By Susan Patel
Hotels know they need to do more for guests than simply provide a good night’s rest. Some green hotels are leading the eco-way for old and new hotels of all sizes.Hotel initiatives might not be “groundbreaking,” but these innovative and simple ideas work. Here’s what a few sustainable hotels are implementing:
ARIA Resort & Casino – Las Vegas, Nevada
At the heart of MGM Resort International’s seventy-six acre complex on the strip, the ARIA has earned six LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certifications due to their innovative green hotel initiatives. The building is made with over two hundred thousand tons of construction waste. The hotel limos are powered with clean-burning natural gas and turned slot machine bases into mini-air conditioners, cooling the casino area with every pull of a handle or push of a button.
Emirates’ Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa – Wolgan Valley, Australia
Build in 2009, this resort has quickly achieved its goal of being a carbon neutral hotel. The interior furniture is crafted from the trees that have fallen on its almost four thousand acres of property, and the lighting fixtures are made out of fence posts that date back to colonial days. Product and meal ingredients come from the hotel’s organic garden or from within a hundred miles of the property. Wolgan Valley received a Commitment to Excellenceand the Environmental Award at the 2010 Leading Hotels of the World Awards.
Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers – Copenhagen, Denmark
Named the World’s Greenest Hotel in October 2010, it’s a 279 feet tall building covered in solar-panel installations (the biggest such installation in northern Europe). The hotel uses groundwater as both a heating and cooling source. The TVs and lighting are both low-energy, and some bathroom amenities, such as shampoo bottles and shower caps, are completely biodegradable. Guests can help reduce the hotel’s environmental impact even more by hitting the gym—the exercise bikes supply the building with electricity.
Proximity Hotel – Greensboro, North Carolina
The first hotel property to obtain a LEED Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Its 70-plus sustainable features include 100 rooftop solar panels and an elevator that generates electricity as it travels. The hotel uses 39 percent less energy and 34 percent less water than similar hotels. Even much of the hotel’s building materials and furniture came from local, salvaged walnut trees.
EcoGreenHotel LLC (Robbinsville, NJ), is a privately held company dedicated to helping lodging facilities address a broad spectrum of sustainability issues. The company provides information, tools, checklists, current news and trends to the hospitality industry through its website, www.EcoGreenHotel.com. The company also runs an online marketplace for green products and services at www.EcoGreenHotelStore.com. In addition to the online offerings, EcoGreenHotel provides customized consulting services tailored to the needs of the hospitality industry in the areas of energy efficiency and certifications, including LEED, Green Seal and Energy Star. For those properties that have reached certified levels of sustainability, EcoGreenHotel assists with marketing services to position the properties within the growing “green” space and enhance revenue. For further information, email info@EcoGreenHotel.com or call 888-229-0213.