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Fairmont Hotels Power Up Green IT Program

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts are adding eco-friendly IT strategies to the company's Green Partnership environmental program and developing power management, procurement and recycling plans for their facilities.

The Fairmont Green Partnership program has its roots in the company's Canadian hotels, which launched their Earth-conscious practices in 1990.

The IT component is the latest development in the Fairmont's environmental initiative. The green IT effort launched this summer and will continue to roll out at properties through the rest of the year. It encompasses a range of activities that are intended to conserve energy, promote responsible purchasing, cut waste and help shrink the company's carbon footprint.

To better manage energy use, for example, computer workstations and laptops, which are centrally controlled by the brand, will power down after an hour of inactivity. The company says the measure will reduce energy consumption by an estimated 2,692,683 KwH per year and in turn produce a savings of 1,356 tonnes of CO2.

The new procurement policy is expected to require that IT products are Energy Star rated or rated according to the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool.  

Steps to cut waste are to involve participation in electronic waste diversion in markets where such programs exist. The company also said it will work to establish donation standards that are in sync with those of qualified and reputable recycling companies and charities.

In March, Fairmont joined the WWF's Climate Savers Program and committed the company to a brandwide carbon emissions reduction plan. The chain set a goal of reducing operational CO2 emissions from its existing portfolio of hotels by 20 percent below its 2006 levels by 2013. The company's portfolio includes 56 world-class hotels.  

Fairmont is owned by Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, which has 91 hotels worldwide under the Raffles, Fairmont and Swissôtel brands.

The greening of IT in hotel companies is gaining increasing attention inside as well as outside the lodging industry.

In April, Computerworld magazine named Marriott International among the "Top 12 IT Companies." Efforts by the hotel giant include leasing space from Iron Mountain Inc. for a new data center 220 feet below ground in a former limestone mine -- which slashes cooling costs to less than half the expense of chilling a comparably sized space above ground.

Other measures taken by Marriott include reducing the number of its servers through virtualization, instituting built-in power management for desktop equipment and putting green procurement and waste diversion policies in place. The acknowledgment by Computerworld this year marked the second time that the company had made the magazine's list.

Last month, the magazine recognized the hotel company in another category: Computerworld named Marriott International Inc. as one of the 100 best places to work in information technology.

The Fairmont in San Francisco -- Image courtesy of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.

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