AHLA Launches ‘Responsible Stay’ Sustainability Initiative

Major hotel companies unite around sustainability priorities in core areas of energy, water, waste, and sourcing

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) today announced Responsible Stay, an industry-wide commitment to make meetings, events, and guest experiences in America’s hotels more environmentally and socially responsible.

Responsible Stay is focused on prioritizing hotels’ environmental sustainability efforts in four key areas:

  • Energy efficiency: Optimizing energy efficiency through operational improvements and adoption of clean energy technologies;
  • Waste reduction: Investing in waste reduction programs and new, innovative alternatives to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste across properties;
  • Water conservation: Ensuring the reduction of water usage by implementing water-efficient practices in core areas like laundry, food and beverage, and landscaping;
  • Responsible sourcing practices: Sourcing responsibly and prioritizing sustainability in supply chains to prevent harmful environmental and social impacts.

By focusing on these four core principles, AHLA and its members are united on a commitment to strengthen environmental programs, education, and resources to provide a ‘responsible stay’ for guests, protect the future of the planet, and support communities across the country.

“The hotel industry has shown a longstanding commitment to sustainability, and many of our member companies have been on the leading edge of these efforts. We’re thrilled that the industry is committed to this critical issue that will shape how we travel for years to come,” said Chip Rogers, president and CEO of AHLA. “The launch of Responsible Stay is the next step of our industry’s sustainability journey, and we are uniting as an industry to provide a responsible stay for our employees, guests, communities, and our planet.”

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Responsible Stay aims to advance environmental initiatives and help hotels shift operations to be more sustainable. This commitment to provide a ‘responsible stay’ builds on existing initiatives by AHLA to support industry efforts to reduce carbon emissions, water and energy usage, waste, and more, including:

  • AHLA’s Sustainability Committee, comprised of industry leaders, communicates, educates, and advocates on behalf of the lodging industry to showcase environmental efforts and elevates environmental sustainability and resilience;
  • AHLA’s new partnership with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance works to amplify, collaborate on, and support hospitality sustainability programs and solutions;
  • AHLA’s long-standing partnership with the World Wildlife Fund and the Hotel Kitchen program, which uses innovative strategies to engage staff, partners, and guests in curbing food waste from hotel kitchens;
  • AHLA’s ongoing partnership with the Department of Energy Better Buildings Initiative highlights energy efficiency and drives leadership in energy innovation in the hospitality sector by accelerating investment and sharing successful best practices;
  • AHLA’s newly-formed research initiative with GreenView helps quantify and benchmark sustainability practices across the hotel industry in the United States, which will allow for better insights, best-practice development, and sustainability progress tracking over time.

Responsible Stay has elicited broad support across the sector, with members, state association partners, and other industry stakeholders endorsing the program and its principles. To mark the launch of Responsible Stay, major hotel companies offered their individual commitments to advance environmental sustainability on their properties, and a diverse group of companies within the hotel and lodging industry have also released statements of support for the Responsible Stay effort:

Michael J. Deitemeyer, President and CEO, Aimbridge Hospitality:
“Aimbridge Hospitality is proud to support ‘Responsible Stay’ and its principles of achieving sustainability through water conservation, waste reduction, energy efficiency, and responsible sourcing, which is aligned with our own three-year ESG strategy and sustainability goals. These principles will be a valuable resource for hotels across the country as we work to build a more sustainable future for the communities in which we live, work, and operate.”

Justin Knight, CEO, Apple Hospitality REIT, Inc.:
“Apple Hospitality REIT is committed to building on our longstanding commitment to sustainability across our investment and asset management strategies to reduce our environmental impact. We strongly support ‘Responsible Stay’s’ goal of reducing carbon emissions by pursuing initiatives focused on water conservation, waste reduction, responsible sourcing, and energy efficiency. To enhance our commitment to sustainable operations, Apple Hospitality REIT established a formal energy management program in 2018, engaging resources throughout our company to ensure that energy, water, and waste management are a priority not only within our company, but also with our management companies and brands. We are committed to working closely with the brands to identify priorities for future investment that will further advance sustainable operating standards.”

Rob Mangiarelli, President, Atrium Hospitality:
“Atrium Hospitality is eager to support AHLA’s Responsible Stay initiative, which complements our sustainability commitment as one of the nation’s largest hotel operators. We’re committed to being a responsible community partner, including priorities for energy efficiency, waste reduction, water conservation, and responsible sourcing. Atrium invests in innovation to conserve the planet’s natural resources and to be more efficient, all while providing exceptional guest experiences.”

Pat Pacious, CEO, Choice Hotels International:
“Choice Hotels International, Inc. is committed to reducing our carbon footprint and proudly supports AHLA’s ‘Responsible Stay’ and its focus on water conservation, waste reduction, responsible sourcing, and energy efficiency. More than a decade ago, Choice launched Room to be Green, a program that promotes environmentally friendly practices throughout our hotel system and corporate offices. As the program continues to evolve and we look to further enhance our commitment to sustainability, we’re excited about the launch of ‘Responsible Stay.’”

