As part of its ongoing climate change strategy, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (Fairmont) today announced that it has cut its CO2 output by 8.4 percent. As a member of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Climate Savers program, Fairmont has pledged to reduce its operational CO2 emissions by 20 percent below 2006 levels by 2013, and was the world’s first luxury hotel group to commit to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). The more than 8 percent decline, based on 2010 year-end data, means the hotel company is almost halfway to its ambitious reduction target.
“Everyone can agree that the debate on climate change has shifted from it’s here and real, to how can we all contribute to a low carbon future,” said Fairmont’s president Chris Cahill. “The business community needs to step up and take a leadership position if we’re going to affect any real, transformative change, and I’m very pleased that Fairmont has been able to take some positive steps in curbing its energy usage and lowering GHG emissions around the globe. From the daily efforts of our engineers to the determined conservation practices of our hotel-level green teams, we remain committed to persevering and protecting the destinations we call home.”
Over the last few years, Fairmont has identified and implemented a number of key initiatives to help reduce its carbon footprint. These have included the creation of an internal framework to track, monitor and report on key energy and carbon data, appointing regional champions to oversee audit and data controls, and the introduction of a new Engineer of the Year award to recognize and reward outstanding environmental performance. Additionally, the brand adopted a formalized sustainable design and construction policy and relocated its corporate offices to a LEED NC Gold-certified building.
On the property front, several Fairmont hotels have also had success with projects aimed at decreasing GHG emissions. At The Fairmont Dubai, the hotel has optimized its temperature control and building humidity settings, resulting in a 17.1 percent reduction in greenhouse gases over the last four years, while Quebec’s Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu converted two boilers from oil to electric, helping the hotel cut emissions by more than 75 percent, despite having higher occupancy levels. Over the same time period, the iconic Fairmont San Francisco added occupancy-sensing guestroom thermostats and adjusted its daily HVAC scheduling in meeting rooms to decrease its GHG emissions by 12.1 percent.
In London, the restoration of The Savoy included the addition of several new environmental technologies including a new combined heat and power (CHP) plant that reduces the hotel’s reliance on the national grid by approximately 50 percent. New energy efficient boilers, smart meters, and a waste management system that recycles up to 90 percent of the property’s waste and converts it into an energy source, have also been introduced making it one of the greenest hotels in London.
WWF’s VP of Strategic Partnerships Hadley Archer commends Fairmont for its ambitious carbon reduction targets. “As a member in WWF’s global ‘Climate Savers’ program, Fairmont is advancing carbon management within its industry by committing to absolute emission reduction targets and demonstrating that cutting carbon yields a host of benefits – from cost savings to employee engagement and reputational benefits.”
Added Sarah Dayboll, Fairmont’s Director of Environmental Affairs, “Looking ahead, we’re confident that we can reach our 20 percent reduction target in 2013 by continuing to focus our efforts on improved energy efficiency, increased conversion to low carbon technologies and solutions, and by promoting conservation practices among our 30,000 colleagues worldwide.”
For more than 20 years, Fairmont’s Green Partnership has been the company’s award-winning environmental program focused on minimizing the impact of hotel operations on the environment. In addition to publishing “The Green Partnership Guide”, a “going green” handbook used by its hotels and others in the hospitality industry, initiatives include recycling and organic waste diversion in hotel kitchens, purchasing sustainable seafood, a green conferencing solution dubbed Eco-Meet, creating rooftop herb gardens at properties, and redistributing gently used goods and food to those in need.
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