Boston's Saunders Hotel Group Plays Host to Greener Practices

Boston's Saunders Hotel Group Plays Host to Greener Practices

Two Boston-area hotels today were awarded Energy Star labels for superior energy efficiency. By achieving excellence at two facilities built a century apart, the Saunders Hotel Group is showing that all buildings -- historic and new -- can save money and benefit the environment with a sound energy management strategy.

The two hotels awarded with the Energy Star designation are the historic Lenox Hotel, in downtown Boston, and the Comfort Inn & Suites, located just north of Logan Airport, which received the Energy Star label in 2003. Both hotels are owned and operated by Saunders Hotel Group. Only one other Massachusetts hotel, the Sheraton Boston, has ever received the Energy Star label.

"The Saunders Hotel Group is a national leader in energy efficiency and environmental innovation," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England regional office, in announcing the awards. "This company is proving that energy efficiency is good management, good for the environment, and good for the bottom line."

The Lenox Hotel uses 25% less energy than the average hotel in its class, preventing almost 10 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year -- the equivalent of taking nearly 1,000 cars off the road. The Boston/Airport Comfort Inn uses almost 40% less energy than the average, similar-sized, hotel in its class. The prevented greenhouse gas emissions from the two hotels are equivalent to that created by several hundred U.S. households every year. These energy efficiencies translate to tens of thousands of dollars saved on energy bills.

"We're extremely proud to receive this important recognition for our genuine commitment to energy efficiency and environmental leadership," said Tedd Saunders, co-owner and executive vice president for The Saunders Hotel Group. "We firmly believe that our continued success is demonstrating that responsible business practices can enable companies, people and the planet we all depend upon, to prosper."

The Saunders Hotel Group has also demonstrated its organization-wide commitment to energy performance by becoming one of the first companies in the nation to join Energy Star Leaders, an EPA partnership with businesses who commit to making ongoing energy efficiency improvements.

"The Saunders Hotel Group's leadership in energy performance complements my administration's commitment to making Boston a leader in green building practice," said Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. "I want to congratulate the Saunders for their designation as an Energy Star Leader."

The Saunders Hotel Group achieved these impressive results using a wide range of state of the art technologies and innovative practices. Some of their environmental initiatives include:
  • The Lenox uses quiet, energy-efficient heat pumps in guestrooms for heating and cooling. A new building skin and Low-e thermopane windows, installed during a recent renovation, help to significantly reduce energy use. Motion sensors on all vending machines cut energy consumption on the units by over 60%. Finally, environmental purchasing programs and extensive recycling reduce the hotels' waste stream.

  • The Airport Comfort Inn & Suites uses a chlorine-free swimming pool cleaning system. Covering the swimming pool every night reduces heat and water loss from evaporation. Energy efficient, infrared motion sensors control heating and air conditioning in guestrooms, "back of house" lighting and vending machines. In addition, the hotel replaced its airport shuttles with three cleaner-burning compressed natural gas vehicles.

  • Ozone laundry systems minimize the use of hot water and unhealthy chlorine.

  • 4700 Compact Fluorescent bulbs have been installed throughout the buildings, consuming only one-quarter of the energy and lasting ten times longer than traditional incandescent lightbulbs.

  • Low VOC (volatile organic compound) cleaning products, paints and air fresheners all ensure the hotels' indoor air quality is healthier and more enjoyable.

  • Using water conserving equipment such as closed loop cooling towers and air-cooled ice machines.

  • High quality, low flow toilets, showers, and sinks.
EPA introduced Energy Star in 1992 as a voluntary, market-based partnership to reduce air and water pollution through increased energy efficiency. The program helps businesses and consumers save energy and money while protecting the environment for future generations. Last year, Energy Star helped Americans save enough energy to power 20 million homes and reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to those from 18 million cars -- all while saving consumers and businesses $9 billion.

The Energy Star label is awarded to buildings that demonstrate superior energy performance. Energy Star's national performance rating system ranks building energy performance on a one to 100 scale based on energy usage per square foot, normalized for weather, climate, occupancy and other factors. Buildings scoring 75 or higher that meet standards for indoor air quality, lighting, ventilation and thermal comfort are eligible for the label. Since 1999, 61 buildings in Massachusetts have earned the designation, including K-12 schools, office buildings, supermarkets, hospitals and hotels.

The Saunders Hotel Group is a third generation, family business that owns and operates three properties in Boston including: The Lenox Hotel, the Copley Square Hotel and The Comfort Inn & Suites Boston/Airport.