ABOUT At this time of year I often feel that I need a post-holidays vacation to unwind from the holidays! Today I wanted to highlight a woman who is doing BIG things for the travel industry. Meet Faith Taylor, Senior Vice President, Sustainability and Innovation for the Wyndham Green Program of Wyndham Worldwide. With more than 58 brands (such as Days Inn, Super 8, Ramada, Wyndham, Wingate by Wyndham, RCI, Wyndham Vacation Timeshare…) in over 100 countries and revenues of more than $4 billion in 2010, Wyndham Worldwide is one of the world’s largest hospitality companies. Under Taylor’s leadership, the Wyndham Green program has been recognized in 2011 as one of the top 100 Greenest Companies in America and #1 in the Hotel and Restaurant category and they have been named an S&P 500 Carbon Disclosure Leader. The Company has undertaken many exciting green initiatives including installing solar panels at locations around the world and co-developing a green uniform program with Cintas made of recycled materials recognized for their innovation by Cornell University!
Robin Baron: Tell us a bit about what you do…
Faith Taylor: I started the Sustainability and Innovation program for Wyndham Worldwide over 5 years ago as a grass roots organization with the endorsement of our CEO Steve Holmes. Today it is a top 5 strategic priority for the Company. This has been an incredible journey within a great company and passionate people who make a difference everyday. We have a green council made up of members from all over the world who work on the program. We focus on the triple bottom line improving the lives of people, our profits and, most importantly, our planet. I am on the executive committees for the World Travel and Tourism Council, International Tourism Partnership and I chair the American Hotel Lodging Association environmental and engineering committee.
Robin Baron: What is your personal mantra?
FT: Be the Change You Wish to See in The World.
Robin Baron: What are some of the most exciting things you’re seeing right now in green design?
FT: I have seen that we have the technology and capability to solve a lot of the problems we have today. I am an optimist. I can see that technology can help us track and measure our results. I also see the development of cost neutral design and cost effective renewable energy. I am a believer that we will be sustainable and have resources for us to use today as well as our children and future generations even though we are currently using 1.4 times more resources of the earth than it can support.
Robin Baron: Does green architecture and design have a certain “look”?
FT: No good green design is seamless and healthier for people who live and work in the buildings. It is better because it uses day lighting, fresh air that re-circulates in the building and less chemicals used in paints and FF&E installed in them. I believe that it can be done as our corporate headquarters is Silver LEED certified and we have been able to experience the difference as well as we have seen the operational savings to our Company’s bottom line. Also the intangible benefits are tremendous in that we can take pride in “walking the talk”.
Robin Baron: Do the eco-decisions you make at work inform your home life
FT: Yes – the choices we make everyday do impact us across our entire lives. Using energy-efficient lighting at work and at home or using low-volatile organic compound paint makes sense in both places. It is important to think about our environment and how it impacts us. I believe in balance. We need to work, find time for ourselves. I do this through yoga and by taking time off to spend in nature and with my family. One of my most favorite places is Martha’s Vineyard. My family and I spend a lot of time at the beach, riding bikes and just being together. I love it there.
Robin Baron: –What do you love most about your home and why?
FT: I love my family and the creative energy we have in our house. We have artwork all over our home that reflects my multi-cultural background. My dad is Black and my mother is Japanese. We have antique kimonos and Japanese prints as well as art by Black artists and masks from Africa. It is eclectic, colorful and warm and we incorporate a lot of windows and light into the spaces. My family is creative as well, my daughter is an incredible painter, my son is a writer studying at Brown and my husband and I have written and published songs. So you can imagine it is a very creative, yet comfortable and active household outside of our work.
RB: What is the one thing in your home that everyone always comments on?
FT: The artwork, music and the warmth. Kids and people come and hang out all of the time. We have lots of friends and family, and have lots of BBQ’s and celebrations.