Sterling Planet is supplying the Barclay with more than 6.3 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of Green-e Energy certified RECs from nationwide wind sources, offsetting all of the hotel’s use of conventional electricity. This amount of renewable energy represents enough electricity to power about 500 average U.S. households for a year.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, this move to wind energy, a zero-emissions electricity source, results in the avoidance of approximately 8.6 million pounds of carbon dioxide, a key greenhouse gas. The annual environmental benefit of the Barclay’s wind energy purchase compares to 869 passenger cars taken off the road, 969 acres of pine forests storing carbon, or 1,530 tons of waste recycled instead of sent to a landfill. Beyond these environmental benefits, the use of RECs supports existing renewable energy generators, helps develop new renewable energy projects, increases energy diversity and security, reduces dependence on foreign energy sources, supports domestic economies and creates U.S. jobs.
The Barclay initiated a holistic corporate responsibility program entitled, ‘Sustainability in the City,’ in January 2010. ‘Our approach is based on our commitment to the ‘triple bottom line’ of people, profit, and planet, which includes numerous efforts addressing the needs of our hotel, neighborhood and the world community,’ said Hervé Houdré, regional director of operations and general manager of the InterContinental New York Barclay. ‘We are glad to add wind energy to our ever-expanding sustainability initiatives.’
InterContinental New York Barclay staff members have formed a variety of committees addressing issues such as education, health, sustainable purchasing, energy conservation and waste management. Environmental successes in the past year include an emphasis on organic, seasonal, natural or local foods, with a popular natural power breakfast. The hotel also initiated a waste management program featuring composting and reduced paper consumption and switched to compact fluorescent bulbs for 85 percent of the hotel’s lighting.
In the arena of social sustainability, the Barclay has ‘adopted’ The Boys and Girls Club of Harlem and East Side Community High School and forged a partnership linking that school with Hatua Likoni School, an orphanage in Kenya. In addition, the hotel raises relief funds for Haiti and Chile and supports many other causes, such as services for victims of domestic violence, humane treatment of animals and cancer research.
‘This purchase of wind energy to match and offset 100% of the Barclay’s conventional electricity use signals a strong commitment to the environment and to the development of future renewable resources,’ said Mel Jones, president and chief executive officer of Sterling Planet. ‘We are proud to partner with the InterContinental New York Barclay Hotel and further the hotel’s broad sustainability initiatives.’ Sterling Planet currently provides RECs to some of the top purchasers in the country, including Fortune 500 companies and clients in the mandated markets. The company also supports programs that foster stewardship for the community and environment.
Sold separately from the electrical output of a renewable energy generator, renewable energy certificates represent the environmental benefits of electricity from renewable resources such as wind. Individuals and organizations of all types purchase these RECs to reduce their environmental footprint and support broad sustainability initiatives.
Sterling Planet has been a national leader in innovative clean energy solutions since 2000. The first company with a nationwide retail offer of wind, solar, biomass and other forms of renewable energy, Sterling Planet has delivered billions of renewable energy kilowatt-hours in both voluntary and mandated markets. Clients include more than 100 utility partners, as well as multinational corporations, government agencies, educational and nonprofit institutions, and individual consumers. Sterling Planet also offers carbon offsets to counteract greenhouse gas emissions and White Tags® energy efficiency certificates, which the company introduced to the U. S. in 2006. Inspired by what the world can be, Sterling Planet focuses on the triple bottom line, supporting programs such as Solar Light for Africa, Sierra Leone International Mission School and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.