Kelowna-based company helps Fairmont Pacific Rim eliminate plastics

A Kelowna-based company has helped Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel eliminate the use of non-essential, single-use plastics.

Back in 2018, GreenStep Solutions, located in downtown Kelowna, launched an extensive audit of all single-use plastics within the hotel operation.

The process included reviewing the purpose and frequency of single-use plastic practices, removing items entirely, identifying reusable alternatives, and introducing sustainable materials.

As of August 2022, GreenStep awarded Fairmont Pacific Rim the third-party verifier’s first Single-Use Plastic Free Certification within the North American hospitality sector.

“Since 2008, we have worked with thousands of businesses across various sectors to help them on their sustainability journey and we are beyond pleased to award the first hotel this impressive certification,” said GreenStep Solutions president and CEO Angela Nagy in a press release.

“We look forward to continuing our relationship with Fairmont Pacific Rim to serve as a beacon of progress in the tourism and hospitality sector.”

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The audit led Fairmont to make several changes including:

  • Reusable cherry wood key cards replaced 36,000 plastic key cards.
  • Over 198,000 small bath amenity bottles have been replaced by large format refillable bottles.
  • The hotel will eliminate thousands of pounds of plastic water bottles each year with recyclable alternatives.
  • 12,500 plastic laundry bags used per year have been replaced with a reusable cloth alternative.
  • In-room amenities such as razors, toothbrushes, cotton buds, and shower caps have been replaced with environmentally-friendly versions.
  • Fiber-based solutions have replaced all food and beverage take-away containers and cutlery.

“This certification is a major milestone for our hotel and one we hope to inspire continued sustainability efforts across our industry,” said Fairmont Pacific Rim regional vice president and general manager Jens Moesker in the press release.

“Changing long-held industry practices required creative solutions from all of our staff and this achievement is a testament to their commitment to innovation and environmental stewardship demonstrated by all.”

To mark their certification milestone, Fairmont Pacific Rim says guests can add a $20.00 CAD fee to their booking, with proceeds from the add-on donated to Ocean Legacy Foundation, a Canadian-based non-profit organization that aims to end ocean plastic waste.

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