TORONTO — KingSett Capital and Fairmont Royal York announced that the landmark hotel in Toronto has received the Canada Green Building Council’s (CAGBC’s) Zero Carbon Building – Performance Standard certification. This $65-million project was completed after nearly five years of detailed planning and execution. It will reduce more than 7,000 tonnes of carbon annually or 80 per cent of the hotel’s annual carbon emissions, the equivalent of taking 1,558 cars off the road.
“Fairmont Royal York’s decarbonization demonstrates the potential to complete a large and complex project in a way that is environmentally impactful, socially responsible and economically viable. It is a compelling example of what can be accomplished through collaboration, innovation and creativity,” said Jon Love, founder and CEO of KingSett Capital. “For KingSett, this investment highlights how decarbonization can strengthen a key asset in our portfolio as part of our sustainability and value-enhancement strategy.”
Edwin Frizzell, regional vice-president, Central Canada and general manager, Fairmont Royal York says, Fairmont Royal York achieving zero carbon certification is another transformative step in re-positioning the unique icon in Toronto’s downtown core.
“Projects like the net-zero project here at the Fairmont Royal York support our role as an anchor of the community,” said Frizzell at the official ceremony held last week. “We have a strong responsibility to make sure that we lead the way and drive innovation and change as part of the Greater Toronto destination. The complexity of the decarbonization project really can’t be overshadowed — we legitimately have removed miles of ancient piping from this building; we’ve tapped into an entirely new energy source; we’ve built a new electric plant in the hotel.”
This decarbonization project represents the largest heritage hotel retrofit of its kind within the Fairmont global brand portfolio and offers a definitive roadmap for creating sustainable energy sources for similar properties.
“We’re so proud of the team that brought this to life and we’re super excited to be able to continue to share this because frankly, if we can do this at this 94-year-old heritage railway hotel in Canada, anybody can do it,” said Frizzell.
In addition to achieving the CAGBC Zero Carbon Building – Performance Standard certification, the hotel has a broad range of other sustainability initiatives. These include eliminating single-use plastics for guests, reducing food waste with AI technology and donation partners, and supporting the local ecosystem with 500,000 honeybees from the hotel’s rooftop garden and apiary. The project was supported by the CIB’s Building Retrofits Initiative, which provided $46.5 million in debt financing.
The Zero Carbon project adds to KingSett’s broader decarbonization strategy of decarbonizing more than 5.4 million sq. ft. of Canadian real estate, reducing 35 per cent of carbon emissions over 2019 baseline by 2027 in its core fund.