ATLANTA—IHG’s (InterContinental Hotels Group) midscale extended-stay hotel brand, Candlewood Suites, diverted nearly 260 tons of material from landfills during bedding renovations at 55 hotels this summer. Candlewood Suites worked in partnership with the National Furniture Bank Assn. (NFBA) to repurpose the box springs and linens to benefit approximately 4,300 families across the U.S.
An additional benefit of the reuse program was a cumulative savings of more than $100,000 in disposal fees. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, during the past 35 years the amount of waste each person creates has almost doubled from 2.7 to 4.4 pounds per day. Reuse is one way to stop waste at the source as it delays or avoids that item’s entry into the waste collection and disposal system.
“We were delighted that 55 local affiliates of the NFBA were able to donate more than 3,200 mattresses and box springs and 4,000 linen sets from our hotels to families in need,” says Gina LaBarre, vice president, brand management, Candlewood Suites. “Not only did the Candlewood Cares program help local families, but it also diverted waste from landfills and saved our hotel owners thousands in disposal fees.”
Different Ways to Get Involved
Candlewood Suites hotels located in remote areas from NFBA affiliates created their own reuse programs. The Candlewood Suites Tulsa donated 100 bedding sets and 120 new books to Tulsa’s Family & Children’s Services during the hotel’s “It’s Not Time for Bed until after You’ve Read!” event. The Candlewood Suites West Knoxville donated 98 bedding sets to Mission of Hope, a local charity that gives beds to those who otherwise sleep on pallets.
According to the Reuse Development Organization, reuse provides an excellent, environmentally-preferred alternative to other waste management methods, because it reduces air, water and land pollution, and limits the need for new natural resources, such as timber, petroleum, fibers and other materials. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recently identified waste reduction as an important method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a contributing factor to global warming.
“The Candlewood Suites partnership with NFBA supports IHG’s overall mission to sustain the environment and the communities in which we operate our hotels,” says Vicki Gordon, senior vice president, corporate affairs, IHG. “We conducted this pilot program with the Candlewood Suites bedding change initiative in order to document environmental, community and hotel operational impact. Our goal was to take what we learned and, assuming positive results, create a template that we could then offer to all our brands when they conduct similar refresh activities.”
Based on the positive results achieved, the template will be shared with all franchisees at IHG’s annual Investors Conference in October.
Go to Candlewood Suites.