Industry News

Industry News

AGPOM Partners with International Tourism Partnership to offer free Hotel Carbon Measurement webinar for hoteliers

Tara Hughes April 1, 2015 Industry News No comments

PrintAGPOM is thrilled to partner with the International Tourism Partnership’s (ITP) Green Hotelier program. On behalf of ITP, we would like to invite you to join their free webinar that features the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI). HCMI is a free methodology and calculation tool to enable hotels to measure and report on the carbon footprint of a hotel stay or meeting in a consistent way.

Free Webinar Featuring Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative – Tuesday, April 28 at 9:00 am (PDT)

At this webinar, ITP will be explaining, step-by-step, how to use HCMI to calculate the carbon footprint of a hotel stay or meeting in order to:

– Provide carbon footprint information your customers are increasingly requesting

– Understand your environmental impacts and start to reduce these, as well as your costs!

– Enhance your reporting

– Demonstrate your commitment to good environmental management

If you have not used HCMI so far, this is a perfect opportunity to learn more. With over 21,000 hotels globally using HCMI, you’ll be in good company!

To register

To read the full press release go to AGPOM’s Press page

To see what other webinars are coming up visit AGPOM’s Online Education webpage

AGPOM Offers Sustainability Risk Management Certificate Program

Tara Hughes March 24, 2015 Stephen Bushnell + Associates No comments

Sustainability Risk management

AGPOM has partnered with Poplar Network to offer members a 20% discount on the Sustainability Risk Management (SRM) Certificate Program with industry expert, Stephen Bushnell. 

The Sustainable Risk Management Course is designed for green building practitioners, businesses and organizations concerned with sustainability, insurers and insurance agents and anyone with an interest in learning more about the intersection of risk management and green/sustainable strategies.

The comprehensive four-week online program consists of four modules, each exploring a different facet of sustainability and risk management. It also offers access to a live curriculum with Stephen Bushnell, a seasoned insurance industry executive who was one of the first to see and act on the connections between economic and risk management benefits of green building.

Upon completion, participants will have a deeper level of understanding of Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) as it pertains to sustainability and green buildings and receive a Certificate of Sustainability Risk Management.

By registering for this Certificate Program, participants are able to obtain an important level of understanding to quantify, underwrite, mitigate and evaluate green risk transfer and management techniques. When enrolling be sure to inquire about the AGPOM Member 20% Discount!

Read the full press release here

To learn more about the Sustainability Risk Management Certificate Program click here.

AGPOM’s Investment in Renewable Energy Credits Benefits Members

Tara Hughes March 17, 2015 Industry News No comments

AGPOM Invests 10% of annual revenue in Renewable Energy Credits on behalf of our members

Through a unique partnership with Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), AGPOM creates an additional incentive for our members to “green” their business.

Each year AGPOM dedicates 10% of our membership revenue to implement environmentally sustainable business practices in the name of AGPOM Membership. This annual investment is used to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) on behalf of AGPOM member companies. Renewable energy facilities generate renewable energy credits (RECs) when they produce electricity. Purchasing these credits is a way to reduce the environmental footprint of our member’s electricity consumption. This year’s (2015) purchase of 4,790 RECs (4,790,000 kWh) is the equivalent to powering nearly 600,000 sqft of office space for a year (598,750 sqft exactly) OR powering 496 average US homes for one year! AGPOM also partners with BEF to mitigate AGPOM’s own annual operational carbon and water footprint through the purchase of RECs, Carbon Offsets and Water Restoration Certificates® (WRCs).

Through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates (also known as Renewable Energy Credits or RECs), businesses and organizations such as AGPOM can affordably purchase the environmental benefits of renewable power generated from facilities throughout the U.S.

Green-e Energy Certified RECs represent renewable energy sources such as wind, solar or biogas projects where lean energy has been delivered to the North American power grid to reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuel-based electricity. One REC represents the non-power environmental attributes of 1,000 kilowatt-hours (1 megawatt hour) of renewable energy. All of BEF’s REC products are Green-e® Energy certified.

Carbon Offsets (also called Carbon Credits) provide businesses with a verified method to balance an unavoidable carbon footprint by directly supporting projects that are proven to reduce carbon emissions.

So much water is withdrawn from rivers and streams to service individuals, agriculture, industry and businesses that across North America tens of thousands of miles of dry or critically dewatered river systems now exist. In many places, water withdrawals completely dry up streams and significantly impact water quality, native fish and wildlife, aesthetics and recreational opportunities. BEF’s Water Restoration Certificates® (WRCs) offer the first-of-its-kind tool to go a step further—to actually restore the water footprint businesses can’t avoid, gallon-for-gallon, to critically dewatered rivers and streams.

bef logo with name

Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF), is a national nonprofit that empowers businesses to be in balance with the environment through a full suite of environmental products, educational and community engagement programs along with custom solutions that help our partners address their unavoidable energy, carbon and water impacts. BEF aligns their partners’ goals with extensive industry expertise to achieve immediate results today while helping solve tomorrow’s biggest environmental challenges.

