Fresh off the heels of receiving its StayGreen recognition from the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association a couple of weeks ago, the InterContinental Chicago continues to take a dedicated stance to improve its environmental performance. The Michigan Avenue-based property is the first Chicago hotel to receive its Energy Star rating and its Green Seal silver certification which they received last year.
"Whether it's being mindful and purchasing eco-friendly and local products to reduce carbon emissions, or promoting effective environmental management to our key vendors and contractors, the InterContinental Chicago takes measureable steps to be environmentally sound," says Edward Andrews, general manager, InterContinental Chicago.
Specific measures include developing an aggressive recycling plan that monitors the amount of waste going to a landfill, as well as incorporating a battery, used PC and bulb recycling program that is available to all employees and guests. In terms of energy and resource management, the property has installed high-tech thermostats in all guest rooms that determine whether a room is occupied and automatically sets back the temperature when no guests are in the room. Compact fluorescent light bulbs have also been installed in all guest rooms, meeting rooms and corridors. In addition, the property has implemented a towel and sheet re-use program and also equipped a water displacement device in all guest room toilets and low flow aerators in all sinks to reduce water consumption.
"In addition to conserving energy, we also focus on minimizing waste which undoubtedly results from operating a full-service hotel as we have one guest room floor offering soap, shampoo and conditioner dispensers that are installed in our showers," says Steve Karwoski, director of engineering, InterContinental Chicago. "We also donate partially used amenity bottles to a local charity, have coreless toilet paper rolls in all public washrooms to reduce paper waste, and use cloth napkins whenever possible."