Truly green travel requires an authentically green lodging option. It’s one of the most important reservations you can make on your green vacation, along with choosing eco-friendly travel and environmentally responsible activities. While many travelers have found hotels here and there that “greenwash,” or pretend to follow eco-friendly practices in the interest of attracting conscientious guests, there are certainly a number of hospitality companies that truly care about the environment and dedicate substantial resource towards achieving their sustainability goals.
One such chain making significant strides towards leaving the world a greener place is Kimpton. A collection of top of the line boutique hotels, Kimpton has an impressive, across-the-board green policy as part of their Kimpton EarthCare program. Emphasizing both “social and environmental responsibility,” this policy has won them a number of environmental awards in the hospitality industry, including the Condé Nast World Savers Award and the National Geo Tourism Award. Their hotels are individually certified as green by a number of organizations, including TripAdvisor and Green Key. A few select hotels have even achieved LEED certification.
As part of their substantial commitment to being globally responsible, Kimpton also offers a little-known but admirable option to travelers looking to contribute to making the world greener through their reservations. They partner with the Nature Conservancy (which works to protect endangered forestland and rainforests around the globe) and the Trust for Public Land (which aims to create more urban green space), and offer a specific discount code to use when making your reservation which directs a percentage of your room rate to either of those two organizations.
Of course, Kimpton does more than donate money to good causes. A few of the major ways in which Kimpton is working to green their boutique hotels include:
Energy: Kimpton has an extensive tracking program they use to monitor their energy consumption and identify ways to reduce usage. They also offer discounted parking to guests that drive hybrid vehicles, which is a great incentive in urban areas. Plus, all Kimpton hotels offer complimentary PUBLIC bikes to encourage their guests to avoid emissions-based vehicles.
Water: Like many hotels, Kimpton strives to reduce water usage and waste in guest rooms and behind the scenes. Offering optional housekeeping and using low-flow appliances where possible helps to reduce water consumption over all, and energy efficient washing machines decrease both water and power usage. They even use nontoxic and organic cleaning supplies to help reduce water pollution.
Waste: In addition to recycling as much as possible (since the 1980s, actually, way ahead of the curve), Kimpton also works to reduce waste at all hotels as much as possible. All hotels use 100% recycled paper and soy ink in their print publications, offering less paper and more digital resources where possible, too. Guest rooms are even furnished with mattresses made from recycled materials. They also make their key cards and even their fitness room floors out of recycled materials!
Dining; Wherever possible, Kimpton chefs works to incorporate local, sustainable, and organic food into their menus. A few hotels cultivate their own gardens to provide select produce and herbs and to cut down on pollution from transit.
Sourcing: As a big part of their dedication to local, environmentally friendly products, Kimpton has made a point of contracting only with vendors able to provide green products and services. Kimpton also negotiates take-back deals with vendors and suppliers ,which encompass everything from asking those companies to recycle packaging from their deliveries to offering trade-in options to allow their hotels to recycle difficult items like televisions and other technology.
Construction: Although many Kimpton hotels are boutique options in historic buildings, there is occasionally new construction and/or renovation that needs to be accomplished. Across the board, Kimpton hotels follow best green practices when it comes to all new building and renovations. Two of their hotels in Philadelphia – the Hotel Palomar and Hotel Monaco – have even earned LEED certification, which is difficult to do with historic buildings.