Outrigger Goes Green

Hotelier was recently honored with Green Leader Award for outstanding sustainability efforts


By: By Marty Wentzel

The simple phrase “going green” has taken on a big meaning for Outrigger Enterprises Group. Since 2006, Outrigger’s Waikiki hotels have prevented more than 48,000 pounds of recyclable material from entering Honolulu’s landfill by recovering more than one million beverage containers from their guest rooms. The company has recycled 14,595 pounds of aluminum, saving 109,465 kilowatts of electricity and conserving 11,530 gallons of gas. During the same period it has recycled 36,317 pounds of plastic, saving more than 69 barrels of petroleum and preserving 135 cubic yards of landfill space.

Small wonder, then, that Reynolds Recycling recently honored Outrigger for its efforts in sustainability by giving it the inaugural Green Leader Award.

“With more than 4,000 guest rooms in Waikiki, we realized that our combined efforts could make a significant impact on keeping Hawaii green,” said Outrigger president David Carey. “As ambassadors for the tourism industry, it is our responsibility to not only maintain but improve our Hawaii home for future generations to enjoy.”

Outrigger’s sustainability initiatives don’t stop at recycling. Many of its properties have incorporated energy-saving techniques in an effort to be more eco-friendly and to preserve the island’s natural resources. The installation of low-flow toilets and showers help reduce the amount of water used daily. To combat high energy use, incandescent light bulbs have been replaced with compact fluorescent bulbs. A number of the company’s properties have installed an energy management system that allows hotels to control the thermostat and temperature in rooms when they are not occupied.

Meanwhile, the Outrigger Waikiki and Outrigger Reef hotels are working with local retailer Kini Beach to collect grass beach mats, plastic body boards, air mattresses, inner tubes and other disposable beach toys left behind in hotel rooms. Kini Beach turns them into eco-products like handbags, totes and canoe paddle covers sold in local stores.

“I’m particularly pleased that many of our efforts have been suggested and driven by our own employees,” said Carey. “It underscores one of our core corporate values — to protect, care for and live in harmony with the land, our workplace, its people and cultures.”