Montage’s Eco Efforts Win Praise

Montage hosts releases of rescued sea lions by the Pacific Marine Mammal Center, considered part of its environmental educational efforts.

They planted 366,100 trees, helped educate 96,298 people, provided health care to 116,900 others, and improved drinking water in 50 countries. And no, it’s not a United Nations agency or a non-profit.

They are 15 winners and runners-up in Conde Nast Traveler magazine’s World Savers Awards, companies that are making a difference in six areas of social responsibility.

Montage Laguna Beach won in the “Doing it all” category and is the only U.S. hotel included. Others in the winning category included Thailand’s Anatara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa and the fuel-efficient Aria luxury cruise in Peru’s Amazon.

“We strive to establish sustainable luxury without compromising the guest experience,” Montage Managing Director James Bermingham said in a statement.

Behind the scenes at the 250-room, 30-acre Laguna resort, there’s lots of green work going on, the magazine says. Carbon monoxide sensors in the parking garage shut off exhaust fans when unnecessary, saving $80,000 in power annually. The resort stocks drink straws made of organic material that decompose quickly and tree-free copy paper made of bamboo and sugarcane fiber. Staff sort trash from rooms, diverting 80 percent for recycling and composting food waste for gardens. The hotel also invests in protecting nearby beaches, for instance, by funding Laguna Ocean Foundation’s tidepool docents, who educate visitors and prevent littering and destruction of marine habitats.

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