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Doubletree -- A Green Choice for Portland Guests V isitors to Portland are greeted by urban parks, a network of alternative transportation choices, pedestrian and bike friendly mixed-use neighborhoods; in a word, sustainability. Guests of the Doubletree Hotel and Executive Meeting Center at Lloyd Center are welcomed with the same green sensibility. In March, Doubletree became the first business in Portland to initiate voluntary food waste recycling. "This year our goal is to send 40% less to the landfill than we did last year," said Michael Luehrs, Director of Operations. Leftover food from Doubletree's kitchens was given to staff and donated to local shelters, but food scraps and contaminated paper still comprised a very visible portion of the waste stream. Now hotel staff receive instant gratification by snubbing garbage cans and scraping plates into compost collection containers. impressed with Doubletree's ability to see value, both monetarily and environmentally, in their green actions. Daunt anticipates inroom recycling will bring the hotel a 15% increase in recovery. In addition to recycling, Doubletree focused on reducing paper use by printing doublesided, reducing the need to print paper-intensive reports and capitalizing on electronic communication. "Reports once printed out of convenience just spiraled out of control," explains Luehrs, who failed to see the logic in mass consumption of a product you pay to buy, pay to have hauled away, then pay to replace. BlueWorks Business At a Glance
Doubletree Hotel 1000 NE Multnomah St. Portland, OR 97232 503.331.4993 www.doubletree.com Business Hotel and executive meeting center located in the Lloyd District Sustainable Practices First business in Portland to participate in Portland Composts! food waste composting program. Participating in pilot program offering guests in-room recycling. Reduced quarterly paper consumption by 150 reams. Increased recycledcontent purchases to over half of total office supplies. Business cards and promotional materials printed on 100% recycled-content paper. The first hotel in Portland to be recognized as a BlueWorks Business. Despite higher occupancy rates, Doubletree reduced their paper consumption by 150 reams in the first quarter of 2005 compared to the same time last year. "It seems Sous Chef Ken Dubane places trimmings like a no-brainer, but you in the green compost collection bin get stuck in a zone and have a hard time seeing room for change," says Luehrs, who envisions opportunity for The hotel anticipates additional garbage further efficiencies. reduction by offering in-room recycling. Doubletree is one of eight Portland hotels All of Doubletree's printer paper is 30 participating in a pilot program that percent recycled-content; in many cases it's encourages guests to recycle paper, plastic 100 percent. With the adoption of an bottles, and cans. Joanne Daunt, BlueWorks environmentally preferable purchasing Recycling Specialist, provides waste policy, the amount of other recycledreduction and recycling assistance to content purchases is on the rise. Last year, Portland's hospitality industry. Daunt began less than a quarter of the office supplies by conducting a waste audit that identified Doubletree purchased were made with in-room waste as a potential area for recycled-content. Now it's over half. recovery of waste. "You couldn't ask for a better business to work with," said Daunt, who has been Implementing a greener purchasing strategy hasn't compromised Doubletree's Doubletree Hotel -- A Green Choice for Portland Guests
commitment to quality, and the hotel hasn't hit any roadblocks along their path, says manager Steve Faulstick. Being green has allowed Doubletree the opportunity to give back to the community. Leftover amenities from guest rooms are donated to shelters. Carpet, drapes, and other materials are also donated, mostly to Central City Concern. A host of energy-saving measures are also in place. Doubletree installed timers on lights in the banquet rooms, substituted Compact Fluorescent Lamps where possible, installed more efficient motors in their cooling tower, replaced magnetic ballasts with electronic ballasts and adjusts the temperature in unoccupied rooms. Between 1996, when they first implemented a number of energy-saving initiatives and the end of 2004, Doubletree saved a total of $155,000 in electricity expenses. Doubletree conserves water as well. They offer a towel and sheet reuse program in which guests have the opportunity to use linens more than once before housekeeping collects them to wash. The hotel's central laundry reclaims water for reuse and relies solely on environmentally friendly cleaners. The hotel is looking at upgrading the lowflow shower heads they installed in 1990 and are investigating the return on investment possible with low-flow toilets. Strong support and ingenuity from general manager Steve Faulstick and operations manager Michael Luehrs has been the key to Doubletree's success, says Amy Spatrisano of Meeting Strategies Worldwide. Spatrisano has been helping hotels across the country green their operations for almost five years. "I give the same information to every hotel, but Doubletree is really taking it on in a way few hotels have," says Spatrisano, who calls the Doubletree a "poster child" for others in the industry. Every staff member is aware of--and participates in--the hotel's green efforts. "We have run up against zero resistance," says Faulstick, who says that asking everybody to do their small part has given all employees ownership in the continuing process of creating a sustainable business. Doubletree is engaging in realistic change with incredible results. According to Faulstick,"The City of Portland and our waste hauler have been big supporters, providing us with all the tools we need. All we had to do was implement." "We feel fortunate to have been put in contact with an ever growing green network," says Luehrs, whose goal is to continue to learn from the wealth of ideas present in this community. The Doubletree welcomes your questions and feedback. For more information contact Michael Luehrs, MLuehrs@PortlandDoubletree.com; 503-281-6111. Applying this case study at your business Following are tips to help you model Doubletree's sustainable actions: Composting Contact your hauler or call the office of Sustainable Development at 503.823.1376 to learn more about composting at your business Check with your landscaper to be sure that they are composting Consider composting or vermicomposting on site Reducing paper use Evaluate the necessity of your most paper consumptive print jobs Print double sided Route documents or share documents electronically Buying recycled-content products Visit metro-region.org/ buyersguide for a list of recycled-content products and suppliers near you See this issue's Go Blue feature for tips on buying recycled content paper For questions or assistance implementing any of these programs, call the City of Portland's BlueWorks program at 503.823.7037. ...
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- Spring '08