Saturday, November 29, 2008

Education for Sustainability Field, Green Seal™ Silver Certified Category

Emcee: Debra Poneman

We are honoring our beautiful host hotel, the Green Seal™ Silver certified Allegro, and Regional Vice President for Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants, Mr. Ronald L. Vlasic.

As Regional Vice President, Ron provides operational support to Kimpton’s properties in Chicago, Denver, Aspen, Salt Lake City, Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver B.C.

He joined Kimpton in 1999 when he was brought on board as general manager of its historic Sir Francis Drake Hotel in the Union Square District of San Francisco. His transfer in 2001 to the Hotel Allegro Chicago returned the Chicago native home and put him in charge of the company’s largest property.

Under Mr. Vlasic’s initiative and direction, a number of unique programs and partnerships have been launched and are flourishing at the hotels within his region.

Besides being the recipient of the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association’s Hotelier of the Year Award, the Environemental Hall of Fame is most impressed that Ron is the:
  • Committee Chair for the Illinois Hotel Lodging Association’s Green Initiative
  • National Spokesperson for Kimpton’s Eco Initiative and when 5 Chicago Hotels were granted Green Seal™ certification just last month, 3 were Kimpton properties under Ron Vlasic’s leadership.
What does it mean for Kimpton’s Hotel Allegro, Hotel Burnham and Hotel Monaco to become 3 of the first 5 Chicago hotels to receive Green Seal™ certification?

An independent not-for-profit organization, Green Seal™ certifies lodging properties meeting stringent environmental requirements in waste minimization, energy efficiency, water conservation, waste water management, and environmentally responsible procurement.

The Chicago Kimpton hotels began their pursuit of Green Seal™ certification in 2007 as part of the City of Chicago’s Climate Action Plan and the Green Hotels Initiative, a collaborative effort to secure Green Seal™ certifications for more hotels in Chicago than any other city in the nation. Since then, the 3 chicago Kimpton hotels have enhanced over 40 operating practices under Kimpton’s EarthCare program. These practices include:
  • Aggressive recycling programs.
  • Elimination of hazardous chemicals in all paints and cleaning products.
  • Back-of-house energy efficiencies such as CFL lighting, closet light sensors and comprehensive green purchasing policies.
As part of the certification process, Chicago Kimpton hotels have also begun feasibility studies on progressive solutions such as waste composting.

Implementation of EarthCare practices has resulted in tremendous savings at all of the 3 hotels. For example, in 2007 Kimpton’s company-wide paper reduction efforts saved 54,509 pounds of waste from landfills. In-room recycling efforts led to the recycling of 9.5 million pounds of paper products and 3.8 million pounds of plastic, glass and aluminum. The company also converted 51,070 gallons of chemicals to non-toxic cleaners.

With great admiration and appreciation it is our honor to induct Ron Vlasic and the Hotel Allegro, a Kimpton Hotel, into the Environmental Hall of Fame.