Taking green meetings to the next level, The Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, the largest Green Seal™ Silver Level certified convention hotel in the Southeast, is launching the Green Tour. This new on-site specialty event for meeting attendees provides a behind-the-scenes look at the sustainability, conservation and environmental efficiency efforts in the John Portman-designed, iconic AAA Four Diamond hotel.
From event serveware made of leaves to the Go Green Racing teambuilding activity and sophisticated one stream recycling system, The Westin Peachtree Plaza is redefining what it means to be green.
“Environmental stewardship is increasingly important to meeting planners and attendees when selecting a venue for their event,” said Ron Tarson, general manager of The Westin Peachtree Plaza. “While many hotels say they offer green features, they frequently fall short. Our new Green Tour provides guests with a firsthand look at true sustainability and gives them a rare opportunity to view these efforts in action.”
Take a Trip Along the Green Tour
An interactive journey, The Westin Peachtree Plaza’s Green Tour takes guests through four key areas within the hotel’s operations. At the loading dock, hotel associates discuss the property’s $13 million environmental upgrade to its central plant completed in 2011. This included the replacement of the original chillers, boilers, pumps and controls with a brand new system to increase heating and cooling efficiency and provide a more sustainable process for water flow and water recycling.
Guests learn about future projects and the hotel’s sophisticated one-stream recycling system for cardboard, paper, plastics, aluminum and glass. Operating 24/7, this system recycles an average of 450,000 pounds of material each year.
In the hotel’s expansive kitchen, executive chef Russell Sleight shares the best environmental practices employed in its culinary program. For example, The Westin Peachtree Plaza works closely with local farmers and vendors when sourcing ingredients.
“We are fortunate to be in an agriculturally rich region and have established solid relationships with local farmers – a key priority for our culinary program,” said Sleight. “This allows us to offer guests sustainable, fresh and organic food options, even at our large, 300-person events.”
The hotel requires all vendors deliver food in biodegradable or recyclable containers and packaging – no Styrofoam allowed – plus the use of nearby purveyors decreases delivery distances and further reduces the hotel’s carbon footprint.
Chef Sleight also offers compostable, biodegradable serveware made of pine, bamboo and compost leaves to highlight his locally-sourced cuisine. When it comes to cleanup, the team only uses eco-friendly chemicals in the dish area, and on average, recycles 10 tons of kitchen oil into biofuel and composts 48,000 pounds of paper and food waste every year.
Green choices aren’t limited to the hotel’s public spaces. The tour stops at the housekeeping department to demonstrate hotel guest room initiatives, including the use of environmentally-friendly cleaners, in-room recycling bins, energy-efficient lighting, temperature controls and more.
Finally, tour attendees visit one of the hotel’s 53 newly-renovated meeting spaces to see how their own meeting setup minimizes their environmental impact. The Westin’s Clutter-Free meeting sets and linen-less tables reduce waste. The hotel’s use of refillable, glass bottles and its on-site water filtration system in the event spaces and at The Sun Dial lessens plastic waste and helps conserve water.
Other Unique Sustainability Initiatives for Meetings
The Westin Peachtree Plaza’s Green Tour is just the newest feature in its property-wide commitment to sustainability. For meetings, the hotel offers the Go Green Racing teambuilding activity, where groups build one solar car and one car made only of recycled materials and then race each other. In addition, groups can receive a report card that shows the meetings overall environmental impact.
A member of several sustainability organizations, The Westin Peachtree Plaza also has its own Green Council, a team of more than 20 associates from all departments that oversee the hotel’s environmental programs.
For more information on The Westin Peachtree Plaza or to book a meeting, please visit www.westin.com/peachtree.