The InterContinental San Francisco: An Education in Green
By Juan Pablo Laginia Director of Operations, InterContinental San Francisco | September 25, 2011
The InterContinental San Francisco opened its doors in February 2008 to much excitement and anticipation. Since then, guests have enjoyed four-star accommodations throughout 550-rooms, fine dining, a luxury spa, top service and more. These services and standards are something our guests expect when they check in to our hotel so when we made the commitment to be an environmentally sustainable hotel destination, we took great steps to find a balance between the two.
Since our debut, we have committed ourselves to integrating as many green and sustainable practices as possible into daily operations and upkeep of the property without changing the way our guests experience the hotel. We are addressing our environmental challenges through technology, partnerships, and process improvements. We are also dedicated to protecting our guests' health and safety, our communities' natural resources, and the global environment through progressive green programs and policies.
In late 2008, we started working in conjunction with the USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council), the organization that sets the standards and categories for LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification, to pursue "existing building operations and maintenance" (EBOM) category. We were evaluated on every facet of the property from construction and design elements to the types of amenities used in hotel guestrooms. In early 2011, the hotel received its LEED EBOM Gold certification making it one of the largest green LEED EBOM hotels in the country and the first property in the InterContinental Hotels & Resorts portfolio to achieve LEED certification for an existing building.
Having received this third party verification from the USGBC, we have shown our dedication to being environmentally responsible while delivering the same level of service and luxury associated with the city's top business and leisure destinations.
However, we are not stopping there. When it comes to being a green hotel property there are always new things to learn - new innovations, new practices and new ways to go about conducting business that make for a more eco-friendly experience for our guests all the way to back of house operations.
The green hotel experience is much more than linen and towel reuse programs or recycling bins in rooms. For the InterContinental San Francisco, one of the top priorities of being a green hotel is the ability to educate our guests and invite them to participate in green activities during their stay, making them part of the overall green movement. A few examples include: