Five Green Keys Awarded at The Fairmont Empress

Five Green Key Awarded to Iconic Victoria Hotel - Historical Hotel Meets Eco-Chic

Publish Date: 31-Aug-2010

Victoria BC, August 31, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Victoria, B.C., August 31, 2010 – The Hotel Association of Canada has awarded The Fairmont Empress the prestigious 5 Green Key award through the Green Key Eco-Rating Program.  Recognized as the fourth Fairmont property to achieve this prestigious ranking, The Fairmont Empress becomes the only hotel in Victoria, BC to achieve this honour.

The 5 Green Key rating exemplifies the highest standards of environmental and social responsibility throughout all areas of operations. The hotel embraces cutting edge technologies, policies, and programs that set the international standard for sustainable hotel operations. The Fairmont Empress embodies a very active Green Committee who works assiduously to identify sustainable practices from all aspects of the hotel’s operation. 

"It is a true honour to be awarded this distinction and a genuine reflection of our hotel’s commitment to giving back to the local community”, raves General Manager, Martin Leclerc. “We strive to be outstanding neighbours through our actions and it just makes good business sense to do the environmentally right thing. I always remember today we borrow from our children’s future”, he adds.

In 2009, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts committed its portfolio in the United States to becoming members of the Green Key Eco-Rating Program. Signifying the evolution of the program from its Canadian roots to one that serves the needs of conservation-minded properties across Canada and the U.S, the cornerstone of the program is its focus on sound sustainable practices for the lodging industry.  For more information on Green Key or to register your property, visit www.greenkeyglobal.com.

Some key eco practices currently in place at The Fairmont Empress:

  • A multi-departmental Environmental Committee, also known as the “Green Team”, has been assigned responsibility for directing and coordinating environmental initiatives within the hotel and community.
  • The hotel sponsors, celebrates, and participates in local, national, and international environmental events including Bike to Work Week, an incentive to purchase monthly transit passes, a hotel-wide initiative to reduce energy consumption for Earth Hour, and the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup.
  • The hotel provides charitable donations to various environmental organizations including contributions of excess materials, untouched food items, and the support of endangered species.
  • Employees are provided training and education for environmental awareness and identifying departmental and hotel-wide best practices.
  • The hotel monitors all Green House Gas emissions and purchases carbon creates to offset emissions. All Fairmont hotels proudly participate in the WWF’s Climate Savers Program with the intention of reducing emissions more than 20% of 2006 levels by 2013.

In 1990, the Canadian properties pioneered the Green Partnership program—a comprehensive commitment to minimizing each hotels’ impact on the planet. Accompanied by a guidebook on sustainable best practices in the lodging industry, the Green Partnership has been endorsed by Dr. David Suzuki.

“Being green is eco-chic”, boasts Green Team president, Michael Yarr. “In addition to being exemplary role models, being green saves the hotel money”. Yarr, whose day job is the Controller, led a revolutionary hotel-wide waste audit with an independent company that proved successful in saving the hotel $18,000 in waste hauling annually.  The Hotel’s current recycling programs divert 28 tonnes of material monthly from landfill in addition to saving 476 trees, 92.4 cubic yards of landfill, 42,560 liters of oil, 784,000 liters of water and 114,800 kW hours of electricity. As Victoria’s iconic harbour front hotel for the past 102 years, The Fairmont Empress proves it is possible for this jewel of the West Coast to be around for another century with its eco-loving care of Mother Earth.

ABOUT THE GREEN KEY ECO-RATING PROGRAM
The Green Key Eco-Rating Program ranks, certifies and inspects hotels and resorts based on their commitment to sustainable “green” operations. The program was developed for the Hotel Association of Canada by a leading environmental engineering firm. Designed specifically for hotel operations, the Green Key Eco-Rating Program is a comprehensive environmental self assessment that allows each participating property to benefit on several fronts – cost savings, increased bookings from environmentally conscious consumers and meeting planners and responsible corporate citizenry.

FAIRMONT’S GREEN PARTNERSHIP
With a long commitment to environmental stewardship and responsible tourism, Fairmont is a sponsor of the National Geographic Mission Programs as well a member of the WWF global Climate Savers program. For decades, Fairmont’s Green Partnership has been the company’s award-winning environmental program focused on minimizing the impact of hotel operations on the environment. In addition to publishing "The Green Partnership Guide", a “going green” handbook used by its hotels and others in the hospitality industry, initiatives include recycling and organic waste diversion in the hotel’s kitchens, purchasing sustainable seafood, a green conferencing solution dubbed Eco-Meet, retrofitting energy efficient lighting, creating rooftop herb gardens at properties worldwide, and redistributing gently used goods and food to those in need.  For more information on Fairmont’s Green Partnership program, visit www.fairmont.com/environment.

ABOUT THE FAIRMONT EMPRESS
The Fairmont Empress majestically rises over Victoria's Inner Harbour. This luxury hotel showcases the spirit and energy of Vancouver Island in grand style. With turn-of-the-century beauty, The Fairmont Empress resort regally captures the grandeur and elegance of a bygone era, while the facilities and services meet the needs of today's traveler. Whether it is world renowned Afternoon Tea, the newly renovated Fairmont Gold, 18-holes of world-class golf or a soothing treatment in the award winning Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Empress, this luxury castle on the coast in Victoria offers the perfect escape from the stresses of a hectic lifestyle. From exhilarating ocean-bound whale watching safaris, epicurean-rich local cuisine to picturesque garden and vineyard tours, you will be awestruck by the countless experiences The Fairmont Empress, Victoria and Vancouver Island has to offer! For more information or reservations, please call 250-384-8111 or visit www.fairmont.com/empress


ABOUT FAIRMONT HOTELS & RESORTS
With over 60 distinctive hotels, including the iconic Fairmont San Francisco and Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai, and more in development, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a global hospitality brand known for its warm and engaging service and culturally rich experiences.  Located in coveted worldwide destinations, its unrivalled collection of classic hotels imbue a sense of heritage, sophistication, and social importance, and are often considered destinations in and of themselves.  Fairmont is also committed to responsible tourism and is an industry leader in sustainable hotel management with its award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with 95 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont and Raffles branded residences, estates and luxury private residence club properties. For more information or reservations, please call 800-441-1414 or visit www.fairmont.com


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