Learn more about Bonneville Environmental Foundation here.

Say Hello to AGPOM’s New Logo!

Tara Hughes February 12, 2015 Industry News No comments
Hopefully you have been able to visit our new webiste! Now AGPOM is thrilled to showcase our brand new logo too! Members can download their new AGPOM Member seal on our AGPOM Press page.


Also new this year is our newsletter name: Green Property Insider!
Here’s a link to this month’s Green Property Insider full of great articles about risk management and sustainability.
Be sure to register for the upcoming webinars, courses and special offers through our industry partners too!

BOMI International Offers New LEED Credential Course

Tara Hughes February 3, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , , Industry News No comments

BOMI-Badge-HP-Electronic VersionBOMI International is proud to be a U.S. Green Buildings Council Approved Educational Provider. With eleven previously approved courses for LEED Credential Maintenance Program, BOMI International’s Course High Performance Sustainable Building Principles, has been approved for the LEED Credential Maintenance Program.


With twelve courses to assist LEED Green Associates, BOMI International is the top choice for professional career development and training. LEED Green Associates must earn 15 continuing education hours every two years, and LEED-APs must earn 30. HP Principles is listed as a 30 hour course.

AGPOM Members can save 10% on courses with BOMI International by using the code BOMI GREEN when registering. More information here.

High Performance Sustainable Building Principles is available as self-study course, instructor online course and an accelerated review course.  Dave Pogue, LEED- AP ( subject matter expert and contributor to High Performance Sustainable Building Principles) will be instructing an Accelerated Review Course of High Performance Sustainable Building Principles in McLean, Virginia. Space is limited- reserve your space now.

Accelerated Review Apr 13, 2015 to Apr 16, 2015 McLean, VA BOMI International
Instructor-Led Online May 18, 2015 to Aug 28, 2015 Online BOMI International
Instructor-Led Online Sep 08, 2015 to Dec 18, 2015 Online BOMI International


A Look at Hotel Energy-Efficiency Solutions

Tara Hughes February 3, 2015 Tags: , , , , , , Fulcrum Insurance Programs No comments

Hotel Energy Efficiency

The efficacy of energy-efficiency solutions becomes increasingly clearer to the hospitality industry year after year. In fact, some of the most recognized hotel and resort brands are making increasingly more green decisions and taking the lead to implement best energy-efficiency practices throughout their properties.

There are many green measures a hotel property can implement – from LED lighting to intelligent energy controls and smart pumping systems and efficient water management. In this article, we’ll take a look at smart energy controls and the opportunities for cost savings in heating and ventilation.

The first thing hotel management needs to do is have an effective training program in place to educate the staff on best energy-efficiency practices. Changing staff behavior and attitudes is important in adopting energy efficiencies at a hotel property. Secondly, it’s important that any energy efficiency solution, such as smart HVAC controls, does not have a negative impact on the daily life of a busy hotel, either during installation or afterwards. There should be no adverse effect on guest satisfaction.

Equally important is that any proposed energy efficiency solution is based on sound business logic with a clear idea of timing for return on investment and a way to measure and monitor the solutions implemented. Hotel management should be able to measure accurately and understand current consumption rates, identifying immediate benefits and prioritizing investment decisions.

For example, many hotel properties focus on the HVAC in hotel rooms since guests spend so little time in them. In fact, some research indicates that hotel guest rooms are often empty for up to 46% of any 24-hour guest stay. With smart and effective guest room controls through a combination of sensors that detects whether a guest is in their room or not, the property can control the temperature of the room. When a guest is in the room, he or she must have control of the system, including the existing thermostat. When not in the room, the system can switch to a money-saving, energy-saving mode after a suitable period – usually 30 minutes.

To minimize disruption and loss of business, the smart controls need to be based on the best wireless technology that connect the micro sensors, as this avoids the need for complex cabling so ensuring that installation is very quick – equivalent to the room being cleaned – which means that rooms do not have to be taken out of service.

Any smart controls system should also be thoroughly tested first and would need to have the capability of monitoring accurately the property’s HVAC units, providing detailed a wealth of data and reports on energy usage and the cost savings garnered.

