The Town of Snowmass Village Environmental Advisory Board recognized two local businesses for their leadership and commitment to environmental stewardship. The Westin Snowmass Resort and Eco Steam Wash received the first annual Snowmass Village Environmental Award at the 2013 John Bemis Community Potluck at the Westin Snowmass Conference Center.
The Snowmass Village Environmental Award celebrates local leadership and commitment to environmental stewardship through policies, programs, or actions focused on energy conservation, water quality and/or conservation, and waste reduction and recycling. Applicants must be organizations or businesses located in and/or operating in the Town. Nominations were sought in fall, 2013 from businesses and organizations of all sizes and services. Projects were evaluated as much as possible on the quantifiable results that positively affect the environment.
First Place: The Westin Snowmass Resort
In November, 2012, The Westin Snowmass Resort opened after undergoing a $55 million renovation project over seven month. Beyond the obvious changes to hotel amenities, services , and programming, some less obvious improvements were made to reduce the hotel's environmental footprint.
During the renovation of the property low flow fixtures were installed in public spaces and hotel rooms, LED lights were installed throughout hotel grounds, bathrooms were fitted with low-flow shower heads, reclaimed lumber was used to finish rooms, restaurants, and elevators, and pools and hot tubs were converted to salt water.
"Since opening the new Westin Snowmass Resort, Starwood Hotels and Resorts' initiative to be a good global citizen has been a central consideration," said John Curnow, general manager for the Westin Snowmass. "During the renovation of our hotels, we invested heavily in the Starwood 30-20 by 20 initiative, which aims to reduce hotel power consumption by 30 percent and water consumption by 20 percent across its entire portfolio by 2020."
The hotel also adopted sustainable meeting practices to reduce the waste associated with the hundreds of meetings conducted at their property each year--providing bottled water alternatives, serving condiments in bulk, and providing sustainable banquet and catering options with limited packaging.
At the end of 2013, the hotel complex which includes the Westin and Wildwood will submit energy and water usage into Starwood's environmental impact assessment survey. This system benchmarks the hotels energy and water usage, and allows building managers to track the effectiveness of sustainability initiatives over time. Also, beginning in 2014, they will provide meeting planners with a meeting impact report card to quantify meeting and meeting attendee usage of energy and water, and track their waste.
Honorable Mention: Eco Steam Wash
Eco Steam Wash is an auto detailing and steam cleaning company operating out of the Viceroy Hotel in Snowmass Village. The company was created with the ecological mission to enhance the importance of water conservation and reduce water pollution.
They are among the first car washes in the United States to operate with high pressure steam wash technology, which uses up to 90 percent less water than a typical car wash bay. By using steam, they avoid the use of shampoos and use a fully biodegradable degreaser to reduce dirt when needed. Cleaning products are all water-based. The company does not use harsh chemicals like chlorine, ammonia and oil solvents.
"We can wash the outside of a car with as little as a half gallon of water, and there is no need for drains or a water runoff system because all of the moisture remains on our rags," said Mario Zulian Neto, owner of Eco Steam Wash. "This avoids water and chemical disposal into our rivers."
About the Environmental Advisory Board
The Snowmass Village Environmental Advisory Board is a collaborative group committed to updating and accomplishing the goals of the Town's environmental sustainability plan. The board provides technical expertise and a broad community perspective in order to develop recommendations concerning projects, programs, policies, and operational practices that benefit the natural environment, the local economy, and community. They encourage community participation in these pursuits and manage relationships with other area environmental groups.