Name: Jane Mackie
Title: Vice President, Fairmont Brand
Company: Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Years in position: A year and one-half
Primary responsibilities: Mackie is responsible for developing brand strategy, focusing on refining and articulating the brand positioning and communicating Fairmont Hotels & Resorts brand messaging. She also defines strategies that further enhance Fairmont’s competitive position in the luxury hotel segment. In addition, Mackie leads a dedicated brand team in setting brand standards for product, service and communications as well as Fairmont’s sustainability strategies.
Organization’s most significant sustainability-related accomplishment: Reducing operational CO2 emissions by 20 percent below 2006 levels. “The large portion of our hotels are historic old buildings,” Mackie says. “They really had to be creative in how they pursued energy efficiency. To help accomplish the 20 percent goal, each hotel formed a sustainability committee.”
Organization’s most significant sustainability-related challenge moving forward: “We feel we really have a handle on energy and carbon footprint,” Mackie says. “We see water as the biggest opportunity. It is more controllable than energy.”
TORONTO—It has been 25 years now since Fairmont Hotels & Resorts launched its groundbreaking Green Partnership Program, a roadmap for hotels looking to reduce waste, energy and water consumption. The program has had many champions within Fairmont along the way and the latest, Jane Mackie, Vice President, Fairmont Brand, has helped Fairmont reach an important goal—the reduction of operational CO2 emissions by 20 percent below 2006 levels. That accomplishment came as part of the World Wildlife Fund’s Climate Savers Program. “We are the only hotel company to have reached the goal,” Mackie says.
The emissions reduction achievement occurred as part of the company’s Fairmont Sustainability Partnership program—today’s version of the Green Partnership Program. Fairmont Sustainability Partnership has four fundamental pillars: Environment, Ecosystem, Engagement and Responsible Business. Emissions reduction falls under the Environment pillar.
As Vice President, Fairmont Brand, Mackie oversees sustainability efforts at 70 properties, many of them iconic, historic structures. Fairmont is expected to grow to 100 hotels open or under construction by 2019. Mackie says Fairmont has a relatively small corporate structure when it comes to sustainability leadership. Much of the work is done at the property level where there is a sustainability committee led by a sustainability champion. That champion, Mackie says, is most often the head of engineering.
Centralized Data Management System
Fairmont hotels are required to submit utility data and other information on hotel-level sustainability initiatives to a centralized Data Management System. “My department oversees all the data validation,” Mackie says.
Sustainability leaders at individual properties have come up with highly creative ways to reduce energy consumption. At The Savoy in London, for example, a centralized compressor plant was installed for all kitchen walk-in fridges and freezers. The hotel’s refrigeration plant reclaims waste heat to preheat domestic hot water by 5 degrees Celsius. Reclaiming waste heat produces an approximate savings of $59,500 over the course of the year, and reduces the loading and firing rate of the boilers which also extends the expected life of the boilers and reduces maintenance costs. The Fairmont Orchid in Kohala Coast, Hawaii, heats its pool using waste heat from a chiller system at no cost. If the hotel were to heat its pool using conventional heating methods (like propane) it would cost more than $90,000 per year.
Moving forward, Mackie says Fairmont will not set new specific targets for carbon emissions. It will remain focused on maintaining its best practices and rolling out the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) at its properties. HCMI allows hotels to calculate and communicate the carbon footprint of hotel stays and meetings in a consistent and transparent way. Fairmont has already rolled out HCMI at about half of its hotels.
Fairmont will continue to focus on ways to reduce water consumption and improve waste management. Fairmont will also continue to improve upon its Green Procurement Policy and Supplier Code of Conduct. Green building design remains a priority and Fairmont has one LEED Gold certified hotel—the Fairmont Pittsburgh.
Fascinated by Hotels’ History
Mackie, who has a MBA from New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business and a Bachelors Degree in Economics from Brown University, says working for a company like Fairmont has been rewarding for her. “I truly enjoy the Fairmont brand,” she says. “I love learning about the history of our hotels. I love seeing the historic buildings and hearing the stories.”
Mackie says Fairmont’s commitment to sustainability was one of the things that drew her to the brand. “Earlier in my career I always knew Fairmont was the best in environmental practices,” she says.
On a personal level Mackie says she has long had an interest in the environment—partly due to one of her favorite hobbies—rowing. “I am a competitive rower and learned about the importance of clean water,” she says.
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Glenn Hasek can be reached at email@example.com.