Chicago Boasts Five Green Seal-Certified Hotels

Mayor Richard M. Daley acknowledged recently the efforts of 25 Chicago hotels striving for an environmental designation. The Green Hotels Initiative challenges hotels to obtain Green Seal-certification, an environmental lodging standard with requirements in waste minimization, energy efficiency, water conservation, wastewater management, and green procurement. The program also offers resources, best practices, and recognition to the hotels going green.

"Whether you are working to install energy-efficient equipment in your kitchens and laundry facilities, installing water-saving plumbing fixtures, or planning for a green roof -- like the one we have on top of City Hall – your efforts not only serve as a model for others, but you are also helping Chicago achieve its goal of having the most Green Seal certified hotels in the nation,² said Daley at an October press conference at the Hotel Monaco, one of the hotels taking part in the initiative.

During the event, the city announced that Hotel Monaco Chicago, Hotel Burnham, Hotel Allegro Chicago, InterContinental Chicago, and the Talbott Hotel received their Green Seal, making Chicago the city with the most Green Seal-certified hotels in the nation.

Research data from the Chicago Climate Action Plan shows that 71 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Chicago result from buildings. With its 24-hour operations, the hotel industry can be carbon intensive. As a result, hotels can play an important role in helping reduce emissions and providing tourists and visitors with world-class accommodations that are also environmentally friendly.

The 20 additional hotels that have been audited now have the baseline requirements to become Green Seal certified. In order to receive certification, the hotels need to implement a host of environmental practices including:

• Install water conserving devices such as 2.2 gallons per minute faucets, 2.5 gallons per minute showerheads, and 1.6 gallons per flush toilets;

• Implement a successful recycling program that is monitored on a monthly basis for waste reduction targets;

• Use non-phosphate, nontoxic, biodegradable cleaning products and detergents;

• Offer guest a towel/linen reuse option;

• Use 30 percent post consumer recycled paper;

• Establish a purchasing policy that incorporates environmental goals and preferences; and

• Minimize use of chlorine.

Chicago 20 Green Seal Audited Hotels

1. Drake Hotel
2. Essex Inn
3. Fairmont
4. Four Points Hotel
5. Four Seasons
6. Hard Rock Hotel
7. Hilton Chicago
8. Hyatt Regency
9. Marriott Courtyard
10. Park Hyatt
11. Peninsula Hotel
12. Renaissance
13. Residence Inn
14. Ritz Carlton
15. Sheraton Hotel & Tower
16. Silversmith
17. Sofitel
18. Swissotel
19. Westin Michigan Avenue
20. Westin River North
Founded in 1989, Green Seal is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. that provides science-based environmental certification standards that are credible, transparent, and essential in an increasingly educated and competitive marketplace.

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