Name: Fabienne Eliacin
Title: Environmental Services Coordinator
Hotel: InterContinental Boston
Years with hotel: 10
Primary responsibilities: “I’m part of the engineering team but also make sure we are aligned with Green Engage and doing training and orientation around our green initiatives.”
Hotel’s most significant sustainability-related accomplishment: “We have a lot of them but from 2007 to 2015 the InterContinental Boston increased its recycling rate from 8 percent to 72 percent.”
Hotel’s most significant sustainability-related challenge moving forward: “What is challenging is just trying to keep ahead—trying to be at the same level of our competition. Training employees and reminding them about our sustainability initiatives is also an ongoing challenge.”
BOSTON—As Environmental Service Coordinator at the 424-room InterContinental Boston, Fabienne Eliacin has many responsibilities—all of which have to do with pushing the luxury waterfront property toward increased efficiency and higher standing in the Boston area. As part of the engineering team she helps manage preventive maintenance scheduling. She is also the property’s key point of contact for the InterContinental Hotel Group’s Green Engage program, reporting on gains made in energy, water, waste and community involvement. She drives continuous improvement each day and leads the hotel’s green team which meets quarterly.
Perhaps the hotel’s most notable gains have been in the area of waste reduction. One example: the volume of food waste sent for composting increased from 294 tons in 2015 to 361 tons through the first 10 months of this year.
Monthly, InterContinental Boston collects used vegetable oil from the kitchens of the hotel and donates it to Lifecycle Renewables, a Massachusetts-based renewable energy provider that offers customers the opportunity to reduce and fix energy costs by producing clean renewable energy on-site. In 2015, the hotel recycled 1,050 gallons of vegetable oils.
Pulper Dramatically Reduces Food Waste Weight
InterContinental Boston hosts an in-house centralized pulper which is connected to all kitchens. The pulper’s function is to compress and grind up organic matter, such as food scraps, paper napkins etc. with water and then extract most of the moisture to produce a dry, organic pulp that can be easily disposed. It eliminates a mass of trash and reduces waste, transportation and disposal costs.
Monthly, all paper products are collected from all areas of the hotel and are recycled. Recycling bins are available in all office areas and on all guestroom floors and are made available in the meetings spaces for meetings. In 2015, the hotel moved to single stream paper/cardboard recycling and finished the year with 482.82 tons recycled. Monthly, all glass and plastic bottles, cans and plastic packaging materials are collected from all areas of the hotel and are recycled.
Each month housekeeping donates clean, damaged bed linens, towels, pillows, toilet paper rolls along with unclaimed lost and found clothing items to Boston Mothers’ Care, an organization assisting the needs of women and children in remote areas of Haiti, in addition to local shelters such as Rosie’s Place and Women’s Lunch Place, a daytime refuge for women and children who are poor and homeless in Boston. Additional recipients of donations include Sant Belvi, an elderly daycare in the Mattapan area, and IFSI-USAAll. Unclaimed cell phones are donated to Cell Phones for Soldiers. Batteries from cell phones, remote controls, alarm clocks and guestroom doors are collected from all areas of the hotel and recycled. All used ink and toner cartridges are picked up by Office Max to be recycled. The InterContinental Boston sends its partially used soaps and amenities to Clean the World for reprocessing.
Transition to LEDs
Eliacin says the hotel has switched over more than 90 percent of lighting to LEDs. All guestrooms have LEDs. Sensors turn off lights after guests leave guestrooms and the HVAC system is powered down as well. All showerheads are 2.0 gpm, aerators have been placed in faucets and a foot petal has been installed to control kitchen sink water flow.
In June 2010, InterContinental Boston launched Boston’s first hotel rooftop apiary with 10,000 bees. While the number of bees has increased over the years, Eliacin says it is a challenge to keep the hives going. The bees do not survive Boston’s cold winter.
InterContinental Boston participates annually in Earth Hour, a global event organized by the World Wildlife Fund held on the last Saturday of March where households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and other electrical appliances for one hour to raise awareness of the need to take action on climate change. The hotel also is a member of Boston Green Tourism.
For its efforts, the InterContinental Boston has achieved Green Engage level four and the 4 Keys level of Green Key certification.
When asked what she enjoys most about her work, Eliacin said, “I really enjoy when I go out and talk about how we are making a difference in the community.”
Go to the InterContinental Boston.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at email@example.com.