Environmental Responsibility Program
The Colony Hotel is an independent, family-owned hotel with a sister
property in Delray Beach, Florida. Both Colony Hotels strive to provide
personal gracious hospitality and world-class service with sensitivity
to environmental concerns. We acknowledge our interdependence with all
living things, and we operate with the belief that ecological, economic,
and cultural sustainability require equity and balance among all
parties. The Colony Hotel is making great strides toward incorporating
this philosophy into all of its phases of business. We are committed to
protecting our environment and helping to ensure a future for all living
The programs initiated here by The Colony Hotel Ecology Group include
solid waste reduction, material reuse, recycling, energy and water
conservation, and hazardous waste elimination.
The education and communications campaign continues to strengthen our efforts to make
environmental awareness second nature to our employees and guests. The
following are some of the ways The Colony Hotel and our employees are
working to be more environmentally responsible. We encourage all
employees and guests to suggest ways we may improve and expand our
recycling and waste reduction programs.
THE COLONY HOTEL ECOLOGY GROUP
The Colony Hotel Ecology Group was established by the Hotel
Owner/General Manager to help ensure environmental sensitivity in all
hotel operations. The Ecology Group meets monthly during the hotel
season. The position of Recycling Chief was created to run the Recycling
Department. The positions of Director of Environmental Programs and
Manager of Environmental Operations were created to research, develop,
and implement environmental programs and operations.
KITCHEN AND HOUSEKEEPING DEPARTMENTS
- Eliminate the use of Styrofoam food containers in the kitchen.
- Eliminate the use of aerosol spray products in the kitchen and housekeeping.
- Eliminate use of plastic trash can liners and use recycled liners when needed.
- Use non-toxic cleaning materials in the kitchen and housekeeping.
- Compost organic kitchen wastes for use as soil amendment in gardens.
- Re-use appropriate leftover food for bird-feeding program.
- Re-make former guest room bedspreads and curtains into Gift Shop collectibles for sale, dog blankets, and baby crib quilts and sheets.
- Former guest room sheets re-made into kitchen staff aprons.
- Re-use packing material from merchandise shipping.
- Emphasize local, Maine-made and environmental education products.
- Specialize in items made from recycled materials.
- Provide products made from natural ingredients with no animal testing.
ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICES AND PURCHASING/RECYCLING DEPARTMENTS
- Reduce waste through careful buying to eliminate excessive packaging, including buying in bulk.
- Support community businesses by purchasing as many locally made products as possible.
- Buy only recycled paper products for office use, newsletters, and promotional materials.
- Photocopy all materials on both sides.
- Recycle soda cans, food cans, newspapers, glass, and plastics.
- Cut up used office paper for note pads.
- Distribute recycling bins throughout the hotel and the dormitories for use by the employees and guests.
- Distribute our Green Meeting Guide targeted for business meetings and retreats.
- Use E.P.A. "Energy Star compliant" machinery whenever possible.
LANDSCAPING AND MAINTENANCE DEPARTMENTS
- Compost organic waste from the kitchen and garden.
- Eliminate chemicals in the gardens and use botanical controls to treat fungus and insect problems.
- Use native plant species in garden design.
- Grow herbs and flowers for use in kitchen and hotel.
- Dispose and/or recycle toxic waste such as motor oil, antifreeze, etc., in environmentally sensitive ways.
- In renovation projects, use construction methods and materials that are kind to the environment.
- Insulate rooms to conserve energy by using cellulose, the best example of recycled material used in insulation, 80% post-consumer recycled newspaper by weight.
GUEST AND STAFF ROOMS
- Offer guests option not to have sheets and towels changed every day in an effort to reduce energy use and detergent waste.
- Reduce guest room waste stream by utilizing recycling and water conservation programs.
- Provide environmentally safe laundry detergent for a nominal fee to employees who use laundry machines on property.
- Use biodegradable liquid soap, shampoo and hair conditioner as guest room bath amenities. Use no products tested on animals.
- Received National Wildlife Federation certification as a "U.S. Backyard Wildlife Habitat", the only hotel in the Northeast to be so designated.
- Developed a self-guided "Eco-Visit to The Colony Hotel" scavenger hunt available from Gift Shop, Social Director, and Front Desk to encourage environmental awareness in children.
- Maintain environmental bulletin boards for guests and staff with current information and tips.
- Make available The Colony Hotel bird and animal sightings list available for guests to record their observations.
- Offer staff naturalist-led weekly programs on coastal Maine ecology for guests in July and August.
- Participate in conferences and programs promoting green business ethics and environmental awareness (Director of Environmental Programs, Manager of Environmental Operations, and Owner/General Manager).
RECOGNITIONS AND AWARDS
- "2001 Conservation Award", Business Category, Kennebunk Conservation Commission
- Yankee Magazine, "Editor's Pick", 1997, 2000
- Historic Hotels of America Certification, National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1998
- Best Practice Champion, "Guest-Friendly Environment & Recycling Practices: Becoming a Green Hotel", Cornell University School of Hotel Management, the American Hotel Federation, American Express, 1999
- "Most Creative Holiday Door", Business Category, Kennebunkport Historical Society, (conservation of over-wintering birds theme), 1999
- "Recycling Hero Award", Maine Chamber and Business Alliance, 1998.
- "Gold Star Award", Maine Development Foundation, 1998 (for adding tourism jobs to Maine's economy).
- Travel Digest, "One of Best 50 Hotels in the World", 1998
- "U.S. Backyard Wildlife Habitat", National Wildlife Federation, 1997, (the only hotel in the Northeast to be so designated).
- Florida State University "Green Business Award", 1996 (for environmental ethics in business strategy).
- Green Hotels Association Charter Member Certification, 1995.
The Colony Hotel
140 Ocean Ave
Kennebunkport, ME 04046