The Green Buzz at Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown
By Diana K. Bulger Area Director of Public Relations, Fairmont Hotels | May 19, 2013
In response to the nation's Honeybee shortage and as part of the hotel's environmental stewardship program, Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown welcomed 105,000 Italian honeybees to their new home in May of 2009. The rooftop of Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown is abuzz with four large honey beehives and their ecologically important residents. The bees enhance the hotel's culinary program, as does its interior courtyard garden which provides fresh herbs, edible blossoms, plants, trees and flowers to the surrounding Georgetown neighborhood.
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts was founded on an enduring connection to the land and communities where they do business. In 1990, the Canadian hotels pioneered the Green Partnership program-a comprehensive commitment to minimizing their hotels' impact on the planet, which was accompanied by a guidebook on sustainable best practices in the lodging industry. This green philosophy has grown to become a core value of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.
Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown is part of the portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts that has fully embraced this commitment to waste management, energy and water conservation. The hotel prides itself on being local, seasonal and sustainable. An on-site herb garden produces a variety of seasonings dishes in the hotel's restaurant Juniper.
Four years ago, Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown awarded a contract to Boulder, Colorado-based Renewable Choice Energy to offset 100 percent of the hotel's electricity use. The contract calls for Renewable Choice Energy to supply the 415-room Fairmont Hotel with over 9.5 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of renewable energy credits (RECs) generated by wind farms across America.
Even earlier, Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown took and important step to protect the environment: 24 variable frequency drives were installed, controlling all air handling units and fans. This resulted in an energy consumption savings of 1,120,326 (kWh) per year and a cost savings of over $100,000.00 per year. Going forward, over the next four years these changes will create a combined energy savings of 4,481,300 (kWh) and a cost savings of nearly $500,000 – just another way in which the Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown is working to protect the environment and control energy costs.
Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown is committed to creating and protecting a green energy footprint. The hotel's colleagues have created an Environmental Committee, the Green Team, which is committed to developing a number of programs incorporating the environmental mantra, "reduce, reuse and recycle", into the hotel's daily operating practices. The Green Team puts together numerous events throughout the year to showcase green initiatives and green partnerships. A typical example is the hotel's annual Green Fair. This free event showcases the eco-efforts of many DC-based organizations that are dedicated to environmental sustainability. Hotel guests, visitors and colleagues learn about environmental initiatives by interacting with representatives of key environmental organizations, while enjoying tastings of Fairmont's rooftop honey and courtyard garden herbs. Green organizations were provided with a six-foot table to display information about their work and environmental goals: Bike Share, Biofuels, CarsToGo, ChemSearch, The DC Office of the Environment, Fairmont Pittsburgh (Gold LEED Certified), Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown's Beekeepers, Toni Burnham, DC Beekeeper, Farmer's Markets, KEYS for the Homeless, KMG Hauling, National Geographic Society, Sheppard Electric, U.S. Green Building Council, World Wildlife Fund and Zip Car all participated in this well attended event.