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ENERGY STAR Labeled Building Profile

W Hotel - San Francisco
181 Third St
San Francisco, CA 94103
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Part of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, W Hotel San Francisco is a 404-room, 4-diamond hotel located in the downtown district. In 2008, the hotel earned the ENERGY STAR for superior energy performance and was recognized by the California Hotel & Lodging Association (CH&LA) with a "Good Earthkeeping" award for incorporating sustainability into the fabric of the hospitality industry and leading by example to encourage others to reduce their environmental footprint.

The green program at W Hotel San Francisco (W SF) started as a grass roots gathering of employees who wanted to "do the right thing." In 2007, the staff submitted a petition signed by 34 percent of the employees asking hotel management to support a green program. The program was started by Anastasia Jernigan, one of the cooks at the hotel's on-site eatery, "xyz restaurant."


By 2008, the hotel had a fully engaged green committee. The committee continues to meet regularly and works to incorporate green initiatives. The workplace also has a culture of sustainability that is driven by all of the employees, and not by "management mandate."

Among the energy efficiency steps taken, more than 70 percent of guestroom lighting and 90 percent of back-of-house lighting is energy efficient, using CFLs, LEDs, motion sensors, and other technologies. The HVAC cooling towers were replaced with energy-efficient models, saving 300 kWh/year. Motion sensors power off HVAC in unoccupied guestrooms, and ENERGY STAR power management features are activated on all PCs. Management continues to track energy usage and savings with a third-party vendor through the hotel's utility company, PG&E.  Lastly, to further improve energy efficiency and encourage the use of renewable energy, management is considering installing wind turbines on the hotel's roof--a first for a commercial building in the city.


In addition to these energy efficiency improvements, the hotel has a robust "WORLD" program (We Optimize Resources through Leadership in Development of sustainable practices) that encompasses sustainable practices in energy management; water conservation; recycling and waste reduction; air quality improvements; and sustainable, local, and organic food and beverage purchases. The hotel also offers a comprehensive "green meetings" option for customers that features organic, biodynamic, or local food and beverages, and zero waste and carbon neutral events. The building is in the process of being certified by the U.S. Green Building Council's (USGBC's) Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program and as a Green Business by the San Francisco Department of the Environment. Representatives of the hotel also participate in Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide's Sustainability Council advisor committee, which represents over 900 hotels worldwide.

W Hotel San Francisco has a robust outreach and communications program to spread the word about energy efficiency and environmental operating practices. The hotel's general manager is a regular guest speaker and active supporter of Sustainability MBA courses at local universities. Management also partners with students from local sustainability education programs at SFSU and Presidio Business School to develop strategic sustainability management, marketing, and communication dashboards and to support internships and case studies for up to six students each semester through on-property programs. The hotel also incorporates green education in all talent training and new hire orientation.

Hotel management is committed to adopting practices that support sustainability, move toward zero waste, reduce its climate footprint, and conserve and restore the natural resources and ecosystems on which we all depend. Their goal is to grow a business that operates in harmony with the laws of nature, and to learn from and share with others along the way. W Hotel proves that a luxury hotel can adopt sustainable operating practices without sacrificing any of the services or amenities customers expect.


W Hotel San Francisco spearheaded the creation of a green Web page for the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau (SFCVB). This is the first time that the SFCVB is officially marketing San Francisco as a green destination. 

The hotel was also featured in the October 3rd, 2008 edition of the San Francisco Business Times highlighting its "green" initiatives.



Please note: Narrative information in this profile has been provided by The W Hotel San Francisco or a representative of this facility. Other building information was verified and submitted to EPA at the time of application. Building energy performance, operating characteristics, and ownership/management may be subject to change over time.

Building Owner:*
The W Hotel San Francisco

Property Manager:*
The W Hotel San Francisco

Year(s) Labeled (Rating):
2008 (80)
2013 (82)

Facility Type: Hotel

Total Floorspace: 289418 sf

Year Constructed: 1999

Contract Type: Multiple Vendor Contracts
Financing Type: Guaranteed Savings

Technologies Used:
   Stage 1-Recommissioning
   Stage 2-Lighting
   Stage 3-Load Reductions
   Stage 4-Fan Systems
   Stage 5-Heating and Cooling Plant
   Other Technologies/Strategies