Sally Schoeller is president of the Green Team for the DoubleTree by Hilton Portland.

Yesterday Sustainable Business Oregon covered DoubleTree’s EcoChallenge efforts, where Green Team President Sally Schoeller is working to replace packaged food items with more sustainable alternatives. They have already begun buying in bulk and making their own granola bars in house while searching for options less dependent on packaging. Below are excerpts from Sustainable Business Oregon’s article:

As the president of the Green Team at the DoubleTree, I have a role, along with my team members, in challenging the hotel to meet sustainability goals and creating opportunities to advance eco-friendly practices. This means coming up with innovative ideas that increase our impact and leveraging our leadership to help drive corporate sustainability at the top.

When I learned about Northwest Earth Institute’s EcoChallenge, we were in the process of installing lower wattage, energy-saving light bulbs in the five-story DoubleTree parking garage. With this project complete, we were ready take to on a new endeavor, and the EcoChallenge could not have come at a better time.

The EcoChallenge event challenges businesses and community members to try bold, new sustainability practices over the course of two weeks and — if it goes well — adopt a new habit by the time the event is over. We saw the EcoChallenge as the perfect opportunity to take DoubleTree’s sustainability to the next level. The majority of our departments are participating in this event and taking ownership over their green practices.

One EcoChallenge goal that we are particularly proud of will have a lasting impact on hotel operations after the event concludes. By October 15, the DoubleTree aims to replace prepackaged food items currently offered in our Executive Meeting Center with more sustainable alternatives. In food packaging alone, Americans discard 570 million pounds each day. Excess packaging waste has taken a toll on our environment and continues to be a growing concern.

The DoubleTree is already making progress towards reaching our goal. We immediately removed individually wrapped candy and are now offering these sweets to our guests in serving dishes filled with candy that we purchase in bulk. We have been making granola bars in-house as a temporary solution as we look for new food vendors who can offer these and other customer favorites in bulk…

The NWEI’s EcoChallenge has inspired the DoubleTree to move further along our path of sustainability. We are committed to lead by example, sharing our successes and failures with the Portland community and our industry partners. We encourage others interested in participating in this year’s challenge to sign up online today. It is not too late to join us, set a goal that stretches your comfort zone and makes our state a more sustainable place to live.

For the full piece, click here.