SANTA MONICA, CALIF.—A Partner Member of the Green Hotel Assn. and a Santa Monica Sustainable Works Business Greening Program participant, The Ambrose hotel here is doing what it can to “Leave Only Footprints Behind.” It is that phrase that the 77-room property uses in its stylish logo.
In every area of the hotel’s operations, a commitment to sustainability is clear. That commitment stems from the owner, The Ambrose Group L.L.C., as well as the “all concierge” team of employees at the property.
The Ambrose first got involved in greening the hotel’s operations by participating in Santa Monica’s Sustainable Works Business Greening Program.
“Santa Monica is a super environmentally friendly city,” says Anne Carmack, who is in charge of environmental practices at the hotel. “We were the first hotel to participate in the Sustainable Works program.”
Initially, a representative from Sustainable Works visited the hotel and did an assessment. It was that report that prompted Ambrose staff to launch an in-house recycling program, lighting retrofit, and recycled goods purchasing plan. That was just the beginning, however, because now the hotel’s efforts encompass a wide array of greening activities. Some of them include:
• All appliances are Energy Star rated;
• Compact fluorescents are used throughout;
• Front-load washing machines save water and energy;
• Low-flow toilets, showerheads and aerators reduce water consumption;
• Native plants are used in landscaping;
• Guests are given the option to have their towels and linens cleaned;
• Nontoxic cleaning products are used by housekeepers;
• Green Seal-certified, water-based paints are used;
• Recycling bins are located in all public areas;
• Sixty percent of all waste is recycled;
• Guests are given the option to use Eco-limo, a limousine service that uses hybrid vehicles; and
• Employees, when hired, are asked to sign a form acknowledging the hotel’s environmental commitment and to adhere to the green policy.
To support renewable energy initiatives, The Ambrose purchases the equivalent of 15 percent of its electricity needs through Clean and Green Wind Power. That equates to 6,000 kilowatt hours per month.
Two years ago, housekeeping made the transition away from toxic cleaning products. Housekeepers were reluctant at first, Carmack says, because the new products did not smell as much as the products they had been using and they assumed that meant they did not work as well. Once they adapted to the new products, however, they were convinced they worked just fine. In fact, they no longer get the number of headaches they once got from the toxic alternatives.
In Pursuit of LEED Certification
The Ambrose Group just hired a project manager to help them in their pursuit of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification for The Ambrose hotel.
“As we move closer to LEED certification, it will become a very important part of our marketing,” Carmack says.
Already, The Ambrose strongly promotes the fact that it is a green hotel.
“We are sold out every night,” Carmack says. “There is a buzz about us being green. We host a lot of green networking events. We definitely get business based on that.”
The Ambrose Group is currently developing “Ray,” another eco-boutique hotel in Venice Beach, Calif.
“As we grow, all of our hotels will be LEED-certified,” Carmack says.
Go to The Ambrose.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at email@example.com.