Concord, California – Sustainability can be a hard sell for hotels. Yes, some guests opt to recycle bottles, or ask housekeeping not to replace bed linens or bathroom towels each morning, if given the choice. But others, expecting to indulge, leave their green habits at home.

Confronted with this reality, hotels must ensure that energy and water efficiency is routine, without compromising the pampering and convenience guests expect. I recently toured one property, the *Hilton Concord, located in Northern California, where the management realizes that sustainability and guests’ expectations are not mutually exclusive.

My guide at the Hilton Concord was the lead consultant for the hotel’s ambitious sustainability overhaul, Charles A. Smith, CEO, Hotel Sustainability Solutions, Inc. Smith’s handiwork is visible, delivering results, on every floor of the 30-year-old, 329-room hotel. The aim is to make the Hilton Concord the sustainability flagship property of Interstate Hotels & Resorts, which operates the hotel under the Hilton flag. Interstate’s plan, Smith said, was to select one if its hotels to test sustainability measures that could be deployed at the 400 properties it owns or manages around the world.

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