More and more travellers these days are consciously seeking out the best hotels in Kelowna in terms of environmental sustainability. Many accommodation providers and tourism operators have taken initiatives to become more eco-friendly, which is allowing people who come to the Okanagan to travel more responsibly than ever.
Fortunately, there are a number of organizations that have established voluntary certification programs to create awareness of what these Kelowna hotels are doing. This has many positive benefits for the industry:
- Increases consumer education, allowing them to make informed decisions
- Gives green hotels a targeted method for improving environmental practices
- Offers incentive for hotels to make the eco-friendly choices
A Pioneer of the Green Hotel Movement in the Okanagan
Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel & Suites is a great example of an organization that began implementing environmentally sustainable practices before they became an industry trend.
For example, back in 2002, the hotel had the foresight to install a massive solar hybrid water-heating system. In the summer, it heats enough water to supply the hotel with 90 per cent of what it needs to service its:
- Swimming pool
- Two hot tubs
- 154 rooms
Not only does this solar technology save the hotel money every year, it prevents literally tons of greenhouse gasses from being emitted into the atmosphere.
Other examples of green initiatives adopted by Best Western Kelowna include:
- Electric vehicle charging stations
- Energy-efficient lighting
- Mineral salt pool (instead of chlorine)
- Low-flow toilets
- LEED-certified 24-room environmental wing
A Gold Star for Sustainability
These initiatives, which are part of the hotel’s ambitious sustainability plan, have helped Kelowna Best Western earn numerous awards, including a Green Tourism Gold certification. Originating in the United Kingdom, and now with offices worldwide, Green Tourism is the largest sustainable certification program of its kind. It assesses hundreds of hotels and tourism operators around the world every year, helping them:
- Promote their environmental endeavors to consumers
- Differentiate themselves from competitors
- Save money on utilities and others operations processes
- Reduce waste, energy consumption and carbon footprint
- Inspire others to go green
The only other organizations that currently meet the Green Tourism Gold standards in the Okanagan are:
Always Looking to Improve
As an industry leader for sustainability, Best Western Kelowna is constantly looking to set the bar higher. They recently did that by becoming the first organization to be ecobase Certified. Ecobase is a Kelowna organization that helps businesses track their carbon footprint and invest in carbon-reduction projects.
The first project on their list is a big one: a solar PV array installed on the roof!
To learn more about ecobase Certified, check out: First ecobase Certified Kelowna Hotel.
Guest blog post written by Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel & Suites.
Best Western Plus Kelowna Hotel & Suites is a pet-friendly “Green Hotel” offering first-class accommodations in Kelowna, the largest city in the BC interior.