Hospitality Services and Guest Rooms
- Provide paperless check-in and check-out services.
- Offer shuttle service to and from the airport, local shopping centers and attractions to eliminate multiple car and taxi trips.
- Use smaller buses or vans when transporting smaller groups, and fuel our newer shuttle buses with bio-diesel fuel whenever possible.
- Reserve 12 VIP parking spaces exclusively for guests arriving in environmentally friendly vehicles.
- Use motion sensors in guest rooms to determine when rooms are unoccupied and maintain energy-saving heating and cooling settings.
- Use low-flow toilets, sink aerators and showers in guest rooms to reduce water consumption. (Conversion to low-flow equipment is currently underway for all public restrooms also.)
- Maintain an active linen/towel reuse program that is communicated to guests via recycled information cards in every guest room.
- Stock all guest rooms with single-cup coffee brewers.
- Use Green Seal-certified paper products in guest rooms.
- Use one multi-purpose biodegradable cleaner rather than multiple cleaning products when servicing guest rooms.
- Operate a non-smoking facility, which reduces extra cleaning and laundering formerly associated with smoking rooms/areas of the building.
Conference Facilities and Services
- Provide electronic brochures and an informative website to avoid mailing excess paper.
- Save paper by providing comprehensive business center services: “burning” CD-ROMs of handouts and meeting materials; offering back-to-back duplex copying services; making USB drives available for purchase to encourage electronic file sharing and minimize printing.
- Use recycled paper and stationery.
- Use motion sensors in meeting rooms to control lighting as well as programmable thermostats that reduce run time of HVAC units.
- Offer meeting planners an alternative to bottled water, such as pitchers and bulk dispensers.
- Contract a Green Seal-certified company to provide new brochures and sales kits, in which the majority of the contents are made up of 30% post-consumable products.
- Purchase Energy Star-rated products and energy-efficient equipment when replacing conference center items such as TVs, computers, monitors, copiers, etc.
- Follow all additional guidelines for environmentally friendly meetings from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (see full checklist here).
Dining and Catering
- Expand our Farm-to-Table Initiative by purchasing from local vendors within 150 miles. We also purchase from local bakeries, breweries and vineyards.
- Grow our own herbs in a 200 square foot garden on campus.
- Participate in the Monterey Bay Seafood Watch Program and incorporate sustainable seafood into dining room menus.
- Future implemention of a tray-free program to conserve energy and water as well as reduce usage of detergents and drying agents. Guests also benefit by reducing overall food-waste.
- Purchase fair trade coffee products.
- Provide buffet-style service in the dining room so guests may take selections and quantities they desire to eliminate excess waste of pre-plated meals.
- Use bulk dispensers for condiments, beverages and bulk snacks in the dining room and break areas.
- Minimize use of disposable products; use biodegradable items when necessary, including coffee cups, plastic cold drink cups, take-out food containers.
- Use environmentally friendly products, including 100% sustainable paper napkins and an eco-friendly dishwashing detergent.
- Send 100% of our fryer oil to Linda's Mercantile & Farm Market to create bio-diesel fuel for agricultural equipment.
- Purchase Energy Star-rated equipment when replacing refrigerators, freezers, ovens, dishwashers, etc.
General Building Policies
- Purchase sustainable office materials. For example, paper is composed of 30% post-consumer content, and printers and copiers are equipped with recycled cartridges and ribbons.
- Convert print materials into online brochures and add the tag line “Please consider the environment before printing this email” to all electronic communications.
- Use eco-friendly paper towels and paper towel dispensers that dispense only one recycled paper towel at a time.
- Maintain a Waste Management Contract for single stream recycling and place recycling receptacles throughout the building, accessible to all guests and visitors. Our program recycles glass, plastic, aluminum, metal, wood, cardboard and paper.
- Use a timed energy savings program throughout the building, plus motion detectors in guest and meeting rooms as described above.
- Utilize an efficient energy management program to efficiently operate the Central Utility Plant. This saves a great deal of energy compared to operating the plant manually.
- Maintain underground thermal energy storage (also known as an ice field) to store ice used to cool air for our HVAC system.
- Use energy efficient lighting. We are currently concluding a five-year plan to replace all lights with energy-efficient light bulbs
Gardens and Grounds
- Water landscaping only as necessary and at the times of day that minimize evaporation.
- Mulch plant beds to retain water.
- Choose drought-resistant plants, trees, shrubs and/or native landscaping to minimize water use.
- Explore the use of organic insecticides, fertilizers and biocides and/or integrated pest management techniques.
Corporate Leadership and Staff Initiatives
- Designate preferred parking spaces for associates that carpool to work with three or more passengers.
- Ask staff to eliminate their elevator usage unless traveling with 12 pounds or more.
- Participate in Earth Day annually and dedicate efforts to cleaning up our 110-acre campus and picking up trash in the wooded areas and creek that run through the property.
- Schedule regular meetings to educate the staff about the center’s green policies and encourage them to find ways to contribute.
- Incorporate green initiatives into the orientation process for new employees.
- Include an Environment Section in the weekly newsletter that goes out to all employees.
- Host an annual Earth Day event and organize clean-up efforts in the neighborhood to maintain the creek flowing through the property, protecting the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Watershed.
- Host students from Belmont Ridge Middle School in a business partnership to learn about the hospitality industry.
- Bring volunteers from the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center together with students from Belmont Ridge Middle School to help clean up the property’s wooded acres and share ways of being green.
- Donate items we no longer need (furniture, building supplies and equipment) to local charities.
Awards and Accolades
- Awarded Green Seal Certification in 2005 and upgraded to Silver status in 2009. We continue to maintain Silver status today.
- Nominated for the Washington Business Journal’s Green Company in 2009 and 2010.
- Participant in Loudoun County’s Green Business Challenge for the past two years.
- Member of the Virginia Green Association.
- Member of the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC), which requires a signed Code of Sustainability.
- Support ARAMARK Conference Centers in implementing Green Thread Initiatives through many lines of business.
In addition, our management company, ARAMARK Conference Centers, has established outstanding programs and received prestigious awards:
- Created “Green Thread,” an environmental stewardship program to inform guests of the positive impact ARAMARK properties are making on the environment and to provide practical ways for guests to contribute.
- Received the EPA Green Power Partnership award for 2007 for exemplary green power procurement. The Green Power Leadership Club’s minimum purchase requirements are 10 times the minimum purchase requirements for the Green Power Partnership. ARAMARK has joined this elite group of Green Power Partners who are demonstrating environmental leadership.
The National Conference Center is committed to preserving planet Earth. Please ask us about the benefits of a green meeting with us. We invite you to learn more about how we implement a broad range of green initiatives throughout the center.