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SST engages undergraduate and graduate students from multiple disciplines in understanding and promoting sustainable tourism by providing first hand experience in the field through creating service, community outreach, and professional development opportunities.


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If you own or manage a lodging, restaurant, park, entertainment or other travel-oriented business, the NC GreenTravel website will provide you with information to help you become more competitive in the green travel arena.Whether your facility is in the mountains, the piedmont, or the coastal area of North Carolina, we can help you go green and save green!

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For more information contact Tom Rhodes at the NC Division of Environmental Assistance and Outreach at (919) 707-8140, or Alex Naar the CST's Director of Outreach at (252) 737-1346

Proximity Hotel

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Sustainable Tourism Practices in North Carolina

Proximity Hotel


Proximity HotelGreenhouse Gas Emissions Management and Reduction

Bicycles are available for guests to enjoy a ride on the nearby five-mile greenway.

Solid Waste Management, Reduction, Reuse and Recycling

Recycled 75% of construction waste, diverting it from landfills.

Freshwater Consumption Reduction

Geothermal energy is used for the restaurant’s refrigeration equipment, instead of a standard water-cooled system, saving significant amounts of water. High-efficiency Kohler plumbing fixtures are installed throughout the facility, reducing water usage by 30%.

Solar panels at Proximity HotelEnergy Efficiency, Conservation and Management

Solar energy is used to heat hot water with 100 solar panels covering the 4,000 square feet of rooftop, producing enough hot water for a hundred homes. This heats about 60% of the water for both the hotel and restaurant, Print Works Bistro. Also, use of ultra efficient materials and the latest construction technology reduces energy consumption to 36.5% less than a conventional hotel. Newly-engineered variable speed hoods have been installed in the restaurant. This equipment uses a series of sensors to set the power according to the kitchen's needs and adjusts to a lower level of operation (typically 25% of their full capacity). The sensors also detect heat, smoke or other effluents and increase the fan speed to keep the air fresh. North America's first Regenerative Drive model of the Otis' Gen2 elevator was installed in the hotel to reduces net energy usage by capturing the system’s energy and feeding it back into the building's internal electrical grid. Large energy-efficient “operable” windows (7’4” square windows in guest rooms) take advantage of abundant natural lighting throughout the hotel. Plans are in progress to plant a green, vegetated rooftop on the restaurant to reduce the “urban heat island effect." Once completed, the green roof will reflect the heat, thus reducing the amount of energy needed for refrigeration and/or air conditioning. It will also slow the rain runoff and insulate the rooftop, keeping the building cooler overall.

Ecosystem and Biodiversity Conservation

Adjacent to the hotel, 700 linear feet of stream has been restored by reducing erosion, planting local, adaptable plant species and rebuilding the buffers and banks. Approximately 700 cubic yards of soil was removed to create a floodplain bench. Also, 376 tons of boulders and 18 logs were used to maintain grade control, dissipate energy and assist in the creation and maintenance of riffles and pools.

Locally designed furniture at ProximityAir Quality Protection and Noise Reduction

Air quality is improved by circulating large amounts of outside air into guestrooms (60 cubic feet per minute) and doing so in an energy efficient way by employing “energy recovery” technology where the outside air is tempered by the air being exhausted from the hotel. Low-emitting volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, adhesives, carpets, etc. are used throughout the building to reduce indoor air contamination.

Proximity's Print Works BistroResponsible Purchasing

Building materials with recycled content were used in construction of the hotel building. Reinforced steel contains 90% post consumer recycled content, sheetrock 100%, asphalt 25% and staircase steel 50%. Concrete contains 4% fly ash, the mineral residue left after the combustion of coal that is diverted from landfills. Also, transportation and packaging was reduced in contstruction by contracting with regional vendors for supplies and furnishings. Guest-room shelving is a walnut SkyBlend particleboard, which is made from 100% post-industrial recycled wood pulp with no added formaldehyde. Tabletops in the Bistro are made of salvaged, solid walnut trees that came down through sickness or storm and room service trays are made of Plyboo (bamboo plywood).

Training and Education for Employees and Clients

The hotel now serves as an “education center” for sustainable practices with tours of their "green" hotel for guests and outreach programs for students of all ages.

704 Green Valley Road
Greensboro, NC 27408
Phone: 336-379-8200
Toll Free: 800-379-8200

Information presented on this Web site is collected, maintained and provided for the convenience of the reader. While every effort is made to keep such information accurate and up-to-date, the state of North Carolina does not certify the accuracy of information that originates from third parties. Under no circumstances shall the state of North Carolina be liable for any actions taken or omissions made from reliance on any information contained herein from whatever source nor shall the state be liable for any other consequences from any such reliance.
Mention of a company should not be considered an endorsement by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources, North Carolina Department of Commerce, or East Carolina University.
This site links to other sites, which the Center for Sustainable Tourism at East Carolina University provides for the user’s information and convenience only. The Center neither controls nor monitors these other sites, nor does their inclusion mean that the Center recommends or endorses these sites, the organization or companies that run the sites or anything contained within the sites.
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