Hundreds of hotels around the world took part in Earth Hour on Saturday March 29th, saving hundreds of tonnes of carbon emissions.
ITP member hotels including Wyndham Worldwide, Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International , Starwood, Park Hyatt, Carlson Rezidor, NH Hoteles, Jumeirah and Kempinski all did their bit to highlight the need for more responsible use of energy resources.
Earth Hour takes place every year between 8.30 and 9.30pm local time, and aims to raise awareness about the need to reduce global carbon emissions, by asking everyone to turn their lights off for one hours.
Hundreds of properties around the world took part, turning off or dimming non essential lights and treating guests to candle-lit entertainment.
It’s a great way for hotels to promote their sustainable activities to guests as well as treating them to a special occasion or romantic treat.
On Saturday, NH Hoteles For the sixth consecutive year, joined WWF’s ‘Earth Hour’ global movement, with more than 300 hotels from across the world turning off their facade lights.
The move helped to make the hotels of the group “invisible”, enabling them to reduce their energy consumption by 1.281.556 watts and avoiding the emission of twelve tons of CO2.
The Group also invited guests to participate actively. They organised a series of activities in hotels such as candle-lit dinners or inviting guests to leave messages of support and wishes to make our planet better in special boxes placed in their lobbies. Hotels, such as NH Bucharest (Romania) and NH Lyon-Aeroport (France) among others, awarded a prize to the best messages and wishes shared by guests.
Guests and visitors at the London Heathrow Marriott were in for a treat as the hotel put on a ‘glowing’ performance. Raising awareness for climate change was a colourful experience for all, as the hotel staff put on an illuminated dance show for their audience and guests.
The official 2014 Earth Hour video was projected on the ceiling of the hotel’s 20 metre high hotel, lobby, followed by a short presentation of the hotel’s key environmental actions, before the celebrations began. The lively performance of dance and music started when all lights were turned off in the hotel lobby.
Energetic hotel staff wore multi-coloured glow lights, brightening up the darkness as they danced with over 150 hotel guests and visitors. For an hour the lobby of the London Heathrow Marriott was transformed into a huge dance floor, with some dancers taking their places high above the crowd in the large windows of the hotel, to display an array of glowing colours.
Ron Vos, General Manager of the hotel, said of the evening: “As a hotel and an organisation we are passionate about our environmental activities and the effect of climate change. At the Heathrow Marriott we have taken many actions to minimise our impact on the environment and wanted to show how simple actions such as turning of non-essential lights can help.”
Marriott International brand Ritz-Carlton also took part.
Wyndham Worldwide took part for the fifth year. The company recognised Earth Hour at its corporate headquarters in Parsippany, N.J., by switching off its lights during the hour and encouraging associates to turn off lights, monitors and other electronics before leaving the building. Additionally, Wyndham Worldwide encouraged its global portfolio of brands to participate by turning off or dimming non-essential lighting, with some properties offering candlelight dinners for guests
Faith Taylor, senior vice president of sustainability for Wyndham Worldwide said: “As one of the largest hospitality companies with more than 100,000 locations in nearly 100 countries, we have an ever increasing opportunity, and responsibility as a corporate citizen, to be a leader in reducing our impact on the environment. Our participation in the Earth Hour global initiative is one way we help raise awareness of the importance of energy conservation and our commitment to sustainable business practices across our properties."
By spending an hour in the dark Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc . joined millions around the world in sending a powerful message about a brighter future for the planet.
Approximately 550 Starwood hotels around the world turned off lights to underscore Starwood’s dedication to environmental sustainability. Properties also activated other energy-saving measures during Earth Hour. This included turning off exterior signage lighting; dimming or turning off non-essential interior lighting; using candlelight in appropriate public areas such as restaurants and bars; and using in-room voicemail messages and in-room television messages to inform guests about Earth Hour.
Hundreds of Hilton Worldwide properties also switched off lights, as well as organising a number of innovative projects for guests to demonstrate their commitment to live sustainably and take action by caring for the planet in the year ahead. Some of the events around the world included: switching off main building exterior lighting and rooftop neon signage; dimming interior lobby and reception lighting; hosting candlelit dinners with low carbon menus and sustainable cocktails; showcasing acoustic music sessions including classical music and jazz in the dark.
In addition, DoubleTree by Hilton properties arranged a number of events for young people in support of their Teaching Kids to Care campaign, including recycled glass lantern making and candle decorating, alongside engaging educational sessions outlining how they can help to sustain the environment and be superheroes for the planet
Hilton Hotels & Resorts properties also organized a range of youth focused activities, including educational visits to local schools, face painting, sustainability quizzes and recycled artwork competitions.
Maxime Verstraete, Vice President, Sustainability, Hilton Worldwide, said: "As the travel and tourism industry continues to expand around the world, Hilton Worldwide increasingly seeks ways to reduce energy consumption while delivering great guest experiences. Through the switching off of lights and a range of other activities to engage our guests, our participation in Earth Hour is a unique opportunity for the Hilton Worldwide portfolio of brands to bring our Living Sustainably commitment to life."
Elsewhere dozens of Kempinski , Jumeirah , Carlson Rezidor , Park Hyatt and other ITP member companies around the world also took part, collectively saving hundreds of tonnes of carbon emissions.
The International Tourism Partnership worked with its member companies and the World Travel and Tourism Council to create the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI). It brought together over 20 hotel companies to agree a common methodology for measuring carbon emissions, and more than 17,000 properties worldwide now use the HCMI to measure, record and reduce their carbon emissions.