Family-owned BC hotel chain achieves eco-friendly hotel stays for travellers on a budget
Victoria, BC, April 20, 2010- Affordable room rates and strong social and environmental values don’t always go hand in hand with hotels, but as the next generation of family leadership takes Accent Inns into their 25th year, these three pillars are positively influencing the guest experience at all five Accent Inns in Victoria, Burnaby, at the Vancouver Airport, and in Kamloops and Kelowna.
looking for affordable, quality accommodations,” says Mandy Farmer, CEO of Accent Inns. “In the past, travel experiences that offer a lighter environmental footprint, have mainly been available at higher end hotels. We are excited about offering all of our guests a more environmentally responsible hotel stay at rates that most travellers can afford, while also offering tips on how travellers can do their part.”
All five of the Accent Inns hotels throughout BC have recently awarded 4 Green Keys by the Green Key Eco Rating System, in partnership with the Hotel Association of Canada, the second highest available rating and one that shows national industry leadership and commitment to protecting the environment through wide ranging policies and practices.
Accent Inns has been working on creating greener guest experiences for the past 20 years, but under the leadership of Mandy Farmer, the second generation of Farmers to lead the company, sustainability initiatives have been enhanced each year. Over the past year Accent Inns has been working closely with Climate Smart, an enterprise launched by Ecotrust Canada that supports small businesses as they map their carbon footprint, to create a carbon reduction strategy and then learn about carbon offsets.
“Accent Inns has demonstrated its leadership and commitment to reducing its carbon footprint through its participation in the Climate Smart program,” says Michelle Bonner, Climate Smart’s Director of Training. “By conducting a thorough inventory of its greenhouse gas emissions, Accent Inns now has a baseline against which to track the impact of its initiatives. As well as being good for the planet, this is a smart business practice.”
“Under my father’s leadership Accent Inns was created with strong community roots and a commitment to giving back in meaningful ways in order to build stronger communities and stronger families,” says Farmer. “We have now expanded this vision to include healthy communities and a healthy, sustainable environment. Being a multi-generational BC based business, we are looking long term as we invest in a greener guest experience and forge relationships with locally-based environmental groups such as The Land Conservancy and The Sierra Club that are working to bring about long-term environmental change to our region.”
Sustainability Quick Facts
Sustainability initiatives at Accent Inns include:
The Kamloops and Kelowna properties have just recently installed state of the art occupancy sensors that control the heating and cooling of the rooms when not occupied by a guest.
- Chain wide initiatives include:
- towel re-use program that has been in place for 20 years
- in room recycling and back of the house recycling; including the recycling of soap and other guest amenities, old furniture, appliances and linens
- refillable shampoo and conditioner dispensers to avoid waste
- converting to low flow showerheads
- energy efficient lighting in public spaces and guest rooms
- scheduled maintenance programs to ensure all systems are running as efficiently as possible.
- environmentally friendly detergents in the laundry, which actually reduce the amount of hot water used, and other environmentally friendly cleaning products
- garbage and recycling audits.
Here are tips that Accent Inns offers their guests so they can do their part:
- Take advantage of the option to keep your towels for an extra day, which contributes to substantial water and energy savings.
- Open up your curtains and take advantage of the natural light.
- Make sure the windows and doors are closed if you are using the heating or air conditioning or turn them off if you prefer to have the windows open.
- When brushing your teeth, washing or shaving turn the tap off or fill the sink.
- Enjoy your shower but keep in mind that shorter showers save water and energy. (A ten minute shower can use up to 20 gallons or 76 litres of water – or about 38, 2 litre milk cartons of water.)
- Use the in-room recycling bins for water bottles, papers, plastics, cans or anything else that can be diverted from the garbage.
- When leaving the room please turn off the lights and other electronics and turn down the heating or air conditioning.
- During the hot summer months, closing the blinds will also help keep the room cool.
- When exploring the area ask about bike rentals, local transit options or shuttle services. Accent Inns has partnered with local bike and kayak companies and new packages will be available in early May.
For more information please visit www.accentinns.com.
Melinda Jolley, The Tartan Group, 250-896-3848, Melinda@tartangroup.ca
John Espley, Accent Inns, 250-360-1511, firstname.lastname@example.org