In 2007, Marriott established an environmental policy and made the commitment to “go green.” Within the policy, the company established environmental goals and has been steadily striving to meet those marks. The list of goals includes:
- Reducing energy and water use by 20% per hotel room by the year 2017.
- Create a building plan for hotel developers including a set of green construction standards.
- Strive to make the multi-billion dollar chain “green.”
- Educate associates as well as hotel guest to support the environment.
- Invest in environmental initiatives, such as water conservation and rain forest protection.
The hotel chain realized that global travel has increased over the years and that it had a responsibility to create an atmosphere that was environmentally friendly. They are committed to following all federal, regional, state, and local environmental laws and regulations; and committed to contributing to a more sustainable future. Marriott has a Global Green Council that was put together to set the goals and policies, and to conduct reviews of the progress.
The Marriott chain has a lot to be proud of when it comes to its going green efforts. The chain has been recognized and awarded several honors for its commitment to protecting our environment, including the U.S. Postal Service’s “Green Stamp of Approval” in 2011 for delivering solutions that reduce costs, maintain high levels of service, and providing innovative and sustainable solutions.
Hotel guests will witness the green efforts of the hotel chain during their stay. Here are some of the ways the Marriott is getting guests engaged in this cause:
- Guests will find recycling bins throughout the hotel, especially in common areas such as the lobby. This encourages guests to recycle newspapers, aluminum, and glass rather than throwing these items into a standard garage bin.
- Guests are asked to reuse their towels a second time rather than tossing on the floor after one use. This cuts back on the energy and water used during laundering.
- Regular light bulbs have been replaced with compact fluorescent bulbs.
- Recycled paper is used for the standard notepads left in the guest rooms, as well as recycled plastic pens.
- Low-flow showerheads have been installed which cuts back in water usage by up to 50% per shower.
- Timers have been installed for bathroom and entrance lights in the hotel rooms. This cuts back on the energy used in the room. Guests are also encouraged to turn off all lights when not in use and make sure all lights are off when leaving the hotel room.
- Guests are encouraged to unplug all cell phone, laptop, or other chargers or electrical devices when not in use.
Marriott’s commitment to the environment is not just limited to its hotels. The hotel chain’s environmental commitment states, “Marriott seeks to take responsibility for the environmental impact of our business operations. We focus our efforts on five key elements of environmental responsibility.” These five elements include: Energy, water, waste and carbon; supply chain; green hotels; engaging guests and associates; and conservation, in particularly the rainforests of Brazil. Their efforts seem to be gaining them some ground and moving in the direction of their goals. The 2011-2012 Sustainability Report states that the water consumption per occupied room has decreased by 12% and energy consumption per square meter has decreased by 4%. The Marriott chain continues to be recognized as a leader in going green.