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Environmental leader continuing to raise the bar in greening the hotel industry

Fairmont announces Green IT strategy

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, an environmentally progressive hotel group known for its responsible business practices, announced a comprehensive sustainability plan to address its technology infrastructure and information technology (IT) operations. Green IT becomes the latest component of the Fairmont Green Partnership program, the company’s award-winning environmental platform.

Aimed at limiting waste, purchasing responsibly, conserving energy and reducing the company’s overall carbon footprint, Fairmont’s Green IT plan includes the introduction of a workstation power down schedule, electronic waste diversion in markets where programs exist and the development of donation standards aligning with qualified and respected recycling companies and charities. In addition, Fairmont will optimize purchasing efficiencies, including crafting a green procurement policy to ensure the brand uses technology products that are either EPA Energy Star or Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT)-rated as well as services that address Extended Product Responsibility (EPR) programs. The Green IT initiative at Fairmont will be rolled out property-wide throughout 2009 with full implementation expected by the end of the year.

“Whether it’s technology, environmental sustainability, or any other aspect of the hotel environment, Fairmont continues to roll out pioneering programs and services that are reflective of our vision: to be a true leader in the global hospitality industry,” says Vineet Gupta, Fairmont’s senior vice president, technology. “With technology still evolving rapidly and e-waste on the rise, this is an area where we can make a tangible impact in addition to lowering our overall CO2 footprint. Furthermore, our industry-leading environmental practices are the benchmark by which many other hotel companies measure against, so we’re pleased to expand our green programming into another distinct area of our business.”

In support of the new Green IT initiative, power settings on all Fairmont workstations and laptops, which are centrally managed by the brand, will be set to automatically power down after one hour of inactivity. By adopting this power management principle, Fairmont expects to reduce its energy consumption by 2,692,683 KwH per year, resulting in a savings of 1,356 tonnes of CO2, the equivalent of avoiding the burning of 3,155 barrels of oil annually.

Green IT is the latest piece of environmental news from the company following a March announcement in which Fairmont became a member of WWF’s Climate Savers Program and pledged to proactively cut its overall carbon emissions. Addressing one of single largest environmental issues facing the planet – global warming – Fairmont has agreed to a brandwide carbon emissions reduction plan and has pledged to reduce operational CO2 emissions from its existing portfolio of hotels by 20% below 2006 levels by 2013.

Pioneered by the company in 1990, Fairmont’s Green Partnership is an award-winning environmental program focused on minimizing the impact of hotel operations on the environment. In addition to publishing “The Green Partnership Guide”, a “going green” handbook used by its hotels and others in the hospitality industry, initiatives include recycling and organic waste diversion in the hotel’s kitchens, purchasing sustainable seafood, a green conferencing solution dubbed Eco-Meet, retrofitting energy efficient lighting, creating rooftop herb gardens at properties, and redistributing gently used goods and food to those in need.

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