Starwood makes strong progress on sustainability goals

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Starwood's Element makes sustainability a feature of the brand.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has announced its progress to date on its 30/20 by 20 environmental goals.

The global hotel company says it has reduced energy use by 12.08%, carbon emissions by 16.07% and water use by 17.26% across all its owned, managed and franchised properties from 2008 through 2014.

Starwood’s environmental goals were launched in 2009 and pledge to cut energy use by 30% and water use by 20% by 2020 globally. In 2013 the company added a goal to reduce carbon emissions by 30% during the same timeframe.

Making the announcement Ken Siegel, Chief Administrative Officer, General Counsel and Head of Global Citizenship at Starwood said, “We’re pleased with the progress and are encouraged by the reductions we made while maintaining an aggressive global growth strategy. Our 30/20 by 20 goals challenge us to create short and long-term programs and partnerships that protect the environment, reduce operating costs, enhance the guest experience and make sustainable upgrades possible for properties.”

Starwood are using tools like the HCMI to measure and reduce their carbon emissions, as well as working with properties, to apply low-cost initiatives like switching to high-efficiency LED lighting and low-flow bathroom fixtures and taps as well as capital improvements that include improving or replacing various mechanical systems. In most properties, operational initiatives account for around one-third of the progress towards 30/20 by 20 goals and are projected to save US$1 billion across the company’s portfolio in less than 10 years. Capital improvements and partnerships that bring innovative, renewable, and efficient technologies like solar power, help reinforce the remaining reductions to-date.

One example of a property investing in these improvements is the Sheraton Santa Fe in Mexico City. The property cut energy use by 26.1%, carbon emissions by 35.61% and water consumption by 39.33% since 2008 by installing LED lighting, motion sensors and low-flow taps, recycling soapy water and using rainwater collection. It also undertook larger projects including re-engineering water heaters and installing control systems overseen by Germán Angeles, property Director of Engineering and Security, and local sustainability champion. He used Starwood’s internal reporting system to measure and track consumption in order to make decisions about the hotel’s specific needs. His next project is replacing the hotel’s chillers.

“We had great savings in energy and water and that’s helping our finances and driving business,” said Angeles. “The investments we’ve made also help our top-line growth as more companies request information about our sustainable meeting practices before signing contracts. Associates are looking at recycling, and saving water and energy differently. They are taking pride in their ability to protect the environment while still delivering an enhanced guest experience,” he said.

Andrea Pinabell, Vice President of Sustainability at Starwood added, “We’d like to thank the dedication of sustainability champions, engineers, general managers, and passionate associates throughout our properties who work tirelessly to make improvements and implement programs that protect our environment.”

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