Hotel Del Sol honored to be the Marina's only city-certified green hotel

General manager Gary Sterman
and his assistant Zoe
Photo: E. Attanasio

Many businesses talk a big game when it comes to being green, but Hotel Del Sol in the Marina-Cow Hollow is 100 percent dedicated to recycling, re-using, strategically sourcing products, conserving resources, and reducing their guests’ carbon footprint by promoting public transportation.

It's not easy being green because it involves a considerable investment in time, money and personnel to achieve and maintain a high level of sustainability. But Hotel Del Sol is committed to making the investment and leading the way by taking the green business model to a whole different level for the hospitality industry.

Hotel Del Sol, a Joie de Vivre Hospitality property, is the only Marina hotel certified green by the City of San Francisco, and general manager Gary Sterman is pleased to be part of its green team.

“Our green certification means a lot because San Francisco has one of the most stringent green programs in the country. [There are] five departments in the city that monitor and oversee the program and they’re all great people. They’re very willing to help businesses in the process by answering questions and making rebates and incentives available to us. Many cities require nothing more than filling out a form for their green certifications, but S.F. takes it to the next level, and that’s why it means a lot.”

The Hotel Del Sol has embraced a wide range of green developments with significant environmental impacts. By sourcing products from local, generally green vendors as much as possible, Sterman said, “We obviously save fuel by ordering products from our backyard, and we also want to support local companies, so it’s a win-win.” The hotel purchases laundry and cleaning products from acclaimed Vaska: “They’re the leading producer of truly green products and are based in California, so they’re a great match for us.”

Hotel Del Sol also implements a waste reduction program that includes composting and allows guests to recycle everything from batteries to print cartridges. “Reuse and recycle – that’s our approach whenever we can. In addition, all of our office supplies are recycled, unbleached and low-toxic.”

Other factors have led to Hotel Del Sol reaching their optimum state of greenness, Sterman explained. This includes reducing water usage by manually watering their lawn and installing sink aerators and new toilet flappers and fill valves. “We’re currently planning on replacing our lawn with an environmentally friendly synthetic lawn, which will eliminate all of our associated watering and landscaping costs,” said Sterman.

Minimizing the overall carbon footprint of staff and guests is achieved by involving staff in the city’s Commuter Check program as well as by offering bike storage and a staff shower. “We also sell bus passes to our guests and staff and offer free parking. We also encourage our guests to leave their cars in our lot. If we can get them out of their vehicles just a little more, it all helps.”
The hotel has installed new heat/air-conditioning units with digital thermometers and motion detector controls, and has ongoing green team staff training. “By educating our staff, the information gets passed onto our guests and hopefully the staff’s families learn more about green practices at home,” explained Sterman.

Being truly green is a major investment in time and capital, but Sterman knows that it’s not all about the money involved.

“Sure, many of these moves are going to pay for themselves and actually save us money over time,” he said. “But, in the end it’s more about helping the environment and the community as a whole. We plan to be in this neighborhood for many years, so we want to be living and working in a healthy place.”