Stella Awards 2021: Best Sustainability Initiative


Stella Awards 2021 Best Sustainability

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Seaport Hotel

One of the first properties in Boston to establish environmentally-friendly programs upon opening in 1998, the 428-room Seaport Hotel subsequently established a Green Team to implement eco-friendly projects. In 2020, the hotel completed an ambitious program of electronic-equipment recycling, compiling over 6,000 pounds of electronics that had fallen into disuse. In recent years, the property has made great strides in reducing its recorded usage of electricity, natural gas and water, and complimentary electric-vehicle charging stations are available in its parking garage.

Overlooking Boston Harbor, the Seaport has 27,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including three elegant ballrooms, assorted meeting and breakout rooms, private dining rooms, boardrooms, and outdoor terraces and gardens. The hotel routinely plans team-building events in its Action Kitchen, where teams learn cooking techniques and try to outdo each other.

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Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina

Home to the largest marina in New York’s Hamptons and situated on Lake Montauk, the 107-room Gurney’s Star Island Resort has made sustainability a core mission since opening in 2019. Showfish, the resort’s signature restaurant, allows guests to curate their own meal from dock to dish, sourcing local purveyors. In 2020, the property partnered with the Cornell Cooperative Extension Marine Program and others to deploy a special oyster reef that will help sustain the local habitat of fish and wildlife. The resort has 1,068 square feet of meeting space and 7,882 square feet of exhibit space.


Stella Awards 2021 Best Sustainability 1

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Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center

In Nashville, the 2,888-room Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center’s sustainability efforts read like a laundry list — a long one. The resort uses LED lighting in its guest rooms and 750,000 square feet of meeting space, and water-conservation faucets and toilets in public restrooms. The convention center has recycled 21 tons of exhibit-hall carpet and offers local resources to help groups reduce their environmental impact. Some 90 tons of plant debris has been removed from the property to be processed into mulch and compost. And that’s not all.

The resort has had 23 tons of commissary kitchen waste collected for mulch and compost, and 110 tons of kitchen oil filtered, reused, then repurposed for alternate uses. More than 380 pounds of honey have been harvested from the rooftop bee colony, and guest rooms use low-flow faucets and toilets. Well water is used at the laundry facility, and some 2,350 pounds of leftover soap have been donated to Shower the People. There’s more, but — point made.

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Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center

Here’s another sterling Gaylord list of conservation efforts, this time at the 1,416-room Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Kissimmee, Fla. The resort diverts discarded cardboard, electronics and aluminum from landfills in favor of recycling; strategically places recycling receptacles for guest use; has its own gardens to grow herbs and vegetables for use in kitchens; uses efficient pool-filter systems and variable-flow pumps to decrease water and energy consumption; has removed 90 tons of plant debris for processing into mulch and compost, and much more. The property has a total 482,745 square feet of event space across 76 rooms, the largest able to accommodate up to 10,000 people.


Stella Awards 2021 Best Sustainability 2

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Radisson Blu Mall of America

In Bloomington, Minn., the 500-room Radisson Blu’s farm-to-table restaurant, FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, features Minnesotan-Inspired cuisine made with locally-sourced ingredients. This includes the restaurant’s rooftop honey, which is sustainably harvested from honey bee colonies on the hotel’s roof in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of pollinator conservation.

Sustainability has been a priority since Radisson Blu opened in 2013, and the hotel has several other green initiatives in place. From recycling discarded soap through Clean the World to Blu Planet Housekeeping — an initiative designed to help conserve resources like water and energy, where guests can opt to forego housekeeping services. The hotel team is constantly researching ways they can reduce the hotel’s environmental footprint.


Stella Awards 2021 Best Sustainability 4

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The Broadmoor

From growing its own produce on-site to reduce carbon emissions to changing over 30,000 light bulbs to reduce energy impact, the 784-room Broadmoor in Colorado Springs, Colo., continues to expand upon a long roster of green initiatives. It even recycles its tennis balls by donating them to local senior living facilities (they use them on walkers and chairs), and its two golf courses are certified Audubon Sanctuaries. The hotel grows its own produce in its garden and greenhouse for its 20 restaurants and cafes, and harvests its own honey from on-property hives. Since 2017, over 23,000 pounds of food have been repurposed..

Eco-sustainable actions are in place throughout the entire 5,000-acre resort, with each department having its own green initiatives — including golf, spa, retail, F&B and housekeeping. Efforts touch on energy use, waste generation, water use, food rescue, social impact and volunteerism.

