It is not easy for a large hotel building to be carbon neutral--especially one that has 1,590 rooms. There are just two ways to make it happen: be powered entirely by wind, solar or other renewable energy sources; or by purchasing carbon offsets in combination with energy-saving efforts. The Delta Chelsea, Canada's largest hotel and located in Toronto, has offset 109 percent of its annual carbon footprint through the LivClean Eco-Stay program. For 2009, 7,845 tons worth of carbon offsets were purchased. Through the LivClean Eco-Stay program, guests are asked to donate $1 upon check-out and all funds are sent to LivClean to purchase carbon offsets on the hotel's behalf.
There are some who say purchasing offsets is the easy way to get to carbon neutrality but the Delta Chelsea has done a lot on its own to reduce its environmental footprint. From 2005 to 2009, it reduced its carbon emissions by 64 percent. The hotel diverted 84 percent of its waste stream to recycling in 2009 and was selected as the winner of the 2008 Energy & Environment Award by the Hotel Association of Canada.
"As a business operating in a large community such as Toronto, the Delta Chelsea recognizes and respects its corporate responsibility to make it a stronger and better place to live," says Josef Ebner, regional vice-president and managing director, Delta Chelsea Hotel. "As a quality organization, this is a key focus for our hotel and for our company. To that end, we will always consider the environment in our decision-making, striving to take action that will positively impact the environment and that will go beyond existing regulations and legislation."
Congratulations to the Delta Chelsea Hotel for achieving "carbon neutrality."