Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver’s definitive luxury hotel, announces the elimination of non-essential single-use plastics from its guest journey, including throughout its public spaces, guestrooms, dining venues and spa. The milestone was verified by British Columbia-based GreenStep Solutions Inc., a Certified B Corporation dedicated to providing organizations with environmental impact performance assessments, technology and certifications to measure and improve sustainability performance.
In 2018, Fairmont Pacific Rim and GreenStep Solutions Inc. began the journey to elimination through an extensive audit process of all single-use plastics within the hotel operation. The assessment included reviewing the purpose and frequency of single-use plastic practices, followed by the development of a comprehensive road-map towards the reduction of single-use plastics by removing items entirely, identifying reusable alternatives, and/or
introducing sustainable materials in their place. Fairmont Pacific Rim has worked with suppliers, partners and vendors to eliminate plastics within the guest journey while continuing to provide the high level of services and amenities the hotel has become renowned for. As of August 2022, GreenStep awarded Fairmont Pacific Rim the third-party verifier’s first Single-Use Plastic Free Certification within the North American hospitality sector.
“This certification is a major milestone for our hotel and one we hope to inspire continued sustainability efforts across our industry,” said Jens Moesker, Regional Vice President and General Manager, Fairmont Pacific Rim. “Changing long-held industry practices required creative solutions from all of our staff and this achievement is a testament to their commitment to innovation and environmental stewardship demonstrated by all.”
Fairmont Pacific Rim is committed to reducing its environmental impacts; examples of the significant updates the hotel has undertaken include:
- 36,000 plastic key cards used annually have been replaced by reusable FSC Certified cherry wood.
- Approximately 1,600 kilograms (198,700) of small bath amenity bottles used annually have been replaced with large format refillable bottles.
- 600 kilograms of plastic water bottles consumed per year have been removed from the guest experience and replaced with recyclable alternatives.
- 12,500 plastic laundry bags used per year have been replaced with a re-usable cloth alternative.
- In-room amenities such as razors, toothbrushes, cotton buds and shower caps have been replaced with environmentally friendly versions.
- All food and beverage take-away containers and cutlery have been replaced with fiber-based solutions.
“We congratulate Fairmont Pacific Rim on this challenging but important certification,” said Angela Nagy, President & CEO of GreenStep Solutions Inc. “Since 2008, we have worked with thousands of businesses across various sectors to help them on their sustainability journey and we are beyond pleased to award the first hotel this impressive certification. We look forward to continuing our relationship with Fairmont Pacific Rim to serve as a beacon of progress in the tourism and hospitality sector.”
“Our guest experience drives all that we do and we are delighted to offer an experience that serves the eco- conscious desires of our visitors and locals alike,” said Moesker. “While this is a momentous step forward, we will continue to drive sustainability deeper into our business practices for the betterment of our guests, staff, community and planet. I look forward to working with GreenStep Solutions Inc. on continued sustainability measures throughout our hotel and region.”
Fairmont Pacific Rim was named a Five-Star Hotel for the fourth consecutive year in a row by Forbes Travel Guide – as well as maintaining the coveted AAA Five Diamond Rating since 2018. The hotel is also the first Fairmont property in North America to reach this milestone as part of a larger initiative from parent company Accor, to remove all single- use plastics in the guest experience, in accordance with the UN Global Tourism Plastic Initiative. Accor was also the first international hotel group to make a long-term commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Other Fairmont hotels in the Pacific Northwest region, along with Accor properties across North America and around the globe, are expected to reach a similar single-use plastic-free designation in the guest experience by the end of 2022.
In celebration of this milestone, Fairmont Pacific Rim invites guests to help combat ocean plastic pollution with a
$20.00 CAD add-on per night to their booking. One hundred percent of the value of the add-on will be donated to Ocean Legacy Foundation, a Canadian based non-profit organization that aims to end ocean plastic waste. As a thank you for their donation, guests will receive a $20.00 CAD food & beverage credit for use on property. To follow along on Fairmont Pacific Rim’s sustainability journey, visit fairmontpacificrim.com/sustainability.
The Methodology of Single-Use Plastic Certification: For the purpose of GreenStep Solutions Inc Plastic-Free Certification, single-use plastic free is defined as zero use of non-essential single-use plastic products. Single-use plastics are plastic items intended to be used only once before they are thrown away or recycled, such as bags, food packaging, product packaging, beverage bottles, containers, cups, lids, cutlery, coffee stirrers and straws. Expanded polystyrene, commonly known as Styrofoam, single-use products are also included in the definition of single-use plastics. “Plastic” is defined as a hydrocarbon-based material, including recycled plastic. Essential single-use plastic items are those that are necessary, such as for medical purposes, and/or for which no non-plastic alternative exists. A comprehensive appendix of items is available upon request.