James Carroll, President and CEO, Crestline Hotels & Resorts, LLC:
“Crestline is excited to support ‘Responsible Stay’ and its focus on improving sustainability through water conservation, waste reduction, energy efficiency, and responsible sourcing. Implementing sustainable practices both in the hotels we manage and our own corporate offices has been an important initiative for Crestline for many years. In 2008, we launched EarthPact, a green initiative program that works towards excellence in sustainability across multiple disciplines.”

Caitrin O’Brien; Vice President, Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG); Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts:
“Four Seasons is committed to building upon our company’s strong history of supporting our communities and the environment. Through our Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) program, we seek to preserve and regenerate the beautiful places in which we operate and leave a positive, enduring impact on our communities. We are proud to support ‘Responsible Stay’ and its focus on water conservation, waste reduction, responsible sourcing, and energy efficiency. Our hotels around the world are taking significant steps within each of these priority areas, and we are committed to continued collaboration with our industry peers to drive even greater collective impact.”

Arash Azarbarzin, CEO, Highgate Hotels, L.P.:
“As an ESG leader within the hospitality industry, Highgate is proud to support ‘Responsible Stay’ and its priorities of energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, and responsible sourcing. Reducing our environmental footprint is at the forefront of Highgate’s mission, which has led to the development of comprehensive programs surrounding building operations optimization, sustainable supply chain management, reforestation, renewable energy utilization, single-use plastics elimination, and green design and construction. Our efforts are already making an impact, with more than 200 of our hotels powered by 100 percent renewable energy and more than 7,000 trees planted through reforestation efforts.”

Danny Hughes, Executive Vice President and President, Americas, Hilton:
“For over 100 years, Hilton has operated under the belief that hospitality can be a powerful force for good. We recognize that there has never been a more important time to support our industry’s efforts towards a more resilient and vibrant world for travel and are proud to support AHLA’s ‘Responsible Stay’ priorities. Together with our industry partners and guided by our Travel With Purpose strategy, we look forward to strengthening our collective efforts to protect the communities and destinations we serve while creating a more responsible stay for our guests.”

James F. Risoleo; President, CEO, and Director; Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc.:
“Corporate responsibility is a cornerstone of Host’s values and business strategy, and we are proud to be consistently recognized for our commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship. As the premier lodging REIT, one of the largest owners of luxury and upper-upscale hotels and a sustainability leader, we are excited to support ‘Responsible Stay’ and share its commitment of reducing carbon emissions through energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, and responsible sourcing. This new program will set a foundation to help the industry meet the sustainability expectations of our stakeholders, including our investors, employees, partners, and communities. Host is on track to meet our environmental targets around greenhouse gas emissions, energy, electricity use, water, and waste by 2025; and by 2050, we aspire to be a net positive company and a catalyst for positive impact in the lodging industry.”

Mark Hoplamazian, President and CEO, Hyatt:
“Hyatt is committed to advancing environmental action through our 2030 environmental goals as part of our World of Care ESG platform. We are proud to support ‘AHLA’s Responsible Stay’ as an important tool in our industry’s sustainability efforts and help to ensure the communities we all serve remain vibrant now, and in the future.”

Catherine Dolton, Chief Sustainability Officer, IHG Hotels & Resorts:
“At IHG Hotel & Resorts, we recognize the importance of playing our part in protecting our planet for the future. We fully support ‘Responsible Stay’ and agree with its priorities of water conservation, waste reduction, energy efficiency, and responsible sourcing. In parallel, IHG is committed to providing our guests with a more sustainable stay through our ‘Journey to Tomorrow’ 10-year responsible business plan. That’s why we’re working to reduce our energy use and carbon emissions in line with climate science and to minimize waste in the hospitality industry. We’re also finding ways to reduce our water usage and work with others towards sustainable solutions that create water access for all.”

Liam Brown; Group President, U.S. and Canada; Marriott International, Inc.:
“At Marriott International, Inc., we believe we have a global responsibility and unique opportunity to be a force for good by helping to take on our world’s most pressing social, environmental and economic issues. We support ‘Responsible Stay’ and its four key pillars of energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction, and responsible sourcing. This new resource will help us advance our industry’s commitment to sustainability—protecting our communities and environments while meeting the expectations of our guests, associates, owners, investors, and other stakeholders. Guided by our 2025 Sustainability and Social Impact Goals, as well as the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Marriott International is committed to creating positive and sustainable impact wherever we do business.

Mit Shah, Founder and CEO, Noble Investment Group:
“The name Noble was born out of the ethos of our commitment to responsible standards of operating and investing. We are proud that our diverse team continues to be stewards of these endeavors throughout the travel and hospitality industry, and we are excited to support AHLA’s ‘Responsible Stay’ and its priorities of water conservation, waste reduction, energy efficiency, and responsible sourcing. Through the design, development, and redevelopment of our assets, Noble is committed to incorporating sustainable practices and pursuing energy efficiencies to produce more profitable and beneficial business results.”

