Local partnership helps keep Delta green

When Doug Avery, Delta Sun Peaks’ chief engineer, first landed at the resort five years ago, he asked his team what they needed to help make their operation run more efficiently. Maintenance supervisor, Mike Kinloch’s answer was the hotel needed a pig, explaining that given the volume of compost material produced each week, and no curbside collection at their loading bay, life would be much easier if the hotel only had their own pig.

Thanks to Delta Greens environmental sustainability program, Kinloch’s wish was recently granted when Aspen Acres, a local pork producer, began taking delivery of the hotel’s compost material to feed their drove of pigs. It’s those local partnerships that help the Delta run their hotel in an environmentally sustainable fashion.

Roman St. Germain, general manager and member of the Delta Sun Peaks’ green committee notes, “A lot of our programs come from corporate office, rather than from the local level because we’re not environmental engineers, but establishing partnerships at the local level is key to the success of the hotel’s sustainability programs.”

With their new partnership with Aspen Acres, the hotel has diverted almost 7,000 pounds of compostable material from the local landfill in the last two months alone, while helping defray feed costs for the farm operation.

“Our cost saving has been a little more than half. It’s been fabulous,” says Rob Jones of Aspen Acres. “We come up every two days and on busy weekends we were coming up every day getting four totes (of feed).”

Delta Hotels and Resorts recently received Hotelier Magazine’s Green Leadership Award for their sustainability programs. David Bird, Delta’s senior vice president of hotel operations believes their program sets a new industry standard.

“We see Delta Greens as the most ambitious sustainability program in our industry and the Canadian marketplace. A key priority is to change the way we operate, to adopt sustainable practices for everything we do.”

This practice of reusing organic waste in local food production is one that will continue.

“We don’t keep pigs for the winter, but I was just talking to Doug and we’re ready to go again in the spring when we receive our weaner pigs,” continues Jones. “We have 12 and they’re hormone and antibiotic free.”

Bird believes the key to the program’s success is creating a culture of sustainability.

“Establishing a conservation culture is critical to the success of Delta Greens since the program relies so heavily on the behavioural aspects of reducing energy, water and waste. As a result, it’s certainly not a buzzword or flavour of the day, but the way in which our employees operate in their daily roles.”

Today’s consumers and employees are demanding more from the companies they engage with and environmental stewardship just makes sense.

“It’s not only the right thing to do from an environmental perspective, but it’s also a great thing to do from cost containment and appropriately allocating your resources,” says St. Germain. “Operating in a sustainable fashion just makes good business sense.”

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