Hotels Play Up Environmental Initiatives

by | Dec 14, 2009

holiday innMore and more, hotels are chasing the consumer dollar by playing up their environmental initiatives. For instance, Starwood’s Element Hotels is adding electric car-charging stations, while Holiday Inn is on track to add its first LEED-certified hotel.

Element Hotels, a seven-location division of Starwood Hotels, is adding the electric car-charging stations at all its locations by the end of the year, according to CheapHotelBookings.

In addition to the car charging stations, Element markets itself as a green hotel. The hotel has committed to achieve LEED certification for each of its locations.

The Holiday Inn Northwest/Sea World in San Antonio is slated not only to become the chain’s first LEED-certified location out of its 3,300 properties, but also the first LEED hotel in Texas, reports Green Lodging News.

The hotel features  solar panels to pre-heat water for the water heaters, energy management systems and cisterns to collect water runoff, including runoff from air conditioners and ice machines. Most construction waste was recycled, while much of the construction materials were sourced in the San Antonio area.

By requiring guests to active most of each room’s power by inserting their keycard in a wall slot, the hotel expects to reduce electricity consumption by about 5 percent a year.

The hotel is marketing its green aspects via an interactive touch-screen display in the lobby.

Holiday Inn is not alone in upgrading its Texas hotels.

TXU Energy recently conducted energy audits at Texas Marriott locations, identifying energy saving opportunities. If fully implemented across Marriott’s 40 properties in Texas, the savings could amount to 2 million kilowatt hours a year, or about $250,000 in costs.

In other hotel news, The Churchill, a Hyatt Regency hotel in London, was awarded the Corporate Social Responsibility Award in the Springboards Awards for Excellence 2009, reports Travelbite.

The Churchill has installed energy management systems, along with other environmental initiatives.

“We are particularly proud of the green initiatives that our ‘Green Team’ has incorporated into the daily running of the hotel to become the new standards of the 21st century,” said Michael Gray, General Manager of The Churchill.

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