Jeff Wagoner, President and CEO, Outrigger Hospitality Group:
“Outrigger Hospitality Group applauds and fully supports AHLA for uniting the industry to advance environmental sustainability and resilience with its new Responsible Stay platform. Outrigger is amplifying its own ESG efforts this year as part of our 75th Anniversary—including being the first hospitality company to pursue Green Seal certification in Hawaii, Fiji, and Mauritius as well as signing a Climate Coalition Pledge that commits our company to tracking and reducing our carbon footprint. With a bold mission to be The Premier Beach Resort Company in the World, Outrigger’s link to the ocean is unbreakable. Beyond strategic reduction of energy, water, and waste at all of our resorts, the company’s global conservation initiative, Outrigger ZONE, inspires positive change by helping to preserve, protect and plant coral reefs—the lungs of our planet.”

George Limbert, President, Red Roof:
“Red Roof is proud to support Responsible Stay and its sustainability priorities of water conservation, waste reduction, energy efficiency, and responsible sourcing. We’re committed to building a more sustainable future, which is why we recently launched a new ESG effort called Purpose With Heart. Our ESG project will focus on an evolving set of objectives. The benefits of our program will accrue to our guests, our business, and our franchise owners, as well as to our team members, our communities, and the environment we all share. Our purpose in developing a structured program is to do well by doing good, and we are so proud to endorse the AHLA Responsible Stay program that matches the spirit and aspiration of Purpose With Heart.”

Leslie D. Hale, President and CEO, RLJ Lodging Trust:
“RLJ Lodging Trust enthusiastically supports ‘Responsible Stay’ and shares its priorities of water conservation, waste reduction, energy efficiency, and responsible sourcing. This program will help all of us in the hotel industry build a more sustainable future for the communities in which we operate, work, and live.”

Colin V. Reed, Chairman and CEO, Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc.:
“Ryman Hospitality Properties, Inc. places a high value on protecting the environment where we own properties and employ a strong workforce. We are very proud to support the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s ‘Responsible Stay’ initiative and its sustainability goals of water conservation, waste reduction, responsible sourcing, and energy efficiency within the lodging industry. As sole owner of five Gaylord Hotels, some of the top 10 largest non-gaming convention center hotels in the United States, we understand the significant environmental impact of our operations. That’s why we have implemented a sustainability program to mitigate, continually improve and closely monitor the environmental performance for our hospitality portfolio. We are proud of the progress we have made to date and continue to seek opportunities to reduce carbon and waste, conserve water, and grow our efforts in sustainable and renewable energy.”

John Murray, President and CEO, Sonesta International Hotels:
“Sonesta International Hotels Corporation is proud to support ‘Responsible Stay’ and its focus on building a more sustainable future through water conservation, waste reduction, responsible sourcing, and energy efficiency. Our business strategy incorporates a focus on sustainable approaches to operating properties in a manner that benefits the company’s owners, guests, and the communities in which our properties are located. We encourage our managers and franchisees to operate their hotel in ways that improve the economic performance of their operations, while simultaneously managing energy and water consumption, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.”

Bryan A. Giglia, CEO, Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc.:
“Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc. is proud to support ‘Responsible Stay,’ a new effort to build on our longstanding commitment to Environmental Sustainability through water conservation, waste reduction, responsible sourcing, and energy efficiency. Our corporate employees, hotel associates, and hotel guests are increasingly prioritizing sustainability, and we are committed to helping ensure our hotels meet their expectations. Throughout our portfolio, our asset management, design and construction, and engineering, teams monitor energy, waste, and water consumption and costs, as well as work with our managers to identify opportunities for improvement. Our efforts are already paying off, with reductions in energy, water, GHG emissions, and waste usage over the last several years. Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc. understands the importance of continuing to identify new initiatives that will help protect our planet and reduce our environmental footprint.”

Mitch Patel, President and CEO, Vision Hospitality Group, Inc.:
“In the United States alone, there are over 130,000 hotels and motels. As part of this rich fabric that is the hospitality industry, Vision Hospitality Group recognizes that we have a chance to make a major impact on the sustainability of our planet. When you consider our total usage in water, electricity, and food, we have the ability to truly come together for real change. Vision Hospitality Group is proud to support the AHLA’s Responsible Stay initiative, adding our voice to our friends in the industry as we come together to ensure a bright, clean future for the next generation of hoteliers and guests.”

Geoff Ballotti, President and CEO, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts:
“Wyndham supports AHLA’s ‘Responsible Stay’ and is committed to fostering social responsibility through conservation, waste reduction, energy efficiency, and responsible sourcing. We take daily action to minimize our operations’ impact on the world as we continue making progress in reducing our carbon emissions and water consumption and work towards a 100 percent elimination of single-use plastics while providing our hotels access to tools and best practices through Wyndham Green to help measure and reduce their own environmental impact.”

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