TORONTO ― Kostuch Media Ltd. has announced the winners of its Green Leadership Awards, recognizing environmental excellence and innovation within Canada’s hospitality industry. This award acknowledges success in the industry by recognizing businesses that are leading the way in environmental sustainability, earning the distinction as the best in their field.
This year’s winners include Toronto-based Gusto 54 Restaurant Group in the category of Restaurants and Cambridge, Ont.-based Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa in the category of Hotels. A special Green Leadership Award is also being presented to Fairmont Hotels & Resorts/Accor for its environmental stewardship and longstanding commitment to greening initiatives.
The Gusto 54 Restaurant Group is being recognized for its commitment to reducing its environmental impact by implementing sustainable practices across all its locations ― from the implementation of energy-efficient lighting in all its restaurants, to reducing its carbon footprint by installing an eco-forward system of filtered-water systems onsite, to using compostable packaging for its takeout containers and more. The company recently partnered with Rethink Resources, Canada’s most comprehensive and environmentally friendly waste-management system to ensure its waste is diverted from landfills and contributes to a circular economy. In the last calendar year alone, the company has diverted more than 200,000 lbs of waste from landfills. Gusto 54 Catering and Commissary is also LEAF certified.
To ensure the success of its sustainability program, Gusto 54 engages all its team members by providing training programs that educate them on the importance of sustainability, giving them the tools and resources to implement sustainable practises in their daily work. The company holds itself accountable by regularly monitoring and reporting on its sustainability initiatives, including checking its energy consumption, waste generation, and other key performance indicators.
On the hotel side, Langdon Hall has earned accolades in many facets of its operation. The hotel team understands that, while the delivery of a luxurious stay and unforgettable meal are paramount to its guests, there are always ways to do so that have minimal adverse impact on the earth.
The issue of sustainability is part of every department’s decision-making and procurement process, whether it involves working with local suppliers, growing its own produce whenever possible, or focusing on supplier take-back programs, sustainable standards and green packaging.
Among its efforts to reduce, re-use and recycle, the hotel also uses motion-sensor lighting, has modernized its HVAC system throughout the hotel space to increase efficiency, retrofitted the historical building space, improved air quality, introduced earth-friendly toilet paper made of bamboo in its bathrooms and guestrooms, and implemented charging stations in its parking lot. It has also developed a plan to harness solar energy in its parking area, which it hopes to be able to put into action in 2024. Recently, the hotel has partnered with The Keep Refillery to provide high- end locally sourced, luxury bathroom amenities with plastic-free packaging for guests.
In an effort to reduce its carbon footprint, the hotel dining room continues to source 80 per cent of its food and beverages in Ontario. All of the restaurant’s take-out boxes are either made of recyclable cardboard or non-plastic compostable products.
The Langdon Hall team is currently also reviewing a system that turns food waste into biofuel in an attempt to eradicate any food waste from landfills and hopes to employ this system by 2024.
Lastly, KML is presenting a special award this year in recognition of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts/Accor for its longstanding leadership efforts in the area of sustainability. The hotel company has been a true champion of sustainability in all facets of its operations for more than 30 years, dating back to the time when the company was known as Canadian Pacific Hotels. In fact, Fairmont’s forward-thinking team wrote the book on environmental sustainability in the hospitality industry with the very first edition of the brand’s famed Green Partnership Guides. Today, as one of several brands owned by Accor, the company has continued to strengthen its mandate for environmental stewardship, placing sustainability at the heart of its overall business strategy.
While the company’s sustainability initiatives are too many to list, among a few of its recent initiatives, Accor, together with Fairmont, introduced its ‘School for Change’ program in 2022 ― an ambitious training program providing Fairmont and Accor employees with access to a training path focused on the fundamentals of climate change. This aims to improve individuals’ understanding of the causes of climate change and its impact on biodiversity and communities, and facilitates the sharing of solutions to create positive change at every level.
In continuing to set the industry standard in sustainable practises, Accor, together with Fairmont, is the first international hotel group to make a long-term commitment to de-carbonize all its operations and achieve net zero by 2050, including a 46 per cent emission reduction by 2030 validated by the Science-based Targets Initiative. Given that more than 60 per cent of the group’s carbon footprint is energy related, accelerating energy transition is central to this commitment and depends on a low-energy, low-carbon approach. This includes promoting a low-carbon mindset with all its supply chain and fully transitioning to smart, sustainably designed hotels, as well as accelerating the use of green energy.
The company continues to set the bar for environmental stewardship through its ongoing efforts to fight food waste, promote water-conservation programs, and has recently implemented a Healthy and Sustainable Food Charter with the aim to nurture an appetite for healthy and sustainable food and a waste-free diet.
The Annual Green Leadership Awards were launched in 2010 by Kostuch Media Ltd. to recognize two hospitality operators — independent or brand (in the restaurant and hotel categories) that have demonstrated innovative efforts to prevent and reduce the environmental impacts of their operations. The company must also demonstrate a commitment to environmental responsibility. It’s important that the winning companies are viewed as examples of leadership. This year’s Green Leadership Awards will be presented on June 13th at the Top 30-under-30 Leadership Summit at the Sheraton Centre Hotel Toronto.