Kelowna’s Best Western Chooses To Be Responsible

Enlightened Organizations: inspiration


Best Western Solar
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THE VALUE OF BEING A GOOD CORPORATE CITIZEN

Have you ever wondered about the real environmental commitment of hotels with those little cards telling you they are concerned about the environment,“so please don’t ask us to change your towels or sheets daily”… and then, they fill up the bathroom with little tiny packages of toiletries that get partially used -and then, become landfill?

Well, Greg Salloum, property owner, Best Western Inn, in Kelowna, British Columbia is an exception. This man is sincere and dedicated to his commitment to the environment and has spent the money to prove it.

BUT REALLY HOW MUCH CAN A HOTEL AFFORD TO DO?…

For the past seven years, staff and management at Kelowna’s Best Western Conference Centre have worked together to fulfill the vision of Greg Salloum to live the One Tonne Challenge -  with impressive results.

SOLAR HOT WATER PANELS

The first initiative in 2001, was to install an advanced solar hybrid water-heating system, one of the largest in Canada, for showers and laundry use. The result? – 90 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year no longer going into the atmosphere.

A few years later, a heat pump was used to push this water through pipes into individual rooms. In addition to feeling good about this contribution to the environment, Greg was probably smiling throughout recent oil price hikes.

These 102 solar panels also feed a 6000 litre storage tank which heats the hotels swimming pool, two hot tubs, and 154 guest rooms during the four summer months, and 60% of hot water heating throughout the winter.

THAT WAS ONLY THE BEGINNING…

GEOTHERMAL HEATING AND COOLING

The current project is to provide heat and cooling for the 154 rooms (soon to be 175) using a geothermal system.  An added bonus of this reduction in energy costs overall, is to put towel warmers in each room, heated through the geothermal system.

AND THERE IS MORE…

  • Energy-efficient lighting is used on all of the exterior and throughout most of the interior of the hotel.
  • Blue boxes are placed in all the hotel’s guest rooms (since 1990)
  • Biodegradeable plastic bags
  • All the hotel’s office paper is also recycled
  • Special UV film has been placed on all windows to reduce sunlight in summer, while preventing heat escape in winter.
  • Grounds crews rake Nature’s Gold into lawns, instead of using fertilizer
  • The swimming pool is sanitized with mineral salt – not chlorine
  • Energy efficient washers and dryers use minimal water in the washing cycle and there is an enhanced spin cycle to reduce moisture and save drying time
  • Dryers leave 6% moisture in the fabric which lessens dryers run times, and increases the life of the linens
  • Heat from the dryers is used to pre-heat water for the washing machines
  • Shower heads and sinks have low-flow controls throughout the hotel
  • Coffee grounds are taken home for composting

COMMUNICATION AND EDUCATION FOR GUESTS

And yes, they do have those little cards asking if you want your linens cleaned and explaining the impact of reducing energy, but… at least, they also…have all those little toiletries put into recyclable bottles.

RECRUITING

There is an Environmental Policy that is part of a “New –Hire” orientation package. New employees are asked to assist in the hotels overall commitment to doing everything economically feasible to keep our air, water and earth safe and clean for future generations.

ON THE HORIZON

Salloum says this hotel has been in his family for 35 years and expects it will be for another 35, so his investment in green is an investment in the environment, the community, and a family legacy.

Future plans for an even greener corporation include: a co-mingled recycling dumpster, a compactor for garbage, recycling to reduce hauling costs, battery recycling for staff and guests, and proper disposal of standard florescent bulbs which contain toxic mercury.

Have you wondered about the commitment of hotels to the environment? Would you be prepared to ask on your  next check-in, “what is your hotel doing to be environmentally responsible?” Would you choose hotels based on their commitment?  Your money will talk.

Certainly, when you are in Kelowna, British Columbia, we recommend you support people like Greg Salloum who are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars – not because they was legislated to do so – but because it is the right thing to do. Best Western Kelowna, British Columbia is the most recent addition to our directory of Enlightened Orgs-thank you, Greg, for creating a world for our grandchildren.

BLESS BLESS
JUDY BERG

Organizational Behaviour Consultant
Network Marketing Consultant and Trainer
author:
Imagine Your Soul Abudant: Attracting Success, Fulfillment and True Happiness
more about: www.soulabundant.com

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