Fairmont raises the bar

In 1990, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts pioneered the Green Partnership, a comprehensive commitment to minimizing the impact of its hotels on the planet. In another first, this January Fairmont partnered with the World Wildlife Fund's Climate Savers program. The only hotel chain in the program, Fairmont is benchmarking its greenhouse gas emissions and aims to establish a target reduction by late June. In the interim, WWF and Fairmont will work closely to refine the brand's climate change strategy, and raise awareness among policy makers, consumers and employees.

In 1990, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts pioneered the Green Partnership, a comprehensive commitment to minimizing the impact of its hotels on the planet. In another first, this January Fairmont partnered with the World Wildlife Fund’s Climate Savers program. The only hotel chain in the program, Fairmont is benchmarking its greenhouse gas emissions and aims to establish a target reduction by late June. In the interim, WWF and Fairmont will work closely to refine the brand’s climate change strategy, and raise awareness among policy makers, consumers and employees.

Once a target is set, the two companies will have the rights to use each other’s logos on communication materials. Fairmont is keeping VIP customers up to date through its newsletters, and a new Green Partnership brochure will be released in June.

As Fairmont’s primary CSR platform, the Green Partnership has become an essential part of the company’s DNA. From improvements in the areas of waste management and energy and water conservation to a strong element of community outreach through local groups and partnerships, Fairmont’s program focuses on sustainability. It covers recycling and organic waste diversion in hotel kitchens, retrofitting energy-efficient lighting, redistributing household goods and food to those in need, converting used kitchen oil to biodiesel and working with local populations to share the benefits of tourism.

In May 2007, Fairmont released the third edition of the Green Partnership Guide. With a foreword by David Suzuki, the guide presents a step-by-step process to greening the hospitality industry. Used in rolling out the Green Partnership program to new acquisitions, it can be easily adopted by any organization. It is considered the industry standard for greening practices, and is used as a textbook in hospitality schools and as the sustainability model for brands looking to initiate green programs.

Judges’ comments

‘Fairmont took an incredible program and added a new dimension. This is hard, considering so few corporations have got to the ‘green internal program’ stage. What Fairmont continues to do is blaze trails. They aren’t resting on their laurels.’ – Marc Stoiber, Change

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Introduction

Water, water, everywhere

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cause + action winner: Pantene

cause + action contender: Virgin Mobile Canada

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