WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. & CHICAGO--(BUSINESS WIRE) — Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT) and its eco-chic Element Hotels brand today announced a partnership with Carbon Day Automotive to install a ChargePoint™ Networked Charging Station at Element Lexington, Starwood's first Element property which opened in July, 2008. The ChargePoint Networked Charging Station was developed by Coulomb Technologies and is distributed by Green Power Technologies.
Both guests and travelers in the area can simply swipe a keyfob, plug in and charge up their electric vehicles at the station. A first in the hotel industry, travelers will be able to locate the charging station and even determine whether it is currently unoccupied by using Google™ maps. The ChargePoint Networked Charging Station is the most recent in a series of green initiatives implemented at Element Hotels, Starwood's working laboratory for green design, practices and operations. The hotels also provide preferred parking for drivers of hybrid or electric cars and "bikes to borrow" for guests. With four Element hotels open to-date, Element is the only major hotel brand to mandate that its properties pursue the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
"By offering a charging station for electric vehicles, we are deepening our commitment to greener travel as a key part of an environmentally responsible lifestyle," said Brian McGuinness, Senior Vice President, Specialty-Select Brands, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. "We are proud to be playing a part in the development of the infrastructure needed to support the anticipated increase in electric vehicles over the next several years."
"Starwood's Element brand shares our commitment to driving environmental awareness and helping individuals, businesses and municipalities lower their carbon footprint," said Scott Emalfarb, one of the principals at Carbon Day Automotive. "By installing the ChargePoint Networked Charging Station at Element Lexington, we are preparing for the influx of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles expected on America's roads in 2010. We hope that other hotels will follow Starwood's lead and take the initiative to encourage this important change in the automobile industry."
The push to develop more hybrid-electric cars recently received a big boost from President Barack Obama, who has made reducing oil consumption a top priority. In May, President Obama announced tough new fuel-efficiency standards for new cars and trucks and several major auto makers are currently developing new models of electric cars for 2009-2010 to join those already available.
Element and Carbon Day will share the cost for the ChargePoint Networked Charging Station, a sleek, unobtrusive device equipped with a universal plug-in for all kinds of electric vehicles including cars, buses, Segway scooters and bikes. The ChargePoint Networked Charging Station utilizes the ChargePoint(SM) Network, which includes a choice of flexible subscription plans and sophisticated search technology via Google™ maps.
The Element brand's green features are cleverly designed to be as aesthetically appealing as they are eco-friendly, so guests never compromise on style and comfort. Eco-friendly materials are used whenever possible and natural light is maximized throughout the hotels. To reduce waste, guest room bathrooms are equipped with amenity dispensers, kitchens are supplied with silverware and glassware instead of plastic utensils and paper cups, and filtered drinking water is available rather than plastic water bottles. Also, the hotel's refreshing, all-saline pool provides a healthier, more eco-friendly alternative to chlorine. Guestrooms feature carpets with up to 100% recycled content, wall art is mounted on bases made from recycled tires and low VOC paints and green housecleaning products improve indoor air quality. Recycling bins are available in guest rooms and public areas. Element conserves water and energy with low-flow faucets and fixtures, compact fluorescent light bulbs, and energy-efficient appliances. Even the ubiquitous "Do Not Disturb" sign has been replaced with an environmentally-friendly magnet.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 960 properties in 97 countries and 145,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood Hotels is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, and the recently launched Aloft®, and Element SM. Starwood Hotels also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., one of the premier developers and operators of high quality vacation interval ownership resorts. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.