Home Green Hotel Focus Fairmont Algonquin Has a ‘Whale’ of a Green Conservation Program

Fairmont Algonquin Has a ‘Whale’ of a Green Conservation Program


ST. ANDREWS BY-THE-SEA, NEW BRUNSWICK—The Fairmont Algonquin, which has been recognized several times by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts for its environmental leadership, is doing its part to keep its idyllic location as unspoiled as possible. The 234-room property has initiated numerous green programs to conserve resources and minimize waste.

“The hotel is in a beautiful location,” says Angela Rafuse-Tahir, director of sales and marketing at the property that was built in the 1880s. “We need to take care of what Mother Nature has given us.”

The seaside hotel, which offers whale watching opportunities, sponsors a beluga whale and a right whale. The beluga, named Quin, was adopted through the St. Lawrence National Institute of Excotoxicology. Al, the right whale, was sponsored through the Grand Manan Whale and Seabird

Research Station.

As part of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses, the Fairmont Algonquin Golf Course minimizes water consumption, does not use harmful chemicals, and plans with the welfare of wildlife in mind. The hotel uses tap aerators, low-flow showerheads and toilets to further reduce water consumption. A towel and linen reuse program is also in place and every guestroom includes containers for recycling.

“We recycle everything we can,” Rafuse-Tahir says.

Eggs Are For the Birds

Coffee grounds are used as fertilizer in the hotel’s gardens and uneaten scrambled eggs are fed to peacocks at Kingsbrae Garden, a local 27-acre public garden.

“We also supplied Kingsbrae with two tons of compost last year,” Rafuse-Tahir says.

Coat hangers are recycled and toiletries are donated to local shelters. Sensors are used throughout the property to turn off lights when they are not needed. Compact fluorescents and guestroom and meeting room energy management systems also reduce energy consumption.

In the hotel’s spa, all-natural ingredients derived from the sea are used in body treatments. In the property’s restaurants, no trans fats are used and efforts are taken to purchase locally and sustainably produced food items. Herb gardens on the property provide fresh kitchen ingredients. Throughout the hotel, low volatile organic compound (VOC) materials such as paints, wall coverings and carpets are used.

The Fairmont Algonquin participates in Fairmont’s Eco-Meet program to minimize harm to the environment during meetings, conferences and similar events. A few of the Eco-Meet meeting program practices include:

• Using bulk containers for milk and sugar.
• Using refillable water jugs instead of water bottles.
• Avoiding disposables such as paper plates and paper napkins.
• Eliminating plastic cutlery.
• Using menus that are produced internally and on recycled paper stock.

Rafuse-Tahir says the hotel’s green meeting efforts are all focused on educating guests. The programs have paid off with additional group business.

Staff from the Fairmont participate in as many community events as possible. The hotel sponsors a 5-kilometer stretch of highway as part of an “Adopt a Highway” program and staff helped clean up St. Andrews by-the-Sea on Earth Day.

An environmental committee with representation from all hotel departments meets monthly and the Fairmont Algonquin participates in the Hotel Association of Canada’s Green Key Eco-Rating program to help promote itself and to stay on a green path.

Go to the Fairmont Algonquin.

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