As a hotel company, we rely on nature’s resources to construct our buildings, fill them with heat and light, and transform ordinary buildings into extraordinary places to stay. Our hotels provide dining experiences, spas, engaging lobbies and a comfortable place for guests to relax at the end of the day. We strive to ensure that we provide the best experience to our guests, while also being responsible in regards to our environmental impact.
As our portfolio continues to grow, we have an even greater obligation to ensure we are operating in a way that enhances our communities and preserves our local and global environment. Putting this philosophy into practice means we focus on reducing our environmental impact and integrating sustainable innovation across our value chain.
REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Since launching EarthView, we began tracking our utilities with sophisticated software that allows us to better manage our energy, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, water, and waste. Having reliable access to this detailed information also allows us to drive efficiencies, improve our operations, and become better stewards of our environment.
GET TO KNOW THE TEAM
Dave Campbell, LEED GA – Regional Engineer, West Coast
Dave Campbell is a whiz when it comes to energy efficiency. His engineering skills stem from his Army experience as a Blackhawk Helicopter Crew Chief. Dave started his sustainability journey almost eight years ago at the Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown, built in 1928 and located in the picturesque historic Gaslamp Quarter. Dave and his team took this hotel from an Energy Star score of 45 up to a 79 through identifying conservation measures and implementing efficient technologies at the hotel. Now a Regional Engineer, Dave shares his passion of sustainability with others and is able to influence projects regionally, such as LED lighting retrofits, A/C guestroom controls, variable speed drive upgrades, and chiller systems. Dave was recognized by the USGBC in 2016 by receiving the EBie Award for excellence in sustainability implementation.
INTEGRATING SUSTAINABLE INNOVATION ACROSS OUR VALUE CHAIN
We continue to innovate in ways that increase our efficiency – lowering our costs, reducing our risk, and utilizing our influence – to create positive change across our value chain. Each of our hotels is evaluated for deployment of innovative and efficiency upgrades. This includes LED lighting, guestroom energy management systems, and efficient laundry technology. We also aim to create a more sustainable supply chain by converting to recycled materials where possible, reducing unnecessary disposable products, using bio-based products for laundry and cleaning, and establishing an energy and water efficient purchasing policy.
We continue to push the envelope and employ many strategies and operational functions that help decrease the environmental footprint of our hotels. In 2017, we continued to systemically roll out energy savings initiatives across our portfolio. By identifying hotels with the greatest savings opportunity, as well as initiatives that can be rolled out across the portfolio, we are strategic in our implementation to ensure the greatest impact.
ENHANCING GUEST EXPERIENCE
We believe that a hotel that engages with the local community, provides well-sourced products, empowers their associates, and takes an active interest in the local environment offers an engaging and interesting option for potential guests. Hotels that care about people and the environment are likely to also take a holistic approach to all aspects of the hotel service, which our guests notice. Electric car charging stations (currently available at a growing number of Hersha’s hotels), energy efficient lighting, locally sourced food items, recycling programs and at some hotels, complimentary bike rentals all enhance the guest experience.
For many of our corporate and group guests who are increasingly interested in tracking their environmental footprint while travelling, we are able to provide environmental information for Request for Proposals (RFPs) and provide sustainable options for their meetings. To that end, we offer guests the opportunity to help us in our mission by providing information about our sustainability efforts and inviting them to participate in initiatives such as in-room recycling and the choice to opt-out of housekeeping at specific hotels.
ELECTRIC VEHICLE HOUSE CAR AT THE AMBROSE HOTEL
Worldwide there are now over 2 million electric vehicles on the road. That number is projected to increase to 9 million by 2020*. With this growth in mind, over the past year, we continued installing electric vehicle charging stations at our hotels. Additionally, we purchased our first all-electric house car at the Ambrose Hotel in Santa Monica, California. Whether an electric vehicle or charging stations, this is an area where we can offer an amenity to our guests while promoting our sustainability values.
* Source: International Energy Agency (IEA)