The following are highlights of the hotel’s environmentally-mindful features and practices:
- The hotel building uses 30% less energy than a conventional hotel through use of ultra-efficient materials and the latest construction technology. The hotel is also working with a green power supplier to purchase 35% of the building’s electricity use for its first two years of operation, and on Saturday evenings, the hotel briefly dims its Lobby lighting in a salute to candle power and simpler, more energy-efficient ways of illumination.
- Guest room air quality is optimized by circulating large amounts of outside air into rooms and suites, and interior use of low-emitting volatile organic compound (VOC) paints, adhesives and carpets consistently reduces indoor air contamination.
- Water usage is reduced by 35% by the use of high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, saving approximately 700,000 gallons of water a year. Additionally, all irrigation for hotel plants utilizes captured rainwater from 1 Bank of America Center storage tanks.
- More than 80% of the hotel’s construction waste was recycled, diverting 3,900 tons of debris from area landfills.
- Leather products utilized in the hotel have been created with recycled leather. Additionally, FSC (Forest Stewardship Council)-certified sapele logs are utilized by the hotel, a rarity in the United States. This sustainable wood is used in multiple places throughout the property.
- Regional vendors and artists are used by the hotel to reduce transportation and packaging for its celebrated art collection.
- A Regeneration Suiting product line (suits made out of recycled two-liter plastic bottles) is used in uniform selection for various departments.
- A comprehensive recycling program is visible throughout the hotel, and hotel printed materials are produced on post-consumer waste recycled paper.
- Meeting room tables were designed and constructed using recycled aluminum. Environmentally-friendly meetings are a standard at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte.
- A Natura® Water Filtration program is in place to provide and contain purified still and sparkling water for meeting attendees. The system reduces the hotel’s carbon footprint by decreasing its usage of bottled water for visiting groups, thereby reducing the energy and resources needed to transport, store, and dispose of plastic bottles. For individual guests, Prima water bottles are provided and are made from 100 percent plant materials.
- The hotel’s Something Green wedding package responds to marrying couples’ interest in creating environmentally-responsible receptions. The package ensures that reception flowers and keepsakes do not become wasted resources and includes table linens made of fabric derived from recycled plastic bottle materials, centerpieces placed in compostable papier mâché containers, and take-home gifts of plant-able herb gardens. Reception wedding cuisine, including cocktails, wines and the wedding cake, are all organic in this special package.
- The hotel’s Living Essentials Boutique offers a selection of organic clothing, accessories, products and education materials.
- Over the holiday season, a larger-than-life-size organic gingerbread house highlights the hotel Lobby, providing a close-up look at the remarkable culinary items that can be created using natural and organic ingredients.
- The hotel conducts regular community activities focused on environmental conservation, including city clean-up projects and community recycling days for consumer electronics, used athletic shoes and bicycles. In honor of Earth Day and Earth Week 2010, The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte hosted several dozen local elementary school children and their chaperones for an organic lunch and environmental tour of the hotel and its green roof. Further property activities that week included a city cleanup initiative by hotel employees, planting of green roofs on structures adjacent to the hotel’s own roof, operation of a community electronics recycling drive, and a regional farmers’ market open to the public and presented alongside the hotel on Earth Day.