The Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver has been successful in greening their business and has become an environmental leader in the accommodations world — with a passion for energy efficiency, they’re only getting greener.

Maintaining the status of a 5 Green Key rating, receiving an award to start their new year from Forbes for their service and excellence and winning Trip Advisor’s 2014 Traveler’s Choice Award for Top Luxury Hotels in Canada are just a few things that are going on for Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver.

The driving force behind these sustainability and energy efficiency accomplishments is Priyan Jayetileke, director of engineering. Going beyond a simple switch to LED lighting in all the public spaces of the hotel, Jayetileke spends his days motivating his staff and strategizing new energy-efficient opportunities and inspires while saving their carbon footprint.

New additions to their energy efficiency efforts

This green hotel has followed through with sustainability initiatives set and discussed since the last time we talked to them. Since, they’ve been trying new programs and resources in efforts to maximize their energy efficiency.

Still partnered up with BC Hydro, Four Seasons Vancouver targeted their HVAC system as an energy saving opportunity — realizing it was consuming 33 per cent of the hotel’s energy, after a consultant from BC Hydro completed an energy audit. Having done so well in certain areas, their involvement in the BC Hydro Power Smart program helped to provide funding to complete their projects.

With two energy management programs installed, i-Vu to identify points of energy savings and Pulse Energy to monitor the day by day (or hour by hour), the hotel is always sniffing out new ways of getting even more energy-efficient.

But when a representative from Kiko Water Systems came to promote their ‘too good to be true’ product, Jayetileke was skeptical. Still, he did his research — going down to the marine building to speak to the engineer there who was using the Kiko Water system. The product, it turns out, is good and true.

“I was amazed after talking to the supervisor and engineer,” says Jayetileke, “They had made close to 20 per cent savings — that was only in the first year!”

So Four Seasons Vancouver went for it after a proposal — treating the water for heating and cooling. Jayetileke explains it as being crystal based, made from volcanic rock — putting it into the heating and cooling loops in order to purify the water as it goes through the filter system and changes the velocity of the water. “In a nutshell, what he told me was it was bringing water back to the original state,” says Jayetileke, “Thousands of years ago water didn’t have so many impurities. [By bringing it back] there’s better heat transfer, it flows properly — if you have to cool the room, it takes less time. Energy savings.”

It’s currently in its pilot stage as it was only installed a month and a half ago — the results are predicted to show in three months. This project is estimating $60,000 per year in savings.

Also unique to Vancouver’s Four Seasons is the Eco-luxury rock program. They collect rocks from the beach and guests can signal their green behaviour by leaving the stone offered in their rooms on the bed to avoid changing towels and linens. In January alone, the rock program saved them $2,209.

Always striving for more, Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver has set even more green initiatives

For 2014, their focus will be on the waste management side — aiming to achieve a zero waste status. Because of the new municipal law coming into action next year preventing food waste going into the compacter, Four Seasons is educating and training their staff as they get ready for it.

Joining forces with Green Path, a strategic waste management company, cooks are weighing waste before the bin, locating areas of waste and coming up with smarter waste solutions.

With green committee meetings still on the go, the Four Seasons Vancouver have some big goals. They’re working on a sustainable local menu (from farm to table), off-site recycling programs for cooking oils, food waste, paints, batteries, fluorescent lights and scrap metal and employee sponsored transit pass discount programs to promote the use of public transit systems.

Their on-going partnership with BC Hydro’s Power Smart program is predicted to save 1,567MHW resulting in cost savings of $94,020.

Keeping this energy-efficient shade of green is hard work — but Jayetileke is dedicated, constantly working on the structure and motivating his staff. His words of wisdom should inspire other folks in the accommodations scene.

“Every dollar you save in hydro or waste management goes right to the bottom line,” says Jayetileke, “And you’re saving your carbon footprint.”


Image credit: Colour