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Vancouver Downtown Hotels Follow the Lead of One Green Giant

September 24, 2013 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

Sustainability, carbon footprints and environmental responsibility may be a few of the catchphrases bandied about by style-makers these days, but for the Residence Inn Vancouver Downtown, they are the concepts that drive operations.

Recently awarded a Green Key rating of 5, this extended-stay hotel has become an industry leader for environmentally-sensitive hospitality. The Green Key Eco-Rating Program recognizes hotels, motels and resorts for their varying levels of commitment to social and environmental responsibility. In this case, operating to the highest standards of environmental and social responsibility earned it the highest possible rating.

For this downtown Vancouver business hotel, eco-friendly practices have simply been its preferred operational approach. It routinely provides business groups with a variety of ideas on how to reduce waste. For example, by providing flat screen TV’s in all meeting areas to allow the use of websites instead of paper to relay conference information, as well as suggesting locally produced gifts for participants and encouraging the use of reusable coffee mugs during the conference.

In its own operations, the hotel has made impressive strides in reducing energy consumption. Between 2011 and 2013, its electric usage declined by 154 percent, its natural gas usage was reduced by 250 percent and its water conservation improved by 158 percent. Of course, to get results like these, this hotel near Stanley Park has gone well beyond standard efforts like recycling and using post-consumer recycled paper and energy-efficient light bulbs and office machinery. It has also enthusiastically committed to a number of unique programs designed to reduce its carbon footprint. Climate Smart, for example, is a locally based organization partnered with BC Hydro, that works with small- to medium-sized businesses to help them reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions while also improving their bottom lines. The Residence Inn Vancouver Downtown recently completed its Climate Smart certification for the second year in a row.

Guests can get in on the action, too. While staying in these expansive and comfortableVancouver hotel suites, visitors are invited to participate in the hotel’s In-Room Donation Program. The idea is for guests to donate nonperishable items that may be left over from their stay, like canned or dried food, clothing and suitcases. The hotel then delivers these items to a variety of registered local causes like the Vancouver Food Bank, BC Children’s Hospital and Mission Possible. Not only do contributing guests help those in need, they also reduce waste by donating such items instead of throwing them out.

Features like these are important to a growing number of travellers, as evidenced by the hotel’s recent feature in the Go Green Travel Green blog. “Travellers concerned about their environmental impact can rest easy: the Residence Inn [Vancouver Downtown] is a sustainable choice,” blog’s author wrote. “It has a zero-waste system and in-room recycling and composting, and [it] uses reusable silverware and plates at its breakfast buffet. The Residence Inn Vancouver Downtown is the only hotel I’ve stayed at that offers in-room composting — a very cool, green feature.”

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