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Hotel chain is thinking green

Burnaby location helps lead the way in company's environmental efforts

The Delta hotel chain is tackling the green initiative from every angle.

The hotel's new sustainability program, appropriately called Delta Greens, was launched chainwide earlier this year. It aims at decreasing energy consumption, carbon emissions and water consumption by 30 per cent within five years and increasing waste diversion by 25 per cent.

"I think that's a reasonable goal for us," said Delta Burnaby general manager Eda Koot. "I think that the opportunities are there for us to achieve those goals and to really be a part of the program countrywide."

These are numbers that the hotel hopes to see at each of the chain's 46 locations across Canada.

The Delta Burnaby Hotel and Conference Centre has already received four green keys from the Hotel Association of Canada's green key eco-rating system. This rating means that the hotel has shown leadership and commitment to protecting the environment through a variety of policies and practices.

"It's more of a culture that we're creating than it is an actual program.

And to do that you need to involve your staff, you need to involve your guests, because they need to help us to make this really successful," Koot said.

The Burnaby location has introduced complimentary valet services for hybrid vehicles. Lights and heating/air conditioning systems are automatically shut off when a room is not in use.

There are many environmental benefits that the chain hopes for Vancouver to gain from this program. The energy saved will be enough to power 712 homes for one year, according to a press release from Krystal Carter, the Delta Hotel's public relations coordinator. The water saved will fill 43 Olympic swimming pools, and the waste reduced will fill 22 dumpster trucks.

The Delta Burnaby had a bit of a leg up in the process, as it is located in a complex that reopened in 2009. At the time of the reopening, key aspects of the green initiative were installed.

"We're conducting a waste audit for the entire complex," Koot said. The hotel shares its space with two restaurants as well as the Grand Villa Casino. The complex is working together to achieve green goals.

Koot also said that the hotel is bringing in food from local farms to contribute to the food and beverage sector of the hotel's compliance with the goals.

"There's pretty much no department untouched by this whole process," she said.

Waste, energy and lighting audits have been performed in the hotels and can be tracked and followed online at the link titled The Delta Green Watch.