As Green Hotels Proliferate, So Do Eco-Rating Systems

by | Jan 19, 2010

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FairmontPittsburghAs Accor North America embarks on a pilot program to test a voluntary green rating program at some of its U.S. hotels, two new green hotels — Burgess Hill Premier and Fairmont Pittsburgh — are set to open later this year.

Accor North America, parent company of giant budget chain Motel 6, Sofitel and Studio 6 brands, will test a voluntary green rating program at some of its U.S. hotels, reports USA Today. Accor will test the Green Key Eco-Rating program at 20 of its 1,000 hotels, according to the article.

The Green Key Eco-Rating system was developed in 1997 for the Hotel Association of Canada, reports USA today. It has more than 1,200 member hotels including 21 Accor properties in Canada. The program entered the U.S. hotel market last September, according to Accor’s press release (PDF).

During the pilot program, Accor North America executives will evaluate the program and decide whether to rollout the program throughout the U.S.

In October last year, the state of Indiana said it would adopt the Green Key Eco-Rating Program as its official statewide environmental initiative. Other states including New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Maryland also launched green lodging certification programs.

Whitbread, a UK hotel and restaurant group, plans to build a second green hotel and its first low carbon restaurant, reports Self-Catering-Breaks News. The new Burgess Hill Premier hotel is slated to open its doors in Autumn 2010.

The new hotel, featuring 60 rooms, will adopt the best performing green technologies tested at the Whitbread’s first green hotel in Tamworth to achieve a 70 percent carbon and 60 percent water savings, reports Self-Catering-Breaks News.

Key green features will include a ground source heat pump, rainwater harvesting, high-efficiency thermal insulation, low-flow shower heads, and heat recovery shower systems that capture and reuse energy used by the boilers, according to the article.

This new investment is part of Whitbread’s corporate sustainability program called Good Together, that was launched in December of 2009, along with a pledge to reduce carbon emissions by 26 percent in 2020, reports Self-Catering-Breaks News.

Whitbread was named one of the 100 most sustainable corporations by Corporate Knights and Innovest Strategic Value Advisors in February last year.

Meanwhile, Fairmont Pittsburgh is getting ready to open on March 29, 2010, at Three PNC Plaza, the largest high rise construction project in the city of Pittsburgh in the last 20 years, according to Green Lodging News.

The new hotel, featuring 185 guestrooms and 12,000 square feet of event space, is also one of the largest mixed-use buildings to be certified by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) in accordance with its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, according to the article.

Fairmont Pittsburgh expects to reach the Gold level of LEED certification by its opening, reports Green Lodging News.

Other hotel chains in the U.S. are also expanding their portfolio of green hotels. As an example, in November last year, Marriott says it plans to expand its green hotel program by a measure of tenfold over the next five years by using a “pre-certified” to LEED hotel design.

Marriott International also launched a partnership with the World Environment Center (WEC) to help strengthen the environmental commitment of Marriott’s Costa Rican suppliers. WEC will train Marriott’s small and medium-sized local suppliers to help them improve their operations and maximize efficiencies in their facilities, which will lead to lower energy and water consumption, waste and raw material usage as well as reduced operating costs.

The Asian hospitality sector is also participating in the growing trend for green hotels. As examples, in China, the new Solar Valley Micro-E Hotel, in Dezhou, Shandong province, claimed the world’s first environmentally-friendly theme park-style hotel, and in India, I.T.C. Limited’s new luxury hotel in Bengaluru was awarded the USGBC’s LEED platinum rating.

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