One of the biggest considerations of any vacation is where you stay once you arrive at your destination. While you typically take into account a number of factors when choosing your hotel, from brand loyalty to location to price, a truly eco-friendly hotel requires an additional consideration. It’s important to evaluate hotels on their green credentials and sustainable practices.
In fact, hotels can actually end up generating a ton of waste (think about all those half-used bottles of toiletries that end up in the trash) and using an unsustainable amount of resources (All that laundry! New sheets every day!). But because more and more hotel chains are considering the negative impact these practices have on the environment, you’ll find a number of green lodging options around the globe. From new structures that strive for LEED certification to existing hotels that reduce water and food waste, there are plenty of ways to be green in the hospitality industry.
Here are a few hotel chains that are making significant efforts to reduce their carbon footprint and offer plenty of green amenities for their guests.
Reaching impressive heights in their sustainable endeavors, Fairmont Hotels has made some serious changes in practice and policy to reduce their carbon footprint. In addition to employing common recycling practices like encouraging guests to reuse towels and offering ecofriendly toiletries, they’ve also got some impressive green features in the hotel’s construction. For example, Fairmont Hotels have heat recycling systems and green roofs – some of them even include bees! All of their hotels are LEED certified, too, putting them in elite company when it comes to green building practices.
This big hotel chain is making a big impact on the environment – in a good way. Their dedication to sustainable initiatives has resulted in a 10% reduction in water waste and 20% reduction in waste production in the last few years. They’ve also worked hard to generate sustainable energy on their properties, and they’ve been wildly successful. In fact, 94% of Hilton’s energy is green energy! Hilton hotels are also at the forefront of recycling and waste-reduction in other areas. They recycle mattresses and help to recycle partially used soap, and they also donate uneaten food to local food banks.
The Hyatt Hotels chain was among the first to pursue sustainable practices, and has been tracking its energy and water usage for years. Their vision for what they hope to achieve by 2020 is particularly impressive, and they continue to work towards ultimate sustainability. They actively work to reduce waste in all facets of their operation, including using less water by encouraging guests to reuse towels and employing energy efficient washing machines. All of their new construction aspires to LEED certification, too. They even work with wildlife organizations to keep their seafood offerings sustainable.
Kimpton is a chain of boutique hotels that are working just as hard to be green as their major corporate counterparts. Along with undertaking standard water and energy conservation practices, they also use only recycled paper products across the board. Kimpton hotels also serve locally sourced food and beverages, reducing traffic and supporting local farmers and small businesses. A few locations even have organic gardens that supply a portion of their restaurant’s produce!
Another hotel chain that focuses on the reduction of waste and the use of sustainable materials is Marriott. Their efforts have resulted in a 12% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, a 13% decrease in water use, and an 11% reduction in energy use from 2014 to 2015. They’ve even created uniforms for their employees that are made from plastic water bottles! Many of their hotels also feature green roofs, which reduce heating and cooling costs and contribute to making more oxygen in urban environments. When it comes to dining, they’ve also on the forefront – they grow a good portion of their produce on site at select hotels!
This international hotel chain (which includes Westin and Sheraton) is well known for their commitment to the environment and to sustainable operating practices. A network-wide commitment to reducing waste, water, and energy usage has resulted in significant reductions in their environmental impact throughout their hotel chains. They’ve also been successful in convincing their guests to participate in green initiatives like reusing towels, so they’ve saved a lot of water and electricity by doing less laundry. They’ve even founded a new chain, Element, which adopts sustainable practices across the board, from using all Energy Star appliances to providing only ecofriendly sheets and towels.