InterContinental Miami Goes 100% Wind Powered

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Company:

InterContinental Miami

Innovation:

Offestting electricity use with wind power

Issue:

Energy

Results:

Significant reductions in carbon dioxide emitted

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Hotels aren’t traditionally thought of as environmentally sustainable, with their countless tiny shampoo bottles and piles of dirty laundry. Despite this, the InterContinental Miami is one of the industry leaders in looking to change this negative perception about how hotels affect our planet. Through a broad sustainability focus that encompasses some of the most pressing environmental issues, along with forming strategic partnerships, the InterContinental have achieved their goal of greatly reducing the harm they do.

The hotel has paid particular attention to their energy usage, looking to move away from more polluting conventional energy sources and shift towards renewable power. To do this, they have recently partnered with New York-based green power supplier Green Light Energy to fulfill 100% of their energy needs. The company is providing the hotel with renewable energy certificates (REC) sourced from American wind farms — by the end of 2012, the InterContinental will have purchased approximately 15.5 million kilowatt-hours (kWh). The EPA estimates that this will prevent the emission of 10,665 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent to the greenhouse gas emissions from 2,091 passenger vehicles each year.

The REC purchase makes the hotel the largest green power purchaser in Florida to be named to the most recent 100% Purchaser’s List maintained by the EPA’s Green Power Partnership, which was formed to promote the sole use of renewable energy in large American organizations. “Our decision to go green was another way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity”, says Robert Hill, the hotel’s General Manager.  “Our hotel has a reputation as an active member of the community and part of that social responsibility lies in making green and sustainable operating decisions that set an example for others to follow.” 

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Drew Nitschke is a first-year graduate student at Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment, working towards degree in Environmental Economics and Policy. He is especially interested in sustainability and how it relates to business of all sizes. He graduated from UCLA in June 2012 after...
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