Fulcrum Insurance Programs is committed to helping the hospitality industry in their green efforts, supported by their partnership with AGPOM. Fulcrum offers key benefits to AGPOM Members, including insurance premium discounts. For more information, please feel free to call 425-453-5157 or visit

AGPOM provides a Green Property Behavioral Plan specifically designed for hotels and resorts to help their staff see the benefits of green practices. For additional Green Hotel resources and articles check out AGPOM’s Resource Page.

Risk Management and Sustainability, Together Again

Tara Hughes January 23, 2015 Tags: , , , , Stephen Bushnell + Associates No comments

by Stephen Bushnell, Stephen Bushnell + Associates

Karl Bodmer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Karl Bodmer [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Imagine a Plains Indian, on horseback, surrounded by tens of thousands of stampeding, 2000 pound beasts. The horse and bison are moving at literally breakneck speeds. He hunts with only a crude bow and arrow and has very little protective equipment. The brave fully understands the risks and through long years of training and shared tribal wisdom has mitigated them. He is an expert risk manager. He has to be if he wants to see the sun rise tomorrow.

The Plains Indians were also experts on sustainability. They only hunted when they needed food. When they killed a buffalo, they used every part of it, wasting nothing. They made tepee coverings, bedding, clothes, moccasins, and robes from the hide. The hair was used for rope and halters, the hoofs for rattles. The horns were used to make dishes and spoons and ladles. They made glues, toys, drums, belts, shields, boats, needles, thread and more from the carcass. And they ate very, very well.

Over the years this connection between risk management and sustainability faded. Each evolved differently, risk management gaining in importance as mankind entered the industrial and technological eras. Sustainability de-emphasized as we believed in the seemingly endless bounty of nature.

Today we face hard realities about the availability and cost of capital, natural, human and financial. Citizens, business people and governments have to make very hard decisions about how to run their lives and operations, design and construct the built environment and plan for the future. Sustainability has come back into style to help shape the economic, human and environmental decisions that must be made. Risk management has evolved into “Enterprise Risk Management” as it now considers managing risk but also maximizing opportunity.

Clearly, just like the Plains Indians, we need to integrate risk management and sustainability as we face our challenges. From living healthy lives to running a profitable business to responding to finite natural resources and dangerous climate change we face risks and opportunities that are best addressed in a framework that combines risk management and sustainable practices.

The sustainable risk management process has several distinct steps:

  • Identify exposures to loss and opportunities. Ideally done in a charrette format, engage your experts and key stakeholders in an ongoing identification of the risks you face and the opportunities you strive for. Consider your physical and financial realities, your history, culture and operating environment. Brainstorm, reminisce about the future (more on this in a future blog) and construct scenarios. You’ll compile a “risk register” and an “opportunity manifest”, point in time summaries of risks and the opportunities. As you analyze the frequency and severity of the risks and the criticality and difficulty of the opportunities to identify those ones with the biggest impacts.
  • Consider the techniques to manage risk and maximize opportunity. There are several classic risk management techniques; avoidance, mitigation, adaptation, transfer (usually contractually or to an insurance company) and retention. Each has financial implications, advantages and drawbacks which you should map. Achieving opportunities begins with identifying and removing barriers. A SWOT (Strength/Weakness/Opportunity/Threat) analysis is helpful. You might also consider a variety of ways to finance the activities needed to realize the opportunity.
  • Select the best combination of techniques based on effectiveness and cost. Rarely does a single technique do the job. For risk you will often mitigate some aspects of the risk and then insure it. You may also retain part of the risk if your insurance policy has a deductible. The mitigation plan you select could generate new opportunities. Think about how energy efficient buildings mitigate financial risks of operating costs. As you remove barriers to opportunities you may be creating new risks that must be managed. If you perform green renovations to your building you create a financial risk that can affect the anticipate payback. Risk and opportunity are really two sides of the same coin.
  • Monitor progress and make mid course corrections. Pretty basic management practices.

Risk and sustainability have always been intertwined. When humans deemphasized sustainability in times of perceived abundance we unwittingly increased the risks we face today and tomorrow. As the environment degrades, natural capital is stressed and the climate becomes unfriendly we will find the answers and actions we must take through the sustainable risk management process. Like the Plains Indians we will act to manage risk and become more sustainable to improve the quality of our lives and those of future generations.

About the author: Stephen Bushnell is a highly experienced insurance and risk management professional with more than 40 years of leadership experience at various property & casualty insurers. Steve is widely recognized as a risk-focused expert on green buildings, sustainable manufacturing and operations, and the broader business, economic and risk management implications of climate, energy and other sustainability challenges.



Stephen Bushnell + Associates advises property owners and managers, public entities, manufacturers and other enterprises on the enterprise risk management best practices to enhance green buildings and sustainable operations.