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NYIT's Partnership with The Benjamin


New York – July 20, 2015 –The Benjamin, one of New York City’s first environmentally friendly hotels, NYIT, Green Key Global and the Hotel Association of NYC (HANYC) Sustainable Hospitality Committee partnered to launch the first experiential sustainable hospitality program with NYIT Hospitality Studies students to earn hotels a Green Key Eco-Rating—a certification program designed to recognize hotels, motels and resorts that are committed to improving their environmental and fiscal performance.

Under the supervision of a faculty advisor and Director of NYIT Global Center for Hospitality Management Dr. Robert Koenig, who is also associate dean of NYIT School of Management and chair of its Hospitality Studies department; Green Key Global’s Manager of Program Operations, Gary Graham, and Denihan’s VP of Sustainability and member of the HANYC Sustainability Committee, Naomi Mirsky, a team of ten students in NYIT School of Management’s Hospitality Studies program collaborated with the leadership of The Benjamin Hotel in the capacity of a small-group consulting team. Five key areas were reviewed: Corporate Environmental Management, Housekeeping, Food & Beverage Operations, Conference & Meeting Facilities, and Engineering. The students collected and analyzed data, strategized alternative eco-solutions, and delivered recommendations, which led to sustainability improvements and the awarding of a Four Key Eco-Rating for The Benjamin.   “One of the many strengths of our curriculum is this type of partnership opportunity with industry leaders that allows our program to offer unique professional experiential learning to students in support of our academic course learning outcomes,” Koenig noted.

“The Benjamin is known best for its wellness programs, and supporting sustainable efforts is inherent to our guest experience,” said The Benjamin’s General Manager Steve Sasso. “The opportunity to participate in this pilot program was truly valuable. The NYIT Hospitality Studies students demonstrated an eagerness to learn about our operational parameters and also propose relevant, environmentally sound strategies to help us achieve our Four Green Key rating.”

“It is encouraging to note that the hospitality industry is addressing the concerns of today’s environmentally aware traveler,” said Tony Pollard, Managing Director for Green Key Global. “Our goal is to ensure more lodging and meeting entities not only understand that sustainability supports our environment, but it also improves overall fiscal performance and community relations.”

About The Benjamin:

Situated in an ideal midtown Manhattan locale near Rockefeller Center, MoMA and Fifth Avenue, The Benjamin is one of the most luxurious boutique-style hotels designed by famed architect Emery Roth. The beaux-arts gem promises to help guests be their best with newly redesigned accommodations by Lauren Rottet and thoughtful services & amenities such as restful solutions by sleep expert, Rebecca Robbins, and Winks’ Kidzzz Club for families, and SIN Workout fitness concierge services. Room types range from guestrooms with kitchenettes to one-bedroom terrace suites. Noted as “one of the 50 favorite restaurants” by The New York Times, The National by Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian is housed on the first floor and showcases modern bistro cuisine in a chic grand café and in-room dining. Known for coiffing the tresses of celebs, stylist Federico Calce presents Federico Hair & Spa at The Benjamin. The property is operated by Denihan Hospitality Group, a nationally recognized, independent owner and operator of boutique hotels with more than 100 years in the hospitality and service industries. For more information, visit

About Denihan:

Denihan is a privately-held, full service management and development company operating under Denihan Hospitality and Denihan Investments.  Together, they own and/or operate 13 boutique hotels in major urban markets throughout the U.S.  For over 50 years, Denihan has built a world-class lodging investment platform within the boutique hotel space, creating value by acquiring, repositioning and managing independent hotels.

The Denihan portfolio includes properties operating under The James and Affinia Hotels brands, as well as Manhattan luxury independents, The Surrey and The Benjamin, and additional independent properties in New York City. Denihan’s hotels also include an impressive list of chef-driven restaurants and bars.

The company’s uniquely guest-centric approach, refined through three generations of Denihan leadership, has made it an industry leader in hospitality, property and restaurant development, as well as hotel operations, management and marketing.

More details can be found at

About Green Key Global:

Green Key Global is a leading environmental certification body with over 3000 members offering a suite of sustainability programs designed specifically for the lodging industry. For more than 15 years its flagship program, the Green Key Eco-Rating Program, has been evaluating, inspecting, and certifying hotels and resorts based on their commitment to sustainable “green” operations. In support of this, Green Key Global simultaneously educates members on the value these initiatives have on an environmental, social and economic level. The Green Key Eco-Rating Program and its sister program, the Green Key Meetings Program, are comprehensive environmental audits that allow facilities to benefit on several fronts – cost savings, increased bookings from conscious consumers and meeting planners and responsible corporate citizenry. The Green Key Carbon Calculator, free to members of the Green Key Eco-Rating Program, is a tool designed to assist in tracking their carbon footprint. Visit for more information.

About NYIT:

NYIT Department of Hospitality Studies programs, part of the university’s School of Management, prepares students for all aspects within the hospitality industry: Event planning; food and beverage operations; hotel, lodging and resorts; gaming and casinos; sustainable tourism; and beyond.  For more information, visit

New York Institute of Technology offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has more than 12,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses.  For more information, visit

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