SAN FRANCISCO—The Serrano Hotel in San Francisco’s theater district has partnered with two unique Bay Area green businesses—3 Phases Energy and DriveNeutral—to offset its output of carbon dioxide and support renewable energy efforts.
“We are totally committed to making effective changes in our environmental and socially responsible practices, without compromising the quality, service or integrity of the experience we provide our guests,” says Michael Pace, general manager at the Serrano Hotel, one of 41 Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants throughout the country. “Renewable energy and offsetting our CO2 output are two effective ways for our hotel to make a difference locally and globally.”
The partnerships with both 3 Phases Energy and DriveNeutral are part of the Serrano Hotel’s multi-phase rollout of the Kimpton EarthCare Program, a companywide environmental effort launched in 2004 by the international hospitality firm. In January, Pace began purchasing the Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to offset 17 percent of the yearly electricity used at his downtown property. With this action alone, the Serrano Hotel is preventing more than 278,400 pounds of CO2 from entering the earth’s atmosphere. Pace compares this effort to removing 27 cars from the road or 105 acres of trees storing CO2 for one year.
Both 3 Phases and DriveNeutral bring distinctive features to the Serrano’s eco-table: 3 Phases Energy provides RECs; DriveNeutral offers CO2 reduction credits. The differences in the investments and impacts are significant.
Renewable Energy Certificates purchased by the Serrano through 3 Phases go to support new wind energy facilities located across the country. The RECs are certified by the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions’ Green-e program, which ensures that they meet strict environmental and consumer protection standards. The CO2 reduction credits bought through DriveNeutral offset greenhouse gas emissions emitted from nine cars owned by the hotel’s top management. DriveNeutral is the only venture of its kind that serves individuals and businesses as a pollution broker of sorts where funds go solely to the purchase of CO2 credits traded on the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX).
“Global warming is already way ahead of us,” says Jason Smith, founder and director of DriveNeutral, which offers individuals and organizations opportunities to participate in market-based solutions to global climate change. “To have a real and significant impact on climate change, we must commit to reduce below the current level of emissions.”