In an industry that’s often carbon-intensive, Wyndham Worldwide – the hospitality giant that includes popular hotel chains like Ramada, Days Inn and Wyndham Garden – says it achieved a 12 percent reduction in carbon emissions per square foot of its operations last year. This comes after the company was named the greenest hotel and restaurant company in Newsweek’s Green Rankings for the second year in a row.
Wyndham, which is working toward a goal to reduce its emissions by 20 percent by 2020, announced this latest milestone in its third annual Sustainability Report released this month.
“Advancing sustainability best practices remains among our top priorities not only because it’s good for the environment, but because it’s also good for business,” Stephen P. Holmes, chairman and CEO of Wyndham Worldwide, said in a press release.
“This latest milestone of meaningfully reducing our carbon footprint is the result of collaboration across our organization, including our associates, suppliers, customers and business partners, who together continue to develop ideas with incredible potential and transform them into tangible results.”
In addition to reducing its carbon footprint, Wyndham is also looking to cut water usage by 20 percent per square foot by 2020. Featured in the report, the company’s first-ever water usage data collection and measurement process calculates water usage for all owned, managed and leased facilities across the company’s portfolio for 2010, 2011 and 2012. Usage per square foot at Wyndham’s nearly 100,000 locations in 2012 reflects a 1.7 percent decrease in 2011 and a 5 percent improvement from the 2010 baseline.
The report, which provides an overview of Wyndham’s sustainability initiatives and CSR programs, aligns with GRI G3.1 guidelines and is accessible on the company’s website. Additional highlights from the report include:
- The company co-led the development of a standard method for calculating carbon usage for hotels and resorts and launched the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative in partnership with more than 20 other hotel chains, the International Tourism Partnership and the World Travel & Tourism Council. Additionally, Wyndham representatives participated as a delegate and speaker at the Rio+20 Summit in Brazil and participated in the University of Cambridge’s Program for Sustainability Leadership.
- Wyndham developed a program that converted 46 percent of RCI North America‘s direct mail circulation to email format from 2007 to 2012 – allowing the timeshare exchange network to reduce mailings by more than 8 million units and cut carbon emissions by more than 441,000 pounds.
- The company continued to expand its green supply chain, with 25 percent of its total $1.2 billion spent in 2012 through suppliers who met the Wyndham Green Supplier criteria. This may not seem like much, but it represents a 9 percent increase from 2011 – demonstrating that sustainable supply chain management is on the rise in Wyndham’s six-continent network.
- By purchasing shade-grown coffee for its more than 600,000 hotel rooms, Wyndham was able to save more than 26 million square feet of rainforest habitat.
- Wyndham hotels have purchased 4.1 million recycled key cards since 2011 – saving more than 50,000 pounds of plastic.
In the report, the company says it seeks to deliver “triple bottom line” results for people, the planet and profits. Its Wyndham Green program, which began as a grassroots initiative nearly seven years ago, has emerged as an industry-leading global policy and a roadmap for sustainable, profitable growth. Despite making greater steps toward sustainability, the company’s $4.5 billion in net revenue is actually up from 2011 – indicating that going green may actually do good things for a hotel’s popularity.
Image credit: Wyndham Garden Hotel in Austin via Wyndham Worldwide
Based in Philadelphia, Mary Mazzoni is a freelance journalist who frequently writes about sustainability, corporate social responsibility and clean tech. Mary also contributes to Earth911; her work has appeared on the Huffington Post, Sustainable Brands and The Daily Meal. You can follow her on Twitter@mary_mazzoni.