Energy and Water Conservation
It's no secret that lights left on in unoccupied guestrooms is a leading source of energy waste. All of our guest rooms are equipped with a Master Switch located by the entry door providing us a simple way to save energy. This switch enables or disables power to a select number of electric circuits and loads present inside our guestrooms, eliminating the potential for this waste.
Westin Heavenly Showers
In an effort to support Starwood sustainability initiatives and give our guests conservation choices, a "Shower Cling" for the Heavenly Shower has been created for placement in all Westin guest showers that feature the Westin dual-headed Heavenly Shower. This shower cling advises guests that one of the shower heads has been turned off to minimize water usage. It also instructs guests how to turn on the second shower head in order to have the full Heavenly Shower experience. Water usage in showers comprises a significant portion of overall consumption in hotels. In addition to saving water, we're working on switching to low-flow showerheads that reduce the energy demand needed for hot water heating and minimize the volume of water that requires chemical wastewater treatment.
High Efficiency Lighting
Lighting accounts for 15-25% of electricity consumption in hotels. Using higher efficiency lamps, such as compact fluorescent lamp bulbs (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs), directly reduces this consumption and the associated emissions, and also reduces air conditioning loads as they do not produce as much heat as traditional incandescent lamps. Our Vancouver green hotel has been switching to CFL lighting in many areas of the hotel and are in the process of updating all areas where possible. LED lighting is used on all exterior signage and we're switching to LED for all exit signs.
Property Management System & HVAC
Heating, cooling, and ventilating commercial buildings is responsible for more than half of commercial building energy use and costs. Here at our Vancouver green hotel, we have linked our Property Management System to our HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) system, allowing the two systems to communicate about when rooms are occupied or not. Using occupancy-based controls for HVAC ensures that spaces are conditioned only when needed.
Carbon Neutral Program
Our Carbon Neutral Program takes action on climate change by reducing our "carbon footprint", with the help of our guests. We offer our guests & groups the opportunity to eliminate greenhouse gas emissions, save power and conserve water by them choosing not to have their room serviced. This alone eliminates 100 litres of water consumption and 1,500 watts of electricity and reduce greenhouse gases; which is what negatively impacts the Earth's environment. In return, we pay $5 per day of their stay that they choose not to have their room serviced to CarbonNeutral®, to invest in a carbon offset project so that the CO2 associated with our guests and groups stay is neutralised.
Salt Water Extraction System
We are proud to be one of only Vancouver green hotels to feature a cutting edge salt water extraction system in our outdoor pool and hot tub. The system guarantees 99.9% bacteria free water without the use of harsh chemicals.
Waste deposited in landfills and incinerators directly and indirectly contribute to pollution and the depletion of natural resources. Landfill and incinerator processes contaminate soil, air and groundwater. Reusing and recycling waste can reduce environmental burdens and extend the life of existing landfills. Recycling is currently performed throughout the entire hotel (guest rooms, offices, kitchen, etc.) for the following materials: paper, corrugated cardboard, glass, plastics and metals. Our recycling collection service is through United We Can, a charitable organization established to support, environmental, social, and economic improvement in the inner city. By supporting United We Can we also help creating jobs for people with multiple barriers to traditional employment.
Hazardous/Controlled Waste Management
Fluorescent bulbs, batteries, ballasts and various electronics contain toxic materials, including mercury, lead, cadmium, and PCBs. These products must be properly disposed of. Following collection, our hazardous waste (lamps, batteries, etc.) from the hotel are returned to our suppliers for proper waste disposal.
Organic Waste Management
Our cooking oil from the kitchen in our Vancouver green hotel is picked up by a local company for recycling. After being recycled, refined and tested at the company's facilities, restaurant oil/grease is used as a feedstock in the manufacture of bio-diesel.
Elimination of Styrofoam
By eliminating Styrofoam use, hotels can protect human health and mitigate environmental degradation associated with polystyrene manufacturing. Chronic exposure to foamed polystyrene, or Styrofoam, can cause irritation to skin, eyes, and upper-respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts. The use of Styrofoam has been completely eliminated in our Vancouver green hotel. All our take-out containers, cutlery, etc. are made of post consumer, biodegradable materials.
Whenever possible, it is our goal to use locally sourced produce, sustainable seafood and humanely raised meats. We also offer vegetarian meal selections. Locally sourced product supports local business, potentially reduces the need for excessive preservatives, provides for fresher produce, and reduces carbon emissions associated with long distance transport.
British Columbia is known for its fresh, high quality seafood. Ocean WiseTM is a Vancouver Aquarium conservation program created to help restaurants and their customers make environmentally friendly seafood choices. Look for the Ocean Wise logo on our menus to enjoy ocean-friendly, environmentally sustainable seafood.