Having just signed up for the WWF partnership this last week, don't expect Fairmont Hotels to be rolling out the green carpet immediately; they've got until 2013 to decrease their carbon emissions by 20% chain-wide. Until then, however, Fairmont will be working on other initiatives under the WWF promise, such as updating design and construction standards to LEED levels by 2011, working with suppliers to provide green products (sulfate-free shampoo would be nice, hint hint), and moving their Toronto corporate headquarters to a LEED Gold building. Also, we wouldn't be surprised if some of the new hotels Fairmont acquires happen to be sustainable properties in their own right, now that the brand is focused on their future footprint.
So long as this doesn't turn out to be simply a greenwash for the Fairmont brand which seems unlikely since a rep for the hotel confirms they've had a "brandwide environmental program in place since 1990" we're intrigued by the other ways hotels can go green without having to tear down and rebuild to comply with LEED standards. No doubt this means more of those energy-saving light switches that require your room key for electricity.
[Photo: Fairmont Sonoma]