Many of us are familiar with the three "R's" mantra of environmental stewardship: reduce, reuse and recycle. In recent decades, it has become as prolific in our daily lives as the basic elements of primary curriculum: "reading, ‘riting and ‘rithmetic. Now, there's a new ‘R' on the block with the arrival of renewable energy. As part of their sustainability plan, Calgary-based Bellstar Hotels & Resorts (Bellsta r), is offsetting 100% of its energy usage at its Alberta* resorts through a Direct Energy offering of Carbon-Neutral Natural Gas and Certified Renewable Power, an EcoLogoTM recognized product.
"Bellstar is Direct Energy's first major hospitality customer in North America to take such a significant step in reducing their carbon footprint through the purchase of 100% carbon-neutral energy," said Graham Leith, Senior Director of Sales, Direct Energy. "As an industry leader in sustainability, entering into a customized energy contract which secures stable-priced, long-term supply of 100% low-carbon energy, not on ly contributes to a cleaner environment - it makes good business sense."
Through this initiative, Bellstar will offset the same amount of carbon sequestered by over 365,000 tree seedlings over ten years or the carbon emissions of more than 2,600 passenger vehicles for a year. PriceWaterhouseCoopers, an independent accounting firm, has been retained to verify that Direct Energy's annual carbon offset purchases match the carbon offsets sold to participating customers and that those offsets are retired.
"Bellstar's commitment to environmental stewardship extends far beyond implementing "green" business practices like using non-chemical cleaning products, reuse of items that would normally become expendable in hotel operations, and recycling," said Bellstar President & CEO, Ed Romanowski. "Investing in low-carbon energy is a key contributor to our goal towards sustainable business practices, while still delivering the exceptional resort experiences our guests have come to expect."
Further commitment to their owners, investors, guests and the environment is demonstrated through Bellstar's day-to-day operations. All Bellstar Resorts have implemented standards of conservation including, among others, in-room recycling; the use of AVEDA bathroom amenities which use organic matter and pride themselves on an ethical and traceable soil to bottle process; controlling temperature extremes in common areas and suites; increasing purchases of locally produced food and beverages; and using environmentally-friendly acid, phosphate and butyl free cleaning products.
"Our strategy to develop and manage environmentally-conscious destination resorts has also had a positive impact on our bottom line and has differentiated us in the industry," states Romanowski, "fueling our continued growth and success."
* Based on historical consumption
About Bellstar Hotels & Resorts
Bellstar manages and develops destination resorts and boutique hotels in Alberta's Rocky Mountains and in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley and Coastal Regions. Bellstar combines award-winning service, employment standards, property management and marketing excellence to deliver exceptional resort experiences for guests and owners alike. For more information on Bellstar, visit www.bellstar.ca
About Direct Energy
Direct Energy is one of North America's largest energy and energy-related services providers with over 5 million residential and commercial customer relationships. Direct Energy provides customers with choice and support in managing their energy costs through a portfolio of innovative products and services. A subsidiary of Centrica plc (LSE: CNA), one of the world's leading integrated energy companies, Direct Energy operates in 22 states plus DC and 10 provinces in Canada. To learn more about Direct Energy, visit www.directenergy.com