BEST INITIATIVE IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 01
BEST INITIATIVE IN
This award will recognize an initiative or program that
shows a brand or hotel group’s involvement in the
sustainable development, fair trade and/or the social
responsibility of the company towards local population
and staff, and/or tourist sites and natural resources. The
strategies will be assessed according to three
1. The project’s deterrent nature and scope linked to the
support of environment, sustainable development, local
community and staff.
2. The originality of the project and the implication of the
3. Measurable efficiency of the actions taken for the
benefit of the local population or natural sites.
BEST INITIATIVE IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 02
• Did your company devise a specific program regarding
sustainable development and/or social responsibility?
Each year, approximately 150 million business and leisure travelers stay in
Choice Hotels International domestic eleven hotel brands, including Comfort
Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality and Econo Lodge – and then return home to
their families in communities nationwide. Unfortunately, many Americans
don’t have warm, safe homes to call their own. That is where Choice Hotels
is getting involved. The Choice Hotels International Foundation focuses on
giving to organizations that support basic human needs, including food,
clothing and shelter, in addition to other areas of support.
Despite the challenging economy, Choice Hotels believes that there is no
better time to give than now. While overall charitable donations fell last year
by the largest percentage in five decades, according to a study by the Giving
USA Foundation, Choice decided to increase its charitable donations by 55
percent in 2009. This year, we are increasing our charitable giving even
In 2009, Choice launched a signature cause partnership with Rebuilding
Together, the nation’s leading non-profit working to preserve affordable
home ownership and revitalize communities. Through this multi-year
relationship, designated “Room To Rebuild,” Choice formed an alliance with
Rebuilding Together to provide Choice the opportunity to be involved in
dozens of projects that help revitalize the communities where our associates,
hotel owners and operators live and work. We wanted to make a difference
by committing to a truly nationwide effort to create better housing conditions
for thousands of Americans.
• What are the general principles of this program?
ØTowards the local or foreign population
After the official partnership launch in September 2009, Choice completed projects
in cities from coast to coast such as Silver Spring, Md., Tampa, Fla., Nashville,
Tenn., Denver, Colo., Phoenix, Ariz., and Detroit, Mich. Over 700 Choice
volunteers picked up hammers, nails and wrenches to repair homes, shelters and
non-profit organizations. Our associates and franchisees contributed more than
5,000 volunteer hours with an estimated market value of nearly $600,000.
ØTowards the group’s staff
The first of 20 Rebuilding Together projects made possible by Choice Hotels
International Foundation began on Friday, September 11, in conjunction with
President Obama’s “United We Serve” call to service, a joint venture of the
Corporation for National and Community Service and the White House.
During this commemorative day, significant structural and aesthetic repairs
were made to the Stepping Stones Shelter in Montgomery County, Md. Over
100 Choice Silver Spring corporate volunteers were onsite to install new carpets,
construct radiator covers, upgrade electrical circuits, secure window screens,
latches, and child guards, and make critical safety modifications to the back
In November, volunteers from the Choice Hotels corporate offices in Phoenix
devoted their time to improving the Casa Linda Lodge, a group home for
expectant teenage mothers. All of the essential improvements made
to this home gave Casa Linda Lodge the ability to better serve the needs of the
residents and allowed them a more suitable and safe place to live while
improving their lives and preparing for motherhood.
Our contact centers in Minot, N.D. and Grand Junction, Colo. supported the
projects via donation drives for needed materials.
ØTowards the group’s clients
While Choice is extremely proud of the time that was
dedicated by our hard-working associates and franchisees, we
also are very pleased with our consumer redemption program
offered to more than 10 million members of our Choice
Privileges® rewards program. Through this program, Choice
Privileges® members are able to redeem points for donations
to Rebuilding Together. Members can choose to donate $10 to
Rebuilding Together as a 1,000 point redemption option. In
2009, our members donated over $4,000 to Rebuilding
Choice also participated in Make a Difference Day on October
24 by offering up to 1,000 Choice Privileges® bonus points to
every Rebuilding Together volunteer who joined the Choice
Privileges® rewards program by Dec. 31, 2009. In addition,
for every volunteer that joined Choice Privileges® before Dec.