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Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center

In 2020, the 250-room Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center’s sustainability initiatives focused on providing the healthiest and safest environment possible for guests. To that end, the College Station, Texas, property installed new air filters with a MERV rating of 13 (most public establishments go for 8 or 9) to effectively neutralize indoor transmission of the novel coronavirus; increased fresh-air intake triggered by CO2 sensors to reduce the risk of infection; installed a new and advanced oxidation system that eliminates the virus on contact, and more. The hotel has 35,000 square feet of meeting space.


Stella Awards 2021 Best Sustainability 3

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The Venetian Resort Las Vegas

With the understanding that it has a responsibility to the planet, the 7,000-suite Venetian Resort Las Vegas has implemented a sustainability program that helps minimize its environmental impact. Among procedures to help conserve energy, water and reduce waste through operational efficiencies, the hotel turns off escalators and lights in unoccupied areas, maintains optimum temperature-set points and uses 50 percent lighting for trade shows during move-in and move-out. Though the resort is situated in a desert climate, the food team sources from organic and artisan suppliers in a 300-mile radius of the resort, and efforts are made to select fish that is currently in abundance.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Venetian has developed an innovative program to recycle surgical face masks which are being used by guests and staff. Discarded masks are collected on-site and sent to a recycling facility where they are separated, shredded and densified into a crumb-like raw material that is then used to make repurposed products such as composite lumber for shipping pallets, railroad ties and composite decking. In 2020, we recycled over 6,800 pounds of these masks, which are being converted into composite lumber.

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The Ranch Malibu

As a leading wellness retreat, the Ranch Malibu has a mission to attend to the environment in the same way it does its guests — with nurturing care and respect. Groups here are able to support their health while learning sustainable practices in a setting designed to be rustic, yet refined. There are no televisions, no cell and limited WiFi service to further aid in mental detoxification. The ranch’s 19 private cottages have reclaimed wood floors, while its delicious plant-based cuisine, much of it coming from an on-site certified organic garden, is an opportunity for guests to learn more about how this type of diet enhances their health while also benefiting the earth, using less water, power, land and grain than a meat-based approach. 

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In Yountville, Calif., the 62-room Bardessono is one of just 30 LEED Platinum-certified hotels in the world, which signifies that it supports and follows exacting standards in sustainable design, construction and operations. The hotel was built in part with 100,000 square feet of salvaged wood used for doors, flooring and walls, and today it is committed to providing a luxurious experience for guests within a sustainable environment. Among many on-site eco-initiatives, the property’s Lucy Restaurant & Bar uses energy-efficient equipment and locally sourced food from its own certified organic farming garden.


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Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa

The only LEED-certified hotel in the Cayman Islands, the 264-room Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa on Seven Mile Beach goes above and beyond the usual beach clean-up via propertywide sustainable practices. These include using low-impact deep-water cooling technology for dinking water and air conditioners, an extensive solar array for energy capture, a reduction and recycling program, and an ongoing effort to reduce or eliminate single-use plastic water bottles from guest rooms.

The hotel also creates special wellness and sustainable-themed events, such as during the week of April 19, 2021 (Earth Day fell on the 22nd), when a number of partners, vendors, charities and other community entities gathered on-site for a series of seminars and demonstration of sustainable practices, one such activity drawing some 100 organic gardeners.

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Kerry Hotel, Hong Kong

Its perch on Kawloon’s bustling waterfront at Hung Hom Bay gives the 546-room Kerry Hotel, Hong Kong, an acute appreciation for the fragility of the earth’s natural resources. An aggressive propertywide recycling effort is matched by the kitchen’s devotion to eco-friendly food products, working with organizations such as the Marine Stewardship Council to promote the use of sustainable seafood. The hotel has 13 meeting rooms, including a nearly 19,000-square-foot ballroom that can accommodate a banquet for 1,000 guests for a standing reception of up to 2,100. 

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Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, London

Conjuring a sense of Oriental elegance, the 202-room Shangri-La The Shard, London, offer a luxurious home away from home, yet one steeped in the sound philosophy of ecological conservation. The hotel, taking its cue from Shangri-La’s celebrated commitment to earth-friendly practices, has an extensive recycling program and continually strives to save energy using low-impact alternatives whenever possible. On March 27, 2021, the property helped celebrate the World Wildlife Fund’s Earth Hour by shutting off the lights on its iconic pointed tower, aka The Shard.