Can Large-scale Resorts be Greened?

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Fairmont Hotels Think So.

Fairmont Hotels & Resort’s Green Partnership Program is leading the way in the ‘greening’ of large-scale hotel groups with innovations that create measurable improvements in energy efficiency, waste management, and water conservation.

For instance, by powering front desk computers with Eco-Logo certified wind power, Fairmont will reduce greenhouse gases by almost 100 metric tons over the next year. Dozens of Fairmont projects take place at the local level; the Fairmont San Jose reduced energy by 2.1 million kilowatt-hours last year by installing energy efficient lighting and programmable thermostats.

Another Green Partnership initiative takes place at the Fairmont Mayakoba, an ecologically diverse resort located in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. The resort has teamed up with a local tourism network from the nearby Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site, comprising 1.3 million acres of tropical ecosystems as well as 23 archeological sites of pre-Colombian Mayan culture. The alliance is designed to ensure minimal environmental impact on the reserve, and a percentage of the generated revenue is funneled directly to conservation efforts.

To promote awareness, Fairmont also offers environmental experiences for guests through their Eco-Innovation Signature program. These include sea turtle conservation in Mexico and the Caribbean, nature trail preservation in Sonoma County, a cedar tree replanting program in Southampton, Bermuda, and the educational ‘A Bug’s Life’ program for children in Montebello, California.

Visitors to northern California can sign up for Green with Envy in Sonoma: A decadent experiential package designed for your environmentally correct conscience. Green activities include a seminar on organic vineyard farming, Organic Sonoma Lavender Kur spa treatments, and dinner for two featuring a regionally inspired ‘Farm Trail’ menu.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is the winner of the 2006 Global Tourism Business Award, presented by the World Travel & Tourism Coucil, the global business leaders forum for travel and tourism industry. The award recognizes the world’s leading examples of socially and environmentally responsible tourism development.

“That we recognize the value of responsible tourism is not surprising, as we have a number of properties located in Unesco World Heritage sites, biosphere reserves, and national parks”, says Michelle White, director of environmental affairs at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts. “Minimizing our operational impact on the environment ensures a sustainable industry and a sustainable future.”

Katherine Stewart

Healing Lifestyles & Spas Team
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