Hyatt Sets New Environmental ‘Vision’ for 2020

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In its latest corporate social responsibility report, Hyatt Hotels revealed a new set of environmental goals that it’s calling the Hyatt 2020 Vision.

One of the goals involves sustainable design: Starting in 2015, Hyatt will require all new construction and major renovation projects contracted for managed hotels to follow sustainable design guidelines. Starting next year, all new construction and major renovation projects for wholly-owned, full-service hotels must achieve either LEED certification or an equivalent certification.

The 2020 vision also includes reduction goals: Each of Hyatt’s three regions will reduce energy use, water use and greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent per square meter. The goal for water-stressed areas is to reduce water use by 30 percent. Additionally, every managed hotel will recycle or some how divert waste from landfills by 40 percent.

Some environmental goals have targets earlier than 2020, and one of them concerns sustainable sourcing: Hyatt partnered with World Wildlife Fund to develop responsible seafood sourcing goals. The hotel chain will source over 50 percent of its global seafood purchases from responsible sources and over 15 percent from Marine Stewardship Council– or Aquaculture Stewardship Council-certified fisheries and farms by 2018.

How Hyatt will meet energy, water and greenhouse gas reduction goals

In order to meet its energy use and GHG emissions reduction goals, Hyatt has invested in energy efficiency upgrades that include lighting, heating, and ventilation and cooling systems, as well as kitchen and laundry equipment. In 2013, Hyatt implemented over 200 energy reduction projects which will reduce GHG emissions by an estimated 20,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent a year.

Hyatt will reduce water use by using less water, recycling water where possible, and encouraging its colleagues and partners to develop innovative water efficiency solutions. Hyatt has already reduced water use by installing water-efficient fixtures, laundry and dishwashing equipment, plus implementing water-conserving landscaping practices. Additionally, in 2013, 66 percent of its full-service hotels around the world reported that at least 90 percent of their guest rooms use low-flow toilets.

Hyatt is making progress in cutting its waste in two ways: by reducing the amount of waste its hotels generate and increasing reuse and recycling programs. Hyatt is already making progress. Over 84 percent of its managed hotels around the world recycle at least one waste stream. Over 50 percent of its full-service managed hotels have established programs to donate untouched food, gently used toiletries, furniture and electronics to local shelters and charities. Hyatt partners with Clean the World, a nonprofit organization based in Orlando, Florida, to donate excess soap and shampoo products to impoverished people around the world. In 2013, Hyatt donated over 80,000 pounds of soap and shampoo products.

Sustainable design is becoming a part of Hyatt

Hyatt has made progress when it comes to sustainable design. By mid-2014, 14 of its properties were LEED certified, including its headquarters. Over 75 percent of interior lights are energy efficient at 80 percent of its hotels. Over 50 percent of its hotels have tinted or filmed windows and 32 percent have cool or green roofs. Over 90 percent of guest room toilets are low flow at 66 percent of its hotels. Nineteen hotels source power from on-site renewable sources such as solar, wind and geothermal.

Andaz-MauiHyatt’s Andaz Maui at Wailea Resort is a good example of its sustainable design program. The hotel opened in 2013 and achieved LEED silver certification in 2014 the hotel has a stormwater management system. It features high efficiency energy systems that include variable speed chillers, motion-sensor lighting controls, LED lighting and in-room automated temperature controls. It also has an on-site solar thermal system that meets almost four percent of its annual energy needs.

Donating to literacy programs

In addition to its environmental goals and achievements, Hyatt invests in literacy programs around the globe. It launched Ready to Thrive, its corporate philanthropy program which focuses on literacy and career readiness, including a $750,000 investment in career readiness programs in Brazil. It built 11 libraries and supported reading and writing programs in 30 schools through a partnership with Room to Read in India. It donated 35,000 books to kids in need around the world through Room to Read and We Give Books.

Image credits: Hyatt

Gina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.

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