In 2002 we started our first project to invest in the future and install an extensive and advanced solar hybrid water-heating system, one of the largest in Canada, thus preventing 90 tonnes per year of greenhouse gases that would have otherwise gone into the atmosphere from burning natural gas. This solar system with 102 solar panels feed a 6000 litre solar storage tank, and was designed to heat up to 90 % of the water for the hotel’s 90,000 litre indoor swimming pool, 2 hot tubs and 154 guest rooms during the four summer months, while in the winter the solar heating system can cover nearly 60% of the hot water heating with an estimated saving of $30,000 per year.
Energy-efficient lighting on all of the exterior and throughout most of the interior of the hotel.
Energy-efficient central four pipe system for heating and cooling at an expense of more than $500,000 even though the 7 year payback period was more than most business people would consider. Leadership in planning long-range is common place at the Best Western Kelowna.
Blue recycling boxes were placed in all the hotel’s guest rooms in 1990 before it was popular to do so. All of the hotel’s office paper is also recycled.
Innovative silver reflective film on the windows to reduce sunlight coming in during summer while preventing the indoor heat from escaping in the winter.
Instead of using chemical fertilizers, the Best Western Kelowna has the grounds crew rake Nature’s Gold into the lawns. This natural product gives at least two environmental benefits – it replaces products that pollute the underground water table and it saves water as Nature’s Gold retains moisture in the soil.
The 90,000 indoor pool is sanitized with mineral salt and not man made chlorine. This is a value added guest experience as there is no chemical odor and gentle on the swimming suit fabric.
Additional water is saved in low-flow shower heads and sink aerators on water taps throughout the hotel.
Food & Beverage Services at the hotel continue to strive for sustainability. Continuing to address solid/hazardous waste management, energy conservation, purchasing policies and water conservation will allow us to remain clear on our vision and how it relates to this department. For example, the coffee grounds are taken home for composting instead of ending up in the land fill.
The environmentally sustainable practices instituted at the hotel extends into communication and education from the hotel guest to the valuable employees. For the guests: cards are placed in guest rooms to inform guests that they could choose an environmentally-friendly practice and prevent copious amounts of hot water being used and prevent waste chemicals from going into the waste stream by choosing to reuse their towels and linens. They are instructed where to leave the items should they choose to have new towels and linens replaced daily. As this simple practice is instituted at an increasing number of other hotels, it has and will continue to save a significant amount of hot water and cleaning chemicals from being used.
For our team, The Best Western Kelowna has an Environmental Policy that is part of a “New –Hire” orientation package requesting their participation in the hotel’s overall commitment to doing everything economically feasible to keep our air, water and earth safe and clean for future generations.