WINNER: Pan Pacific Hotel
From the moment a guest checks in at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood, he or she is greeted with a hospitality experience as green as any on Earth. Check-in is paperless, the key cards are biodegradable, the minibar is stocked with locally sourced beverages, the toilets are dual flush, the garment bags are reusable, the bath fixtures are high efficiency, and any unused soaps and shampoos are resanitized and donated to charities after guest checkout.
The hotel’s efforts have garnered international attention. In May 2012, the Pan Pacific Seattle was the first hotel in North America to be awarded the prestigious Green Globe Certification for sustainable tourism, which recognizes hospitality organizations that exhibit exceptional commitments to sustainability.
The hotel’s commitment to sustainability isn’t limited to in-room efficiencies. Last year, Pan Pacific associates served almost 200 volunteer hours at local nonprofits, raised more than $14,000 for local charities and donated thousands of pounds of food, toiletry products and technology items to service organizations around Seattle.
SILVER: Columbia Hospitality
Columbia manages resorts, conference centers and restaurants throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. From a one-million-bee apiary at the Salish Lodge & Spa in Snoqualmie to a cooking oil recycling program at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, Columbia’s green initiatives can be found throughout the properties it manages. Other improvements include comprehensive food waste composting (Bell Harbor alone diverts 65 tons of organic waste from landfills each year) and replacing bottled water with water stations, diverting some 45,000 plastic bottles from the waste stream annually. Columbia’s corporate headquarters gets in on the action, too, having increased its landfill diversion from 23 percent in 2012 to nearly 50 percent by the end of 2013.