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Labor, environmental groups seek ‘Living Hotels’ in Seattle

SEATTLE (June 2, 2023) — Dozens of community members will gather Saturday in Seattle to kick off a summer of canvassing voters as a broad coalition of environmental and labor organizations talks to city voters about decarbonizing large buildings and passing the Living Hotels ordinance, which aims to ensure new hotels do their part to reduce climate impact.

Supporters of the effort include 350 Seattle, Sierra Club WA, Greenpeace, Climate Solutions, MLK Labor, UNITE HERE Local 8, and the Seattle Building Trades, among others. They are all asking the Seattle City Council to act now and pass the Living Hotels ordinance.

TAKE A STAND — All are invited to join the kickoff to pass a Living Hotels ordinance at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 3 at the Seattle Center’s Armory (southwest corner), 305 Harrison St.

With the Living Hotels ordinance, new hotels would reduce reliance on fossil fuels, generate as much of their own energy as possible on-site, conserve water, use sustainable materials and reduce carbon impact of construction, encourage low impact forms of transportation, and consider equity for our communities.

The carbon footprint of the tourism industry is large, contributing 8% to global carbon emissions, and hotels are themselves a high greenhouse gas intensity land use according to data from the City of Seattle, producing more emissions than office, residential, senior care, or school buildings.

“The climate crisis disproportionately affects communities of color, and climate justice is worker justice. We need the city to enact policies that have an immediate impact and setup our economy and industries for a viable, vibrant, sustainable future,” said Katie Garrow, Executive Secretary Treasurer of MLK Labor.

350 Seattle and UNITE HERE Local 8 are working together urge passage of the Living Hotels ordinance and the Building Emissions Performance Standards (BEPS) policy, which sets timelines to move Seattle’s biggest buildings off fossil fuels.

The Living Hotels ordinance is modeled on the Living Building Pilot, which has been running successfully in Seattle for years, and uses the standards set in the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge.

UNITE HERE Local 8 and 350 Seattle kicked off the joint campaign recently with an Earth Day march with hundreds of participants.

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