Guest post by Janine Chicourrat, General Manager, Portola Hotel & Spa
We are always excited to share what’s happening behind the scenes here at the Portola Hotel & Spa. As many know we were one of Central California’s first “green” LEED® Certified hotel properties having received our first certification in 2011 by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Today, we are again leading the charge by participating in the USGBC’s Recertification Beta Pilot Program, making it the very first Beta participant coming from the EBOM 2008 rating system to the 2009 version, and the first hotel to undergo this recertification process. In fact, the Portola built upon the sustainability initiatives that it established in the first certification, including:
- 20% of the hotel’s employees commute using alternative forms of transportation including biking, walking, carpooling, and public transit.
- Contributes to protecting and maintaining the Monterey National Marine Sanctuary.
- Native and adaptive, drought tolerant plants have been incorporated into the property’s landscaping.
- To eliminate the hotel’s contribution to ozone depletion, all refrigerants containing CFCs have been phased out.
- Renewable Energy Credits equivalent to 100% of yearly energy usage have been purchased, supporting renewable energy generation offsite.
- A green cleaning policy and program has been implemented, as well as a commitment to purchase of 60% of sustainable cleaning products and materials; leading to better air quality for staff and guests.
- 80% of ongoing purchases are sustainable, reducing the environmental impact of those items being brought into the property.
In addition, we continue to divert approximately 78% of waste from landfills and conducts an annual waste audit to identify areas for further improvement. To ensure a healthy and productive environment for all, our staff participates in an annual survey on occupant comfort and guests provide ongoing feedback on general cleanliness. One fun example of waste reducing tactics includes our onsite craft brewery, Peter B’s Brewpub, which donates “brew mash” generated from the brewing process to local cattle ranchers.
It is important that we integrate being “green” into our company culture here at the Portola. We have made a commitment that every one of our employees receives on-board training that encompasses connecting sustainability and LEED into their daily job, personal lives and community, this can be seen through our Green LEEDers program here at the hotel.
Each and every member of our team takes great pride and is committed to providing eco-friendly amenities and superior service and we look forward to sharing the experience of “green” focused travel with all that walk through our doors!