Guests at The Fairmont San Jose can breathe easier thanks to the hotel’s comprehensive Clean Air initiative launched last summer. Beyond a regular program of themed activity days (like the Commuter Challenge and asking staff to improve their automobile’s performance by “Dejunking the Trunk”), guests are also a part of this education and incentive drive. Hybrid-driving overnight hotel guests now get free parking.
One of the few things rising faster than California gas prices is sale of hybrid vehicles. More than 25,000 new hybrids were registered in the state in 2004, a 102-percent increase over 2003. California had nearly five times as many new hybrid registrations as the next-highest state – Virginia. Which all makes sense considering California continues to have the nation’s greatest air quality challenge with 85 percent of air pollution generated by fuel emissions. Driving 24 million motor vehicles accounts for roughly 50-percent of ozone-forming emissions in the state; with a sunny climate and mountainous topography also encouraging smog formation. Hybrid cars are good for the environment as they can reduce smog-forming emissions by 90-percent less than a conventional new car while using far less gasoline.
“Most of our environmental initiatives are driven right here, by our hotel employees who want to do things better. And we are extremely proud of them,” says Cyril Isnard, The Fairmont San Jose’s general manager. “Our Green Team under the leadership of Les Voorhees, The Fairmont San Jose’s chief engineer, participate on a volunteer basis, encourage other colleagues to get involved and run their programs very efficiently – thinking, and saving, green.”