31, 2009, Choice Hotels donated $1.00 to Rebuilding Together.
• What are the innovative aspects of this project?
A key component of the partnership is to involve the owners/franchisees of Choice
brand hotels. The owner’s associations, franchisees and hotel staff across the
country were able to participate in regional projects. Seventeen projects were
completed in 2009, totaling $384,890 in estimated market value.
Another creative way that Choice and Rebuilding Together have helped those in
need is to team up with professional football players and hundreds of volunteers for
the Kickoff to Rebuild project, an annual event located in the Super Bowl’s host
city. This year, more than 300 volunteers made critical repairs to seven homes in
Miami’s historic community of Coconut Grove. Improvements included addition of
bedrooms and bathrooms, renovations of kitchens, installation of disability access,
painting, landscaping and addition of money-saving, energy-efficient upgrades.
After all the hard work, volunteers kicked back and celebrated with homeowners
during a community block party.
BEST INITIATIVE IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 03
• Who created this program?
Since its founding in 2000, the Choice Hotels International Foundation has served
as the umbrella for the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities,
expanding its efforts each year to reach a broader audience and engage associates
and franchisees throughout the company.
The Foundation’s mission and purpose is to formalize and focus the company’s
philanthropic giving to encompass the company’s overall corporate social
responsibility strategy. The business principles of the Choice Foundation include a
commitment to sustainable development, taking into account the social,
environmental and economic implications of all activities. Choice also invests in
the communities in which we operate to make sure our neighbors share in the
benefits of our operations. The Foundation is separate from Choice’s commercial
• Who is in charge of implementing it and making it evolve?
The Choice Corporate Communications department spearheads all of Corporate
Social Responsibility activities, including directing the Choice Hotels International
• What are the structures/committees implemented for ensuring the
The Foundation has an executive board that meets quarterly to oversee all activities
and spending through the foundation and ensure accountability. Additionally, we
have community involvement committees that assist with implementation/follow-up
at all of our corporate locations.
• Who is concerned within the company?
•Choice Hotels International Board of Directors
•Choice Senior Executive Team
•Foundation Board of Directors
•Corporate Communications leadership
• Does the program involve external
partnerships? With whom?
•Rebuilding Together is our only external partner at this time.
BEST INITIATIVE IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 04
What is the communication made around this initiative?
Ø Towards the employees (What is their position? How many are
Over 1,600 Choice Hotels employees across the company are aware of the
initiative, and hundreds directly are involved in supporting the Room To Rebuild
projects. We communicate through a variety of internal Choice communications
channels including intranet, blog, weekly electronic newsletters and more.
Ø Towards clients (What is their position? How many are involved?)
Our guests are made aware of our initiative through www.choicehotels.com, which
is visited by eight million consumers monthly, and through our newsletters
distributed to our over ten million loyalty program members quarterly.
Ø Towards business partners (What is their position? How many are
We have over 6,000 franchisees across the country, and we highlight Room to
Rebuild in a variety of our franchisee communications channels. Franchisees also
have the opportunity and option to work on projects in their regions.
Ø Employees, clients, business partners and community in general
(How are they involved in the actions determined by the initiative?)
They are invited to spend a day working to rehabilitate homes of those in need
across the country.
BEST INITIATIVE IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT 05
Please feel free to attach any additional information or
document to this questionnaire that you believe would be
useful (TV ads, DVD, ads, posters, press file, etc.) and
mail them with your candidacy file.
Please try not to go above 15 slides. It is important to
include some pictures (your presentation might be
broadcasted during the ceremony).
A one-minute film presenting your project is highly
The finalists will be asked to provide a one-minute film
which will be broadcasted during the ceremony.
Please note that a high-resolution logo of your brand
(Illustrator vector) is required.
Submission deadline is September 17, 2010
For any further information, please contact us
+33 (0)1 56 56 87 95 / email@example.com