From innovative technology to conserve energy and water to even more ambitious diversity goals for hotel ownership, the 2022 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report released by Choice Hotels International Inc. highlights significant new steps that the company says should cut utility costs, save time for franchisees and increase its ESG commitments.
“Choice Hotels International shares a uniting belief that tomorrow will be even better than today, and we are committed to building that better tomorrow,” Patrick Pacious, CEO, Choice Hotels International, says in the report. “As one of the largest lodging franchisors in the world, we are building on more than 80 years of success in developing a portfolio of diversified brands and creating a lasting, sustainable legacy for the future—one hotel, one family, one community at a time.”
The report—entitled Building a Better Tomorrow, Today—details key measures being undertaken by Choice to further integrate ESG standards and principles into its long-term decision-making and everyday operations, including:
- Launching Commitment to Green, an initiative to provide sustainability training and resources to Choice hotel owners, including an automated systemwide utility tracking dashboard to enable hotels to identify electricity, fuel and water reduction opportunities
- Reporting Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the first time and aligning ESG disclosures with the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs)
- Appointing an executive with deep knowledge of the business as VP, sustainability and creating two new ESG governance forums to strengthen Choice’s ESG strategy and execution
- Joining the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, a global network that champions responsible hospitality, and becoming one of its largest members
- Relaunching HERtels by Choice, driving a 53% year-over-year increase in the company’s hotel franchise deals with woman owners
- Committing $25 million in incentives for contracts with underrepresented minority and woman owners by 2025
- Setting a goal to increase the representation of women in senior leadership roles to 50%
“The sustainability practices we are implementing aren’t just good for our people, our communities and our planet, they’re good for business,” said Megan Brumagim, VP, sustainability, Choice Hotels. “That’s why we’re strengthening our commitments and continuing to engage our franchisees on the journey. Whether through Commitment to Green or the recent installation of CarbinX carbon-capture technology at the Radisson Blu Mall of America, we’re focused on practical ways to make a positive impact and deliver financial returns for our owners. Innovative efforts to drive energy efficiency and save water also save our hardworking hotel owners time and money, without sacrificing guest experience.”
Choice achieved an important sustainability milestone last week when the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington, MN, became the first hotel in the world to use CarbinX, a small-scale carbon-capture device. Developed by CleanO2, CarbinX connects to the natural gas hot water heaters in the hotel, captures the CO2 they produce, and converts it into an ingredient that can be used in locally produced soap and detergent.
“While we are proud of our work to date, we recognize we are still at the beginning in some aspects of our ESG journey,” said Pacious. “Because our belief in an even better tomorrow extends to all those we serve, one thing that won’t change as we continue to grow and evolve as a company is our people-centered culture. We are committed to our franchisees and their success, to our associates and their wellbeing and career development, and to providing our guests with a welcoming stay wherever their travels take them.”