Fairmont establishes new sustainable design policies

TORONTO Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is introducing a new sustainable design policy that promotes the use of green building certification systems with checklists for renovation projects and property retrofits, environmental consultation practices and the creation of a green best practices repository.

The new initiative establishes a formalized, worldwide policy, to address recognized environmental certifications like the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) for new development projects and renovation programs. The effort also supports Fairmont’s larger pledge to reduce operational carbon dioxide emissions as a member of World Wildlife Fund’s Climate Savers program.

“When it comes to greening the hotel industry, we’ve never been a brand that has rested on our laurels,” says President Chris Cahill. “And while we literally wrote the book on hotel sustainability and have been focused on making our collection of heritage and world-class properties as environmentally sound as possible, we continue to look for new ways to expand our ecological scope. Instituting formalized design and construction guidelines for our robust pipeline of new hotel projects and ongoing capital agenda adds a new dimension to our pioneering environmental mandate. Environmental stewardship is part of Fairmont’s DNA, and we want to ensure it’s evident in all phases of our business.”

The recently opened Fairmont Pittsburgh, and London’s recently renovated Savoy were Fairmont’s first completed projects under the new policy. As the brand’s first LEED-certified hotel, Fairmont Pittsburgh achieved a Gold certification by incorporating sustainable design features like energy-efficient lighting and appliances, enzyme waste systems, guestroom amenities made from recycled, organic or sustainable material, and the use of paints, adhesives, sealants, carpets and fabrics with no or low emissions of volatile organic compounds. In London, the restoration of The Savoy included the addition of new environmental technologies, including a waste management system that recycles up to 90% of waste from the hotel and a new heat and power plant that reduces the hotel’s reliance on the national grid by approximately 50%.

In addition to LEED guidelines, a number of other green rating systems and programs will influence Fairmont’s activity in this area, including the BREEAM (British Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) program in Europe, Estidama Pearls in Abu Dhabi and China’s Three Star program.

Fairmont has previously committed to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Working alongside the World Wildlife Fund, Fairmont has pledged to reduce operational carbon dioxide emissions from its existing portfolio of hotels by 20% below 2006 levels by 2013.