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Why Green Is Good for Business

Back to the Beginning

The Fairmont Green Partnership program began in 1991 and since then has expanded throughout Fairmont’s international portfolio. Today Fairmont continues to grow this environmental stewardship program in 21,000 rooms located at 44 diverse resorts and urban destinations across 8 countries. Under the leadership of our hotel-based Green Teams, 26,000 Fairmont employees effect environmental and operational improvements in the areas of waste management, and energy and water conservation. Adding to the success of the program is Fairmont’s community initiative, Adopt-A Shelter. The program involves each property partnering with a local community shelter to provide them with furniture, linens and food donations.

Fairmont’s program focuses on sustainability and encompasses everything from recycling and organic waste diversion in the hotel’s kitchens to retrofitting energy efficient lighting. It also includes such aspects as rooftop herb gardens located at nine properties, purchasing green power, and being the first hotel chain in North America to offer an entire floor of hypoallergenic guestrooms.

Green Benefits

The Green Partnership program has become synonymous with Fairmont, a business asset in terms of building brand awareness. In fact, there have many business advantages realized from the program. By adopting a triple top line approach, not only are operational impacts on the environment mitigated, but the company can also save money and in many cases, make money!

Consider the following case studies:

• The Fairmont San Francisco completed a lighting retrofit in the main building and the Tower corridors, changing from 40 watt incandescent to 9 watt compact fluorescent light bulbs. There was a resulting annual reduction of 351,942 kilowatt-hours and a cost savings of US$ 41,564. 
• Recently The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui installed a water recycling system in the hotels’ laundry with an 85% recycling ability. This is exceptional considering that prior to its installation the laundry was consuming approximately 2 million gallons of water a month. A ROI (Return on Investment) will be recognized in 18-24 months from initial installation with a cost savings to date of US $52,000.

• The Fairmont Royal York:Under the City of Toronto’s new ICI Water Saver Program, industrial, commercial, and institutional sectors are rewarded for demonstrated water savings. The Fairmont Royal York is the first commercial property to be awarded CAN$48,685 (US $42,096) for its efforts to reduce water use.  Earlier this year, The Fairmont Royal York installed a commercial water softener that reduced water use in the laundry to one wash and one rinse per cycle, saving 476,000 liters of water per day  - enough water to supply 500 homes!

Green Competition and Niche Markets

Being a green company allows Fairmont to cater to niche markets created by the growing demand from organizations and governments looking to reduce their ecological footprint through zero waste or carbon neutral events. These organizations care about the environment and are willing to pay to protect it. It is imperative to these groups to align themselves with businesses that share a common vision and mandate. For example, from November 5th – 7th  2005, The Fairmont San Francisco hosted the Design Futures Council 4th Annual Leadership Summit on Sustainable Design as a result of having a green program in place. 

Additionally, many governments at the state, provincial, and federal levels are adopting green procurement policies that dictate that all event services and staff accommodation can only be provided by “green” locations. By having a recognized green program in place, these companies are attracting business and can more successfully compete with their industry peers. Clearly being green makes economic sense.

Meeting Guest Expectations

Most importantly, being a green company allows us to cater to the needs of our guests. People are increasingly eco-conscious and demand better from the places where they work and play. The Green Partnership program allows Fairmont to meet and exceed guest expectations of operational sustainability. Nowhere is this more evident than in the development of Fairmont’s Eco-Innovation Signature projects, designed to concentrate our efforts to “think globally and act locally”. These joint hotel and community projects offer unique travel experiences that encourage guest interaction and learning while addressing a universal environmental issue. Examples of these unique initiatives taking place at our North American properties include clean air awareness in California, coral reef protection in Hawaii, and conservation of endangered species such as the North Atlantic right whale and peregrine falcon.

Growing Greener - Sharing the Message

In June 2006, Fairmont announced our latest community-focused brand partnership with the LA-based Environmental Media Association.  EMA is a high profile non-profit organization that integrates sustainability and environmental messaging into mainstream media, particularly television, film and lifestyle magazines, as well as product placement for leading brands like the Toyota Prius, Whole Foods supermarkets, National Geographic and Conde Nast Traveler.  Beyond highlighting our company's commitment to the environment, our affiliation with EMA promotes unique Fairmont eco-experiences and helps share Fairmont’s vision as we strive towards a sustainable industry and a sustainable future. 

Today’s hotel industry is expected to be increasingly environmentally responsible This is not surprising when you think that green programs are a consideration in environmental tourism and destination planning. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts have embraced environmentalism as a core value and have a reputation as an industry leader. It’s early adoption of comprehensive environmental stewardship and sustained efforts in this area has ensured that it is well positioned to face the challenges ahead….and to enjoy the benefits along the way.

Tips for Greening Your Hotel and Your Business

1. Set a target for a 50% reduction in landfill waste and a 20% reduction in paper use.
2. Redistribute/recycle all soaps and amenities.
3. Establish recycling programs that include paper, cardboard, cans, glass, kitchen grease and organic waste. The more comprehensive the better!
4. Establish a policy to identify and dispose of hazardous waste.
5. Initiate phase out programs for disposable items to reduce the waste stream. For example, styrofoam should not be used. 
6. Add guest room recycling bins. The average guest produces about 2 lbs of waste per night so in-room recycling is important. 
7. Make sure you are using energy efficient lighting such as compact fluorescent or LED. 
8. Standardize all hot water tank temperatures to save energy.
9. Examine your purchasing policy. Identify and purchase environmentally friendly products such as cleaners, 
   amenities, and even paints and carpets. 
10. Buy recycled paper products that have high post consumer content. 
11. Streamline the use of cleaning agents – eliminate hazardous materials.
12. Purchase only refined motor oils and re-inked printer cartridges.
13. Negotiate with your suppliers to reduce and eliminate excess packaging.
14. Purchase organic and locally grown food.
15. Establish a policy to replace toilets that use more than 2 gallons per flush or have these fitted with a toilet dam to conserve water. 
16. Replace all showerheads and taps with low-flow alternatives.. 
17. Divert organic waste from the landfill by composting.

- Excerpt taken from LOHAS

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