Two Hyatts in Dallas recently became the largest hospitality industry purchasers of renewable energy. The properties — Hyatt Regency Dallas at Reunion and the Hyatt DFW International Airport — source 100 percent of their electricity from Green Mountain Energy Co., which uses a combination of wind, solar and low-impact hydro facilities to generate power. The Dallas Hyatts draw their juice from Green Mountain's wind farm in nearby Brazos, TX.

Hyatt says these energy purchases help the company reduce its share of pollution from carbon dioxide emissions, a greenhouse gas scientists believe contributes to global warming. According to the company, the two Hyatts, by buying renewable energy and each using an average of 1,416 megawatt hours of electricity per month, help avoid as much air pollution as is generated by more than 4,400 autos, or the equivalent of driving 55 million miles.

“This was a chance to make a very public statement about the responsibility we have to be good community stewards,” says Hyatt Regency Dallas General Manager Steve Vissotzky. “This unique agreement with Green Mountain Energy not only makes economic sense, but it also complements our existing sustainable business practices.”

The Canadian lodging industry is also turning its attention to the environment. The Hotel Association of Canada last month unveiled its Canada Goes Green initiative that it hopes will encourage hoteliers to improve energy performance. Key to the effort is a Green Key Eco-Rating Program.

“The program is a graduated rating system designed to recognize properties that are committed to improving their environmental performances,” said HAC President Tony Pollard in announcing the intiative. “Designed by hoteliers for hoteliers, the belief behind the program is simple: environmental leadership and responsibility makes business sense.”

A dozen Canadian hotel companies representing more than 1,000 properties have committed to the program so far.

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