GRAND WAILEA TACKLES SUSTAINABILITY CHALLENGES HEAD ON
Already recognized as an efficiency leader in the hospitality sector, with several ‘green awards’ to their name, Grand Wailea, a Waldorf Astoria Resort, is now instituting a comprehensive push to increase conservation and sustainability efforts throughout the entire property.
With water being an integral part of the resort’s make-up, programs to conserve and protect the island’s water supply are at the forefront of the initiative. In the past year alone, Grand Wailea has reduced its water consumption by 25%, which inspired its current vision to become a net-zero water usage facility.
Just a few of the conservation tools that the resort is putting to work toward this goal include: installing centrally controlled irrigation and drip sprinkler systems, planting low-water landscaping, and adding high-efficiency perlite filtration systems designed to reduce backwash water usage by 90%.
Electronic water-level controllers and high-rate sand filtration systems will also be used to reduce pool water and chemical consumption, while a new automatic regenerative filter in the resort’s Hibiscus Pool is already saving more than 10,000 gallons of water per day. In addition, low-flow bathroom tanks in the resorts new guest room reduce water usage by more than 50% per flush, while the towel and linen-changing options now offered to guests is saving more than 230,000 gallons per month.
Energy conservation is of equal priority, with significant efforts being undertaken at both the guest room level and property-wide. Low-energy LED bulbs, timers and dimmers have been adopted. A state-of-the-art energy-efficient main cooling tower has also been added, as have energy-efficient hot water systems, and a 132-panel photovoltaic system generates more than 765 kW of power.
At the same time, a multi-pronged initiative is underway to make it easier and more rewarding for resort employees to leave their cars at home, all with the dual objectives of reducing fossil fuel usage and improving traffic conditions on nearby and regional roads.
Some of the efforts Grand Wailea has put in place include providing employees with Maui Bus pass subsidies, promoting a carpooling program by paying “Ridesharing Captains” monthly stipends, and installing new electric charging stations throughout the resort. And for those who are up to the challenge, the Jetson Bike program offers Grand Wailea employees a 25% discount on electric bike purchases, while “Refresh Rewards” is giving employees who bike to work complimentary coconut water and Gatorade.
Grand Wailea is also promoting work-from-home, compressed workweek and flex-time options for those whose functions allow for it, with the Management and Sales Teams encouraged to telecommute at least one day a week.
While no one initiative on its own is capable of conquering the sustainability challenge, the sheer breadth of efforts being made across the property will, in the long run, help Grand Wailea to cut back on energy and resource expenses, while doing its part to help keep Maui running safely and smoothly well into the future.