Fairmont Royal Pavilion in Barbados. Photo courtesy of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts/© VFM Leonardo Inc.
So, you have the perfect spring break location in mind — now you need to determine where you’re going to crash at night. While staying at a friend’s or family member’s humble abode is ideal, it might not be an option. However, finding the most eco-friendly hotel might just be in your deck of cards. Fairmont Hotels & Resorts were named one of the top five eco-friendly hotel chains in 2009 by Greenzer, but how eco-friendly is this chain of about 75 hotels and resorts? Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has achieved many awards for its green stewardship, including Hotelier magazine’s Green Leadership Award in 2008, the Inaugural IMEX Green Supplier Award in 2008, Canada’s Most Earth-Friendly Employers in 2008 and many others since 2002. Receiving recognition for its efforts is an honorable achievement, and the chain has worked hard since 1990 to bring environmental responsibility into the forefront of its business plan. In 1990, Fairmont pioneered the Green Partnership program, which was designed to reduce the company’s impact on the environment with the help of a sustainable guidebook outlining the best practices in its industry. From recycling to effectively dealing with organic waste, Fairmont’s mission is to “think globally and act locally,” which is why it also started Eco-Innovation signature projects. These projects encompass diverse conversation and awareness efforts, including educating about clear air in California and protecting coral reefs in Hawaii. In addition, Fairmont improves its energy efficiency through the Energy Star program, which is remarkable considering the company has more than 23,000 hotel rooms to manage. With the help of the World Wildlife Fund, Fairmont has set a goal to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% below its 2006 levels by 2013. These efforts will help to offset 19,777 cars from the road every year! Through these admirable green efforts, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a role model for other hotel chains as well as an example for the community and its visitors. When booking a room for your spring break vacation — Fairmont locations include hot spots like Acapulco, Barbados and Bermuda — consider a hotel that is committed to doing business in an eco-friendly way.