Grappone Conference Center and Courtyard by Marriott, Concord New Hampshire Achieve Environmental Champion Status
Concord, NH – The Grappone Conference Center and Courtyard by Marriott in Concord, NH is the newest property to achieve Environmental Champion status in the New Hampshire Sustainable Lodging & Restaurant Program (NHSLRP). The program requires implementing initiatives in each of the focus areas: energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, hazardous waste reduction and education. The conference center and hotel entered the program in 2009 as an Environmental Partner and through the efforts of the facility’s “Green Team”, has attained the highest level of achievement in the sustainability program.
Over the years, the conference center and hotel have continually assessed all aspects of operations and developed dynamic solutions to reduce environmental impacts. Dedication to local foods is demonstrated by successful certification as “Local” through the NH Farm to Restaurant Program and this past summer two honey bee hives (20,000 bees) were set-up on the roof of the facility. Over the next year, the hives will be able to provide all of the honey necessary for the Center’s food service operation.
Improving energy efficiency is a high priority for the facility. Last year the Green Team inventoried the lighting in all areas of the facility. By making some simple, no cost changes such as turning off “Welcome Lights” in the rooms and turning lights off in areas such as the pool when not in use, the facility saved thousands of dollars in energy costs. Gas usage in the kitchen was reduced by training staff to turn off ovens when not needed. The facility is in the process of converting all lighting to more energy efficient CFLs and LEDs, and all electronic items such as televisions are in the process of being replaced with EnergyStar Certified appliances. The facility is already seeing energy and financial savings from the change in appliances. Finally, all the hotel rooms will have occupancy controls which allow lighting to be turned off and temperature settings turned down from the front desk when a room is not occupied.
For waste reduction efforts, the Grappone Conference Center partnered with EPA’s WasteWise and Food Waste Reduction programs to track what was being thrown away and work to reduce or eliminate that waste. This process has helped Executive Chef Trish Taylor, who is a leader in these efforts, make changes in purchasing, be more diligent in reducing what is thrown away and find resources to recycle as much as possible. Recycling saves both energy and resources by reducing the need for raw material extraction. In 2011, the facility recycled nearly 31 tons of materials, which according to the EPA WasteWise Model, is equivalent to saving 729 million BTUs of energy, 11,213 gallons of gasoline or 230 barrels of oil. Recycling efforts also saved 98.8 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent or the annual greenhouse gas emissions produced by 18 cars.
The conference center and hotel also reduced hazardous materials by switching to environmentally-friendly cleaning products and eliminating pesticide use for landscaping. All water fixtures are equipped with low flow valves to assist with water conservation. By using innovative technology and hotel policy, the Grappone Conference Center and Courtyard by Marriott is able to reduce its waste, energy use and environmental impact.
The Sustainable Lodging & Restaurant Program is a program of the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association (NHLRA) partnering with the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services. Admission into the program is contingent on achieving a certain number of points, in several different categories, on a point-based application. For more information on the NHLRA and NHSLRP contact Jackie Albanese at (603) 228-9585 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.nhlra.com.
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