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RESOURCES: CASE STUDIES

Author : Tourism for Tomorrow Awards
Section : WTTC Tourism for Tommorrow Awards Case Studies
Year : 2009
Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

Marriott International Inc, USA & Global

Global Tourism Award Winner 2009


marriott1.jpg Founded in 1927, Marriott International Inc is one of the world’s largest hospitality groups with over 3,000 lodging properties, 17 brands and more than 151,000 employees.

The company’s sustainability goals are outlined in its five-point global environmental strategy that focuses on:

  • Environmentally sustainable operations and management
  • Supply chain
  • Green buildings
  • Ecological, cultural, and natural preservation
  • Employee and guest engagement.

Marriott’s company-wide energy management system requires uniform auditing and inspection for each of its properties. Marriott collects information through a bi-monthly hotel audit, called an Energy Awareness Measure, and daily Routine Inspection Reports which ensure that all properties are actively involved in the company’s energy conservation action plan. At the end of each quarter, the individual property’s General Manager and Energy Conservation Committee meet to review the audit forms and inspection reports that have been filed over the previous three months. To date, this method has resulted in an annual US$4.5 million dollar savings to Marriott, demonstrating that energy conservation also has a valuable return on investment for the company.


The company employs well over 1,700 people, 99% of whom are of regional Dominican origin, and it invests over US$3,085,000 annually to support their corporate social and environmental responsibility initiatives.

Marriott initially focused its sustainability efforts through its ECHO programme (Environmentally Conscious Hospitality Operations). ECHO focused on water and energy conservation, clean air, recycling, wildlife preservation and neighbourhood clean-ups. Through this programme, it replaced 450,000 incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent lighting, introduced linen re-use systems, and installed 400,000 low-flow showerheads and toilets at its hotels worldwide. Marriott has also reduced water usage by more than 15% over the last five years.

In the USA – its largest market – Marriott has the greatest number of US Environmental Protection Agency ‘Energy Star’ certified hotels of any hotel company to date. Since 2001, all 720 US full-service hotels have been benchmarked for best practices, and 275 have secured the Energy Star label. Thirty-four of the company’s managed golf courses at 25 locations throughout the USA, Canada and the Caribbean are Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries, protecting the environment by enhancing precious natural areas and wildlife habitats.

marriott2.jpg

In 2007, Marriott began a partnership with Conservation International to map the company’s carbon footprint and develop a five-point environmental strategy for full sustainability. It includes:

  • Carbon offsets through the protection of rainforest
  • Further reductions in fuel and water consumption – by 25% per available room over the next ten years – as well as the installation of solar power in up to 40 hotels by 2017
  • Engaging the company’s top 40 vendors to supply greener products across 12 categories of Marriott’s US$10 billion supply chain
  • Creation of green construction standards for hotel developers to achieve LEED certification from the US Green Building Council
  • Educating and inspiring company employees and guests to support the environment, including through green meetings and events.

The plan is part of Marriott’s long-term system-wide environmental policy and focuses on efforts to reduce and offset Marriott’s global footprint, which was calculated at 3 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually – or 69.5 pounds per available room. The calculation was certified in autumn 2008 to Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) Standards.

Marriot has a company Global Green Council in place to advance its sustainability initiatives. Nowhere is this better demonstrated than in its US$2 million investment in the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation which, together with the State of Amazonas in Brazil, helped to establish, monitor and enforce the protection of 1.4 million acres (589,000 hectares) of endangered rainforest in the Juma Sustainable Development Reserve. The Juma Project acts as a sink for carbon emissions through the avoided deforestation of old growth rainforest until 2050. Additional benefits include forest conservation, an improved quality of life for the local population, and biodiversity protection.

Marriott’s ongoing sustainability efforts are helping to set new standards for conservation and environmental stewardship within the global hotel industry.


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