PORTLAND, ORE.—The Doubletree Hotel & Executive Meeting Center Portland-Lloyd Center announced that the property has earned a Green Seal GS-33 Lodging Sustainability certification. The 476-room Doubletree is the first lodging property in Oregon and the largest hotel west of the Mississippi to receive this green hotel designation, which includes a set of stringent criteria that encourages hotels to adopt environmental standards and practices in their everyday operations.
The Green Seal certification is the latest step in the Doubletree’s efforts to build sustainable practices into its entire operation. From installation of energy- and water-efficient fixtures and lighting in guestrooms and public areas to unique ways to handle food waste to environmentally sensitive purchasing policies, the upscale, full-service hotel property has educated its staff on the importance of being sustainable in a variety of inventive and unique ways.
“Sustainability means thinking in new ways about our responsibilities to the ‘Triple Bottom Line,’” says Steve Faulstick, the property’s general manager. “We’ve placed a real focus on bringing value to our community, our employees, and the owners of our property by leveraging the benefits associated with sustainable business practices. The Green Seal certification was a great way to punctuate our progress and to speed our momentum for future sustainability initiatives.”
The hotel has instituted a Green Team of employees who spearhead the property’s efforts to implement sustainable practices and to keep fellow employees informed of these measures. Initiatives implemented include recycling programs in common areas, guestrooms and administrative areas, environmental purchasing policies for recycled-content products, quantifying and reducing the property’s carbon footprint, and much more.
“Sustainability rests on the principles that every person must take make use of our earth’s precious resources today without compromising the ability of future generations to enjoy them, as well,” says Michael Luehrs, director of operations at the hotel. “Our Green Seal accomplishment wouldn’t mean anything if it weren’t for the participation, contribution and enthusiasm of each employee in order to make a collective and positive difference.”
Food Waste Diverted From Landfills
The Doubletree Portland-Lloyd Center also has taken the lead in a number of local and regional certification programs. The property has been designated as a BlueWorks recycling partner by the City of Portland. The property was also the first hotel in Portland to retrofit their operations to include food donation and composting programs. The results have been impressive: 65 percent of food waste is now being diverted from landfills.
“The Doubletree Hotel Portland-Lloyd Center is truly a leader in their industry,” says Babe O’Sullivan with Portland’s Office of Sustainable Development. “They really are doing everything they can to eliminate food waste and reduce their impact on the environment. In addition to benefiting the environment and the local community, the Doubletree’s efforts are healthy for their business.”
Since 1995, Green Seal has partnered with the lodging industry, the nation’s second largest employer, to promote environmentally responsible products and practices within lodging properties. Green Seal’s campaign to inform the nearly 54,000 U.S. hotels and motels focuses on how environmental efforts both improve the bottom line and benefit the environment.
Largely due to its sustainability efforts, the Doubletree has been selected to host the national conference of the Green Meeting Industry Council in February 2007. This event is part of a larger marketing effort by the Portland Oregon Visitors’ Assn. (POVA) to offer the country’s first comprehensive Green Seal meetings package.
“The momentum has really been building, such that green meetings are now on the radar for meeting planners,” says POVA’s Tamara Kennedy-Hill. “Our research shows that planners see green meeting services as an advantage, assuming the other factors are equal. “Portland has the reputation of being a green destination, but we really needed one of our major hotels to be Green Seal certified to set the standard.”
The Doubletree is proud of its Green Seal status, but they don’t plan to stop there. The property is currently undertaking a water audit in conjunction with the City of Portland to identify how to better conserve water, and is in the beginning stages of applying for a LEED-EB (Existing Building) certification.