TORONTO—Without negatively impacting the guest experience, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts’ 37 owned and managed properties have implemented a wide range of water-saving initiatives to reduce costs and minimize environmental impact. The programs are part of Fairmont Green Partnership, a plan the Toronto-based company launched 16 years ago.
The installation of low-flow showerheads, low-flush toilets and tap aerators are corporate standards throughout Fairmont. Additionally, all resort properties participate in sheet and towel reuse programs to conserve water resources by reducing the frequency of guest linen laundering. Engineering initiatives also have been instrumental in conserving water.
“Our programs have the most impact with our guests,” says Michelle White, Manager, Environmental Affairs for Fairmont. “Most of our guests are environmentally conscious.”
Under the city of Toronto’s new ICI Water Saver Program, industrial, commercial and institutional sectors are rewarded for demonstrated water savings. The Fairmont Royal York was awarded $42,096 for its efforts. In 2005, the hotel installed a commercial water softener that reduced water use in the laundry to one wash and one rinse per cycle, saving 476,000 liters of water per day—enough water to supply 500 homes.
Used Laundry Water Recycled
The Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, recently installed a water recycling system in the hotel’s laundry. The system has a 75 percent recycling ability. Prior to the installation, the property was consuming approximately 2 million gallons of water a month. A return on investment was expected in 12 to 15 months.
At The Fairmont Washington, D.C., the engineering team has worked diligently on updating outdated equipment and recognizing and addressing areas that need maintenance and repair. To date, a steam spotting table, as well as a dated washing machine and steam coil dryer have been replaced.
At The Fairmont Orchid, Kohala Coast, Hawaii, the hotel’s engineering team recently completed repairs to a water main. The repairs resulted in a savings of approximately 750,000 gallons a month and a cost savings of approximately $3,000.
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise in Alberta implemented a closed-loop water system that has reduced water consumption by 20 percent. The hotel used to draw water from the nearby lake and dump it back into the sewer afterwards. Now the water is recycled to cool the hotel’s compressors and kitchen and store rooms.
The Fairmont Acapulco Princess and The Fairmont Pierre Marques in Mexico save hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in municipal water costs by sharing their own water treatment facility. The plant is capable of producing 1 million gallons of fresh water a day and can recycle 70 percent of the wastewater produced by the resorts, with the remaining grey water used to irrigate the golf courses and nearby lagoon, and the separated sludge used as fertilizer.
White says the company’s Dubai property uses recycled water on its grounds and properly times irrigation to minimize evaporation.
In 1990, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts began asking its employees how they felt about introducing an environmental program. The employees submitted many ideas that formed the basis for the company’s Green Action Plan. The company went on to develop the Green Partnership Guide, a 150-page user manual to help individuals, offices, kitchens and engineers reach environmental goals. For more information on that manual, write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at email@example.com.