Green Washington 2011: Hospitality

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Winner: Fairmont Olympic Hotel
Luxury hotel in downtown Seattle.

GREEN ACTIONS Downtown Seattle’s Fairmont Olympic Hotel is creating quite a buzz, and not just for its food waste composting program, bumped-up recycling efforts or the popular “Green Week” fair for its employees. The hotel recently installed five beehives on its roof, housing roughly a half-million bees. The Fairmont Olympic’s enhanced “green” efforts also include placing recycling receptacles in all 450 guestrooms; participating with local organizations that collect hard-to-recycle items such as bottle caps, batteries and light bulbs; and incorporating local and organic items into the hotel’s menu.

RESULTS The hotel hopes that its new rooftop residents will help boost the dwindling honeybee population. The hotel kitchens plan to use honey from the hives. Since the hotel began its recycling and composting efforts in 2007, it has raised waste diversion rate from 25 percent to 59 percent. Paper-saving measures and reduced printing have saved an estimated 135,000 pieces of paper per quarter.

Runner Up: Columbia Hospitality
Provider of management and consulting to more than 80 hotels and hospitality projects.

GREEN ACTIONS Chosen to participate in the Greening Washington’s Lodging Industry pilot program, an initiative of the Washington State Department of Ecology, Columbia Hospitality revamped the environmental standards of two of its properties.

RESULTS Salish Lodge & Spa, after undergoing a lighting retrofit, had a projected annual savings of 75,000 kilowatt hours and $6,000. Bell Harbor International Conference Center now recycles 70 percent of its total waste, has diverted 65 tons of organic material from the landfill since last March and has shifted from bottled water to water stations, resulting in savings of $15,000 and 40,000 plastic bottles annually.

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