BOSTON—The Saunders Hotel Group, a strong proponent of hotel sustainability since 1989, has expanded its sustainability program into a broader program called Genuine Responsibility. “We’ve been involved in sustainability initiatives for many years now,” says Samantha Sorrin, Director of Responsibility. “Genuine Responsibility is a natural way of expanding it.” Genuine Responsibility is a broadening of the company’s efforts to reduce resource consumption to more of a concentration on supporting local businesses and caring about the wellbeing of the local community, travelers and employees. “There is a lot of overlap between these,” Sorrin says.
This year the Saunders Hotel Group has introduced a wellness fitness and health plan for employees and made it easy for travelers to offset the carbon footprint of guestrooms and meeting spaces through its Travel Lightly program. “Travelers to and from Boston can choose to have their travel offset,” Sorrin says. Saunders Hotel Group offsets the roomnight of each guest’s stay and corporate travel as well. During Earth Week, the Saunders Hotel Group will offset guests’ travel at all its hotels.
“We try to secure F&B from local vendors,” Sorrin says. “Locally caught fish. Everything from bottled water to candy on the pillow. Our sustainable purchasing policy acts as a guideline. We have a line of green cleaning products. We try and partner with local businesses a lot. We are rejuvenating our community volunteering and doing events at our property to raise money.”
Advancement Opportunities for Women, Minorities
Saunders Hotel Group is taking steps to retain its best and brightest talent and making sure women and minorities have the opportunity to rise to leadership roles.
Saunders Hotel Group, a Boston-based hospitality management company, oversees The Lenox Hotel in Boston, the Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro in Boston, and the Comfort Inn & Suites in Revere, Mass. Three additional Massachusetts hotels are in the pipeline.
The Lenox Hotel is a showcase of sustainability in action with initiatives ranging from single stream recycling to waterless urinals to rooftop bees and waste oil recycled into biofuels. The Lenox Hotel hosts a “meatless Monday” in the employee cafeteria, offers PERC free dry cleaning for guests and a hybrid vehicle for guest transportation. To reduce the use of plastic bottles, every guest room at The Lenox is equipped with a glass carafe fillable at each floor’s filtered water station or by The Lenox team upon request. While pitchers of water are beneficial as an in-room amenity, they can’t be taken on-the-go. That’s why The Lenox has decided to provide a bottle of water that combines hospitality and responsibility. It is produced by JUST Water and features a plant-based bottle made from sustainably sourced paper and sugarcane product. It results in 74% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a traditional plastic bottle.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.