Starwood Hotels and Resorts says it will open an Element hotel — the company’s eco-hotel brand — in Fargo, ND, in November 2015.
In 2008, Element was the first major hotel brand to mandate that all properties pursue the US Green Building Council’s LEED certification. There are Element hotels in 11 US markets, and Canada, with new domestic and international hotels in development.
All Element guest room kitchen appliances are Energy Star rated and the hotels use as many recycled materials as possible in design and construction. Floors have carpets with up to 100 percent recycled content and recycled carpet cushions. Art on the walls is mounted on a base made from recycled tires. All paint is low VOC.
The hotel brand’s other recycling initiatives include using silverware and glassware to reduce waste generated by plastic utensils and paper cups. Bath amenities are in a dispenser system rather than wasteful multiple mini-bottles. And guest rooms include recycling bins for paper, plastic and glass.
Hotels, on average, don’t see a revenue boost from going green, according to the Cornell Center for Hospitality Research. A Cornell study published in October analyzed sales and rates for 9,000 hotels and found a net-neutral effect for the hotel industry’s sustainability efforts. While green certification doesn’t improve a hotel’s bottom line, it also doesn’t result in lost revenue, the report concludes.