Hotels, brands share sustainable practices this Earth Day

Herzog & de Meuron, HKS Inc., Rottet Studio combine for first Conrad property in Washington, DC.
While under construction, the Conrad Washington, D.C., diverted 92 percent of construction and demolition waste from landfills. Photo credit: Conrad Washington, D.C.

Earth Day, now in its 49th year, marks a time for individuals and companies to focus on sustainability and conservation. With that in mind, here’s what some hotels and brands have been doing to keep that spirit going beyond April 22.

On Mexico’s Pacific coast, Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit has undertaken a range of sustainability initiatives. Waste there is separated between organic and inorganic waste, with inorganic waste further sorted and organic waste turned into natural fertilizer for the property’s gardens and lawns. Additionally, the hotel saves about 45 percent of the gas it normally would use by preheating water using solar panels.

In 2018, Marriott International's Edition brand began its Stay Plastic Free initiative. The program provides a library of plastic alternative vendors and contacts for hotel goods, including minibar items, coffee cups, straws water bottles, bathroom amenities and food containers. This year, the brand has partnered with Hunter Amenities to create new paper packaging for its bathroom amenities.

The Shoal La Jolla (Calif.) Beach reopened after completing renovations that included implementing recycled building material and energy-efficient plumbing. Additionally, the hotel now will use recyclable K-cups and replenishable shampoo, conditioner and body wash containers, a change it said should reduce plastic waste by 95 percent compared to traditional products.

The team at HKS Architects, which is designing the under-construction Hall Arts Hotel and Residences in Dallas, is diverting 75 percent of its construction waste to recycling plants and reuse shops. By using low-flow water features, reduced irrigation and drought-tolerant landscaping, the hotel also expects to use water at 30 percent below the standard. The hotel is set to open fall this year.

The new Conrad Washington, D.C., a 360-suite luxury hotel, is part of a new 10-acre mixed-use development. While it was under construction, the hotel diverted 92 percent of construction and demolition waste from landfills. Additionally, through onsite stormwater management, the hotel said it is able to manage 97 percent of rainfall, reducing the burden on the city’s stormwater infrastructure.