Written by Marissa Sulmeisters, ESLLC 2016-2017
A sustainable business in my community is the Denver Brown Palace. This is a historic hotel in downtown Denver. I grew up going to Trinity United Methodist Church which is right across from the Brown Palace. I have gone inside and looked around a few times as well as had tea there after performing for women’s luncheons. (My sister plays the harp and I occasionally sing.) The Brown Palace is very old and on top of modernizing the inside of the building to conserve more energy, they have also adjusted their practices to be more environmentally friendly.
The hotel’s goals are to raise awareness of sustainability in guests and business associates, reduce its consumption of water and energy, recycle and compost more to increase waste diversion, and to foster a culture of sustainability.
The hotel now features BPA-free plastics and paraben free amenities. They have recently redesigned the in room amenities they provide guests to include biodegradable show and laundry bags and 100% recycled cardboard packaging for shower caps and shoe shine. Furthermore, they have a sustainable purchasing policy which further assists them in protecting the planet.
So far, they have reduced their electricity usage by 24% per room, reduced natural gas usage by 30% per room, reduced water usage by 48% per room, and increased waste diversion by a multiple of 3.9.
They have won multiple “Good Earthkeeping” awards and are Green Key certified due to their deep sustainability based culture present in everything from their engineering to housekeeping. They also work to let nature do most of the work by using large windows for natural light in their main lobby and they have their own artesian well that provides them with water for their entire property, and they house 5 bee colonies on their rooftop which provide honey for things like spa products.
Their plans for the future include further reducing their water, electricity, and natural gas consumption.
I find this very cool and exciting because the Brown Palace is so old and thus now serves as a concrete example of how society can evolve to help the environment while still being historic and beautiful. It gives me hope that we as a society can change and work together to save our planet.