Home Uncategorized Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group Steps Up Certification, CSR Activities in the Americas

Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group Steps Up Certification, CSR Activities in the Americas

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MINNEAPOLIS—Just prior to the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group’s annual business conference, held earlier this month, Green Lodging News checked in with the Minneapolis-based company’s Brenda Schultz, Director Responsible Business, for an update on the Carlson Rezidor’s green activities in the Americas. Schultz addressed topics ranging from green certification to purchasing to corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. Together, Carlson Rezidor’s efforts point to an increased emphasis on sustainability.

Carlson Rezidor now has 618 hotels in the Americas. The company manages 20 of those properties. Of the 618, 125 have some type of eco-label, whether from a national or state level certification program. “About 100 properties are Green Key certified or in process of being Green Key certified,” Schultz says. “I found the hotels understand Green Key. I found it is the program that most can benefit from.” Two properties are LEED registered (the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago and the Radisson Fort McDowell Resort & Casino in Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Carlson Rezidor has been actively using the Energy Star Portfolio Manager for its managed hotels. Carlson Rezidor is on its way to having all of its Americas properties eco-labeled by 2015.

In late 20011, Carlson Rezidor announced that its world headquarters had earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver level certification for Existing Buildings: Operations & Maintenance (LEED EB O&M) certification. At that time, the building achieved LEED certification for operational best practices and superior environmental performance, including: a perfect score of 48 LEED credit points; an Energy Star score of 87 placing the property in the top 15 percent of all comparable buildings nationwide; implementation of an interior pest management program to reduce toxicity of pesticides; replacement of all high-flow restroom fixtures with water-saving models; Energy Star-rated IT equipment; and sustainable food purchases through the Farm-to-Fork program initiated by the building café’s service provider, Bon Appétit.

Commitment Reflected in Purchasing

From a purchasing standpoint, Carlson Rezidor is expanding its green approach and now requires Radisson Blu properties to use duvet covers and linens from eco-pioneer Valley Forge Fabrics. It is a standard for Radissons in the Americas to use the duvet covers and optional to purchase the linens.

Almost 100 properties are offering BD Imports sustainable coffee. “We created our own packaging that talks about how quality and CSR goes hand in hand,” Schultz says.

About two years ago, Country Inns & Suites by Carlson phased out disposable tableware in its breakfast areas and replaced it with washable counterparts. Carlson Rezidor discovered that the cumulative annual costs for non-disposables was $35,000 but the cost for using disposable product was $76,000.

This September, Carlson Rezidor will celebrate the tenth anniversary of its Responsible Business Action Month. In 2012, activities included the planting of 5,700 trees, removing 35,000 gallons of illegal waste from the environment, raising more than $300,000 for charity, and donating 13,000 boxes of necessities to those in need. In the Americas, members of Club Carlson, the global loyalty program for Carlson Rezidor, donated 4,041,012 points to World Childhood Foundation in conjunction with the campaign. The Carlson Family Foundation then matched the value of these donations.

Supporter of Cleanup Actions

In June 2012, Carlson Rezidor was the official hospitality partner of World Cleanup 2012 in which various volunteer groups and organizations cleaned up illegal garbage in nearly 100 countries and raised awareness worldwide. World Cleanup 2012 consisted of separate one-day cleanup actions, carried out country-wide or city-wide in participating countries.

Schultz says Carlson Rezidor’s relationship with Clean the World, the nonprofit that repurposes soap and other amenities, continues to grow.

“We started in the fall of 2011 with Clean the World,” Schultz says. “We have tripled our participation and have about 60 hotels participating. It has been a really positive experience. It is a big morale booster for housekeepers. The program is so successfully done.”

In general, Schultz says, it is the hotels in the most impoverished areas that want to participate in volunteer activities the most.

Go to the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.

Glenn Hasek can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

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