Marriott International recently released its 2013 Sustainability Report update, which claims the company reduced global water usage by 12 percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 16.5 percent in 2012.
The international hotel chain also says it is looking to move beyond its current global footprint of more than 3,800 hotels in over 70 countries and focus on providing sustainable economic activity and local employment. In coming years, more than half of its new hotels will be located in emerging markets, where tourism is a major driver of new jobs and economic development.
Two major sustainable development projects include Marriott’s first hotel in Sub-Saharan Africa — and the largest in Rwanda. The hotel, which is expected to open in 2014, represents the start of Marriott’s aggressive growth plans in Sub-Saharan Africa where the company plans to help fuel the Rwandan travel industry and train young women through a partnership with the Rwandan-based Akilah Institute for Women.
Additionally, the Marriott Hotel Port-au-Prince in Haiti is expected to open in early 2015, making it the first four-star branded hotel in Haiti. The hotel will help boost the local economy by supporting local vendors, supporting hospitality training and generating more than 200 new hospitality jobs, Marriott says.
"Sustainable hotel development generates opportunity for Marriott in exciting new markets and supports economic development in emerging economies by boosting local tourism, creating new jobs, and supporting local businesses," said Arne Sorenson, Marriott International’s president and chief executive officer. “While we invite our guests to ‘See the World’ through our portfolio of hotels around the globe, we want them to know how Marriott is working toward a more inclusive and sustainable future.”
The company recently collaborated with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) to research the economic and community benefit of hotels. The study found that the JW Marriott Lima Hotel in Peru, which employs 350 associates and features 300 guestrooms and 10 meeting rooms, contributes more than $10 million annually to the Peruvian economy through expenditures on salaries, supplies and services.
Other highlights from Marriott’s 2013 Sustainability Report include:
· Growth in the total number of LEED Certified, Registered and Volume Program hotels in Marriott’s portfolio to 115, an increase of nearly 20 hotels in 2012.
· Becoming an official hotel partner of Clean the World, a nonprofit that collects, recycles and distributes partially used soaps and other hygiene amenities globally to communities in need. Marriott is the number one hotel chain in the Clean the World portfolio, having collected more than 75,000 pounds of soap and 50,000 pounds of amenities.
· Celebrating the four-year anniversary of the company’s $2 million commitment to the Juma Sustainable Development Reserve in Amazonas, Brazil to protect 1.4 million acres of rainforest and local residents.
· Helping to protect a major source of fresh water in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province through the company’s Nobility of Nature program in partnership with Conservation International. The initiative avoids deforestation, erosion and promotes sustainable jobs through beekeeping and honey production.
· Contributing more than $23 million in cash and in-kind donations to organizations worldwide while associates raised an additional $4.3 million for their communities during company-sponsored events and volunteered nearly 460,000 hours valued at $10.2 million.
This month, MindClick Global, a leader in supply chain sustainability performance and sourcing solutions, announced that Marriott is ahead of its sustainable sourcing goals for 2013. In 2012, Marriott committed to spend 75 percent of its 2013 furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&E) budget with suppliers who are part of the MindClick Hospitality Index for Sustainable Sourcing (HSP Index). As of June 15, 2013, Marriott has reached 60 percent of its goal.