HOTEL EARNS GOV. AWARD FOR GOING GREENNearly everything is green at The Kahala Hotel & Resort – and we don’t just mean the plant décor. The hotel recently was recognized as the recipient of the 2015 Governor’s Green Business Award. (It also won in 2011 and 2012.)
“We believe that it’s our kuleana to be good stewards of our environment,” says assistant director of engineering Ellen Mansfield. “We want to get everyone toward a sustainable future.” Mansfield also is a leader on the hotel’s Green Committee, which consists of employees from different departments who brainstorm ways to further push The Kahala toward sustainability.
Before “going green” and eco-friendly building enhancements were the norm, the hotel implemented an energy-saving tool that pumps deep sea water to cool its chiller systems. The returning water then cascades over the resort’s iconic waterfall, creating a cooling effect for the surrounding area. That was 20 years ago, and the system continues to be one of the establishment’s biggest energy-saving features today.
“We get groups all the time that actually ask us about our practices before they book with us,” explains Mansfield. “They’re happy to know we have energy-saving measures in place.”
In 2006, The Kahala started increasing its focus on sustainability and implemented dozens of practices to reduce solid and food waste, reuse and recycle products, conserve energy and water, and prevent pollution. For instance, it installed an ultra-violet and saline system in the hotel swimming pool to lower chemical levels and eliminate chlorine by-products. It also put low-flow shower heads, toilets and sink aerators in guest rooms, resulting in a nearly 50 percent reduction in water usage.
Such practices extend to what the hotel is feeding its guests, too. The Kahala food and beverage staff grows an herb and vegetable garden on property and even maintains its own vermicompost on the premises. Ingredients from Nalo Farms and MA‘O Farms grace the menu, and burgers are served with Painted Hills beef, which is fed natural products and does not contain hormones.
Currently, the hotel is converting all of its lighting to LED. It also has plans to incorporate VFD (variable-frequency drive) capabilities to its motors, which will work to save energy by moderating motor speed and force. The resort also is working on a system that will allow it to reduce air conditioning usage. Additionally, the hotel is also considering other ways to go green. There are a few things that they could do, but one of the most popular things to do is recycle electronic devices that are no longer being used. Companies like Premier Surplus offer this service, so businesses can always consider contacting them. Hopefully, that will reduce the hotel’s e-waste, making them even greener.
“These practices also ensure our guests, employees and all of our future guests can continue to enjoy the resort for many years to come,” Mansfield adds.
For a full list of The Kahala Hotel & Resort’s sustainable practices, visit kahalaresort.com.