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Marriott Steps Up Green Efforts With $2M Rainforest Pledge

rainforest.jpgMarriott International has signed an agreement with the state of Amazonas to help protect 1.4 million acres of endangered rainforest. It’s one of the first partnerships between government and the private sector to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation.

The company is also taking new steps to reduce the company’s water, waste and energy consumption, green its supply chain, build greener hotels, and engage employees and guests to take action.

Marriott has committed $2 million to fund an environmental management plan administered by the newly created Amazonas Sustainable Foundation. By year end, Marriott says it will introduce an offset program for guest which will let them contribute to this rainforest fund.

To reduce and offset its global environmental footprint, which it has calculated at 2.9 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually-or .030 metric tons (65.5 pounds) per available room -Marriott has developed a five-point strategy in collaboration with Conservation International which includes reducing fuel and water consumption by 25 percent per available room over the next 10 years, installing solar power at up to 40 hotels by 2017, and expanding existing “reduce, reuse, recycle” programs.

Marriott will also push its top 40 vendors to supply price-neutral greener products across 12 categories of its $10 billion supply chain. Some of the first products to be rolled out are annual purchases of 47 million BIC Ecolutions pens designed for Marriott, made from pre-consumer recycled plastic; more than 1 million gallons of low VOC paint; and 1 million “room-ready” towels by Standard Textile.

The company will also work with hotel development partners to site, design and construct new hotels according to green standards by updating Marriott design guidelines in line with LEED standards by the end of 2009.

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