospitality International is a leader in the management and marketing of resorts, conference centers, hotels, and Personal Luxury Hotels™.  The privately held company, launched in 1980, is a founding member of the International Association of Conference Centers.  Benchmark Hospitality is a worldwide organization operating properties in major metropolitan and resort destinations.  Benchmark's international headquarters is located in The Woodlands, Texas, near Houston, with regional offices in New Jersey and Connecticut.  International offices are located in Tokyo, Japan, and Santiago, Chile. For the location of Benchmark’s properties and additional information, visit www.benchmarkhospitality.com.  

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Contact:

Ken Ellens
Ken Ellens Communications 
201-758-2864 / 201-758-2865-Fax
KenEllens@aol.com
 

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