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All U.S. Econo Lodge Hotels to Implement Room to be Green Program in 2013

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SILVER SPRING, MD.—Econo Lodge hotels, franchised by Choice Hotels International, one of the world’s largest hotel companies, announced it will be the first national economy hotel chain to promote green practices across an entire lodging portfolio. All Econo Lodge hotels in the United States will implement the Choice Hotels Room to be Green (RTBG) program in 2013. The program is designed to reduce environmental impact and waste, meet the changing expectations of today’s environmentally conscious guests and potentially lower operational expenses, (including energy and water costs) at the property level.

Econo Lodge, which currently has almost 900 domestic hotel properties open or under development, will require every hotel to implement the RTBG program. The RTBG program, which is available to all hotels in the Choice Hotels system, was developed based on extensive research. The program outlines three mandatory elements of its Room to be Green initiative; additionally, the program includes optional steps that each property may undertake with its green practices. The following three elements will be mandatory for all Econo Lodge hotels:

•    Energy Conservation: Hotels must use energy efficient indoor lighting solutions, such as compact fluorescent (CFL) 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.

“The Econo Lodge brand is proud to be rolling out this program—it shows that at the economy level we take sustainability and operational efficiency very seriously,” said Craig Mustard, head of domestic brand management for Econo Lodge. “Going Green is important to our guests who range from millennial through to baby boomers—they are conscious of how we treat the Earth. We listened to what they wanted and what our franchisees wanted and we are delivering.”

Impact Could Be Significant

Across the Econo Lodge portfolio, this conservation initiative could potentially reduce annual water usage by 6 million gallons and energy usage by 12 million kWh (*calculations noted below). 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, approximately 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, 2013. Hotels that participate in and meet all requirements receive a designation from Choice Hotels as a hotel that “Supports Green Practices” which guests will see when shopping EconoLodge.com.

*Methodology used for the calculation of energy and water reduction is based on data and assumptions taken from the AHLA Green Guidelines and Econo Lodge specific criteria.

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