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The InterContinental San Francisco Goes Green

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

The InterContinental San Francisco announces its plan to achieve LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification by early 2010. Working in conjunction with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the organization that sets the standards and categories for LEED® certification, the InterContinental San Francisco is applying for certification in the “existing build operations and maintenance” category (EBOM) and will be evaluated on every facet of the property from construction and design elements to the types of amenities used in hotel guestrooms.

The InterContinental San Francisco, the first of a new generation of hotels, opened in February 2008. The 550-room hotel is set in the heart of San Francisco, in the city’s bustling South of Market district and adjacent to the Moscone Convention Center. Pursuing LEED® certification was a goal of the InterContinental San Francisco prior to its opening and since its debut the hotel has committed itself to integrating as many sustainable practices as possible into daily operations and upkeep of the property.

“From working with local organic and sustainable farmers at our restaurant Luce to our comprehensive recycling program throughout the property, we are constantly striving to run our business as efficiently and responsibly as possible for both our guests and our community,” says InterContinental San Francisco General Manager Peter Koehler. “We know it is our responsibility to respect the environment and pursing LEED® certification is the next step in our commitment for a better future.”

In guest rooms and meeting spaces, motion sensors shut down power in unoccupied guestrooms to conserve energy; natural, automatic sensors on sinks and toilets conserve water; digital reader boards throughout the hotel and in meeting spaces reduce the amount of paper used for special events and a linen and towel re-use program, reusable laundry, shoe and newspaper bags and recyclable bins are offered in every guest room.

The InterContinental’s I-Spa uses products that feature organic ingredients and recycled packaging whenever possible; 100 % micro-fiber sheets and amenity robes cut down on drying time and expendable energy during the cleaning process and all spa products are free of synthetic fragrances, artificial dyes or colors, paraben and petroleum and are not tested on animals.

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