All US Econo Lodge hotels, which are franchised by Choice Hotels International, are to implement the Choice Hotels’ Room to be Green program in 2013. The program is designed to reduce environmental impact and waste, appeal to environmentally conscious guests and potentially lower operational expenses.
The following three elements of the RTBG program will be mandatory for all Econo Lodge hotels:
- Energy conservation: Hotels must use energy efficient indoor lighting solutions, such as compact fluorescent or LED bulbs in all guest fixtures, excluding ceiling lights.
- Water conservation: Hotels must offer all guests a towel/linen re-use program.
- Recycling and waste reduction: Hotels must also provide a recycling program for staff and guest use.
Econo Lodge is also making a contribution to plant 817 trees (representing one for each of the Econo Lodge hotels currently open) in tandem with American Forests, an organization dedicated to the protection and restoration of forests around the world.
To date, about 100 Econo Lodge hotels have already joined the Room to be Green program. The compliance deadline for all hotels to be enrolled in the program is December 31. Hotels that participate in and meet all requirements receive a designation from Choice Hotels as a hotel that “Supports Green Practices.” Guests will see this designation when shopping at EconoLodge.com.
A sustainability study of 46,000 US hotels released by tech company Brighter Planet in May last year found budget hotels had greater energy efficiency than more expensive establishments, with upscale chain Marriott ranking 75th out of 75 chains. Econo Lodge ranked 13th.
The most energy and carbon-efficient US lodging chain in the study was Vagabond Inns, with Red Lion Hotels & Inns in the No. 2 spot. Both are mid-range hotels. Budget chain Red Carpet Inns was third in the ranking. Travelodge, Scottish Inns, America’s Best Inn & Suites, Shilo Inns & Resorts, Knights Inn, Howard Johnson and Rodeway Inn rounded out the top 10.