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Hotel del Coronado Earns Green Seal Certification


CORONADO, CALIF.—Established in 1888, the legendary Hotel del Coronado has achieved another milestone by being the oldest hotel in the United States to receive Bronze Level certification by Green Seal. In accordance to Green Seal’s environmental management system, the hotel has made significant progress against the four pillars: climate change, waste, natural resources, and health and well-being. “The entire staff embraced a culture of environmental responsibility, which supported our efforts to overcome the challenges associated with being a 123-year-old property,” says Donna Gonser, hotel manager.

Paper, cardboard, wood pallets, plastic containers, aluminum cans and glass are separated and recycled resort-wide. The hotel also recently replaced all of its outdoor trash cans with dual-use receptacles: one side for recyclables and the other for non-recyclable trash. Fryer oil is also recycled and used in the production of biofuels. In addition, a wide range of materials, including 75 tons of green waste, is recycled annually. Batteries, fluorescent lights, computers and other items that require special handling are discarded appropriately to keep these items out of landfills.
The hotel has completed the retrofit of every guestroom to energy-efficient compact florescent lights, saving more than 640,000 kilowatts of power on an annual basis, and has implemented a state-of-the-art energy management system that controls the heating, ventilation and air–conditioning and a majority of the property’s lighting. Most guestrooms feature ceiling fans to help cut back on air-conditioning usage.
The hotel’s irrigation systems have state-of-the-art programmers and the sprinklers all have low-flow, high efficiency heads. The resort works with a leading pest control company to reduce the use of chemicals for pest and weed control.

Local Vendors Utilized

Specific departments within the hotel practice “green” whenever they can. For example, the culinary team promotes local farmers and fishermen as much as possible. It also utilizes an on-site herb garden for fresh fruit, vegetables and herbs and takes steps to control and minimize food waste for all meals and functions. The housekeeping department utilizes vacuum cleaners approved by the CRI (Carpet and Rug Institute) to reduce indoor air pollutants. And, the department’s basic chemical package is Green Seal Certified. The resort has kept leftover soap and bottled amenities out of landfills and prevented contamination of ground water by donating them to “Clean the World,” an organization that recycles and distributes these items to impoverished people world-wide.

Discarded linens are converted into cleaning rags and cook aprons by A&E Textile Recovery Inc. Also, the operating hours of the laundry start very early in the morning in order to save energy costs. The hotel’s marketing department uses soy inks and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified paper when creating resort collateral. A Sustainability Steering Committee, involving staff from all departments, meets regularly to evaluate current programs and to discuss recommendations for moving the hotel forward.

Management also recognizes that guests have a role in conservation efforts. Therefore, guests are encouraged to minimize water and energy consumption by refraining from having towels, sheets, etc. changed every day, helping to reduce water consumption. The hotel estimates an annual water reduction of more than 663,000 gallons with this cooperative program. Guests are also reminded to turn off air-conditioning and lighting when not in the room.
“Conservation and environmental responsibility is everyone’s business,” Gonser says. “We are so proud that we’ve achieved our goal of being certified by Green Seal. We are always looking at new and innovative ways to improve these important and vital practices.”
For more information, visit www.hoteldel.com/green and www.greenseal.org.