WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Fairmont Washington, D.C. has awarded a contract to Boulder, Colo.-based Renewable Choice Energy to offset 100 percent of the hotel’s electricity use. The three-year contract calls for Renewable Choice Energy to supply the 415-room Fairmont Hotel with more than 9.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by wind farms across America.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts have been dedicated environmental stewards since 1990 with the development of the company’s comprehensive Green Partnership program, designed to minimize the hotels’ operating impacts on the environment. “Every business has a responsibility in the community to be environmentally conscious,” says general manager George Terpilowski. “Our commitment to support renewable energy development and reduce carbon emissions has an impact similar to planting 42,982 mature trees or not driving more than 10.5 million miles in an average passenger car.”
“Fairmont’s commitment to take responsibility for 100 percent of its electricity use demonstrates its understanding of the importance of helping to support and grow our nation’s renewable energy infrastructure,” said Quayle Hodek, CEO of Renewable Choice Energy. “We’re looking forward to helping Fairmont communicate the value of this commitment to its employees and guests.”
Investment in Clean Electricity
More than 70 percent of U.S. electricity comes from burning fossil fuels such as coal and gas. Every time we burn fossil fuels to generate electricity, harmful greenhouse gasses are emitted into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. Wind-generated electricity is renewable, sustainable, and does not produce environmental pollution. Purchasing a specific quantity of RECs ensures that wind energy producers add the same amount of clean electricity to the national grid, reducing the overall need for fossil fuels, and resulting in a cleaner and more sustainable planet.
In addition to its investment in 100 percent renewable energy, The Fairmont Washington, D.C. has accomplished the following sustainability objectives:
• The hotel’s colleagues have created an Environmental Committee, developing a number of programs incorporating the environmental mantra, “reduce, reuse and recycle,” into the hotel’s daily operating practices.
• Three honey bee hives and more than 105,000 Italian honey bees live on the rooftop. They enhance the hotel’s culinary program and assist with the reversal of the national colony collapse.
• Recycling white paper in the heart of the house and purchasing copy paper made with a high percentage of recycled material.
• Hold Earth Day cleanup and planting events with neighborhood school.
• Conduct food, clothing and blanket drives for Keys for the Homeless and hold Environmental Awareness Day to Honor Earth Day.
• Recycling aluminum cans, newspaper, cardboard and glass in all guestrooms and through banquets, light bulbs, batteries, ballasts, textiles, oils and fats.
• Installing low-flow showerheads and toilets in guestroom baths and public restrooms.
• Encouraging colleagues to use public transportation by offering MetroCheck, a program enabling hotel staff to purchase monthly MetroRail, MarcTrain and VRE passes with pre-tax dollars.
• Low wattage compact fluorescent light bulbs are used.
• Light motion sensors are used in administrative areas and dimmers are used in meeting rooms.
• A new energy efficient/water saving dishwasher is now in the hotel’s banquet kitchen.
• New energy saving ovens are now in use in the main kitchen and the pastry kitchen.
• Hospitality suites have new digital thermostats.
• Guest floor corridors have new compact fluorescent bulbs.
• The hotel has 24 variable speed drives for HVAC units, pumps, cooling towers, etc.
• The hotel has installed a new energy efficient system for chillers, boilers, refrigeration systems that will generate about $35,000 in annual savings in energy.