Seven Years of Sustainability at Shore Hotel Santa Monica

    By Gerry Peck, General Manager, Shore Hotel Santa Monica

    Shore Hotel engages travelers and passers to make the switch to sustainability, including this recent water bottle swap with JUST Water and the Debbie Allen Dance Academy

    In our business, we are concerned with two things: the customer experience and the numbers. But sometimes, the numbers we think we should all be going after—meaning RevPar, ADR, online ratings and the like—aren’t the only ones that truly track our progress, or ensure our future success. Sometimes, important numbers come from surprising places, like when we track our commitment to sustainability.

    Now celebrating seven years of sustainability, Santa Monica’s Shore Hotel has worked hard on these numbers. The city’s first LEED Gold-certified hotel, Shore Hotel has saved 31 million watts of energy (enough to power the average U.S. home for 34 months), 5.2 million gallons of water (enough to fill nearly eight Olympic-sized swimming pools) and 28,000 plastic water bottles from entering our landfills, all through the hotel’s eco-friendly management practices.

    The hotel has saved 31 million watts of energy through the use of energy efficient light bulbs, participation in Santa Monica’s opt-in energy-saving program “Demand Response Unit” (being the only hotel in California to do so) that reduces the energy use during peak hours, and through our solar energy-powered swimming pool and Jacuzzi, also 75% of Shore Hotel’s roof surface is covered in solar reflecting material which reduces heat islands.
    Over 5.2 million gallons of water have been saved by using low flow toilets, showers, and sinks, as well as with native, drought-resistant landscaping. Some 75% of the hotel’s construction materials were recycled or salvaged, including metals, concrete, stucco, terrazzo, wood and carpet. In addition, the hotel gym’s floor was made from recycled tires and lobby chairs are upholstered with 100% pre-consumer recycled polyester.

    And while we’ve saved a lot, we’ve also given back. Since 2011, our guests have been rewarded $73,800 in savings from Shore Hotel’s Green Clean program, which has saved water, energy and resources on over 8,800 room cleanings. We’ve donated over $20,000 to Heal The Bay by giving $15 of each purchase of the Shorely Sands mascot to the organization.

    These are good numbers for sure, but it makes us want to improve them as we go forward. Once you’ve started the commitment towards sustainability, there is no turning back. Shore Hotel has started a series of new initiatives that we’ll carry out throughout the next year, including:

    • For the 2018–2019 school year, we’ve launched a new scholarship for two Santa Monica College students in the Environmental Studies program
    • Shore Hotel is the first California hotel to offer free Raw Elements reef-friendly non-Oxybenzone sunscreen to guests from a poolside dispenser
    • We’ve replaced our in-house water program to eco-friendly brand JUST Water
    • We’ve even gone strawless, pre-empting the city initiative to reduce plastics in food outlets and have eliminated plastic to-go products as well
    Water management and attractive common spaces are possible by using drought-resistant plants

    While it wasn’t easy, all the effort was worth it. We were fortunate to have the full backing of the property ownership as well as the right vendors and partners. We have the City of Santa Monica and SMTT on our side. We shared the details of the initiatives, as well as why we were doing them, with our team. When they weren’t convinced (which did happen), we reworked the strategies.

    We brought in new approaches, and were open to reinventing the wheel of sustainability every day. And yes, we were fortunate to offer a chance to explore the shore of Santa Monica, and the shores of sustainability with incredible travelers from all over the globe. Truly, they are the ones that inspire us to continue to work every day. 

    About Shore Hotel
    Located at 1515 Ocean Avenue just steps from the Santa Monica Pier, 3rd Street Promenade, Tongva Park, and the city’s popular beaches and shopping districts, Shore Hotel is the newest addition to the coastline—a LEED Gold (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified property that offers eco-friendly accommodations with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Its numerous sustainable travel awards and recognitions include the Environmental Level California Green Lodging Program 2017; Sustainable Quality Awards (SQA) Grand Prize 2015; Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HMSAI) Los Angeles Best Green Hotel Award 2015; Condé Nast Readers Choice 2013 and 2014; and the AAA Four Diamond Rating.