Marriott International, Inc. last week announced its latest environmental initiative in a five point plan to improve the planet, giving customers a chance to “green” their hotel stay. The plan, called “Green Your Marriott Hotel Stay for $1/Day,” allows customers who book online the option of contributing money to preserve a Brazilian rainforest as a way of offsetting the carbon generated during their stay.
Two years ago, Marriott announced a environmental strategy that aims to safeguard the environment by: protecting the rainforests, reducing water, waste and energy in its operations, improving its supply chain through eco-friendly products like recyclable key cards and coreless toilet paper using green materials in hotel construction and engaging guests and employees in practices that benefit the environment.
To participate in this most recent program, customers need to spend more than $1.00 a day. The fee is actually a minimum of $10.00, corresponding to a ten day stay. That’s intended to offset the 30 cents for each credit card transaction. Money will go toward protecting 1.4-million acres of rainforest in The Juma Sustainable Development Reserve in Amazonas, Brazil.
Money will assist area residents in sustaining their lifestyle, so they’ll be less tempted to tear down the forests for profit or collaborate with others interested in farming or logging ventures. According to Marriott’s press release, the program will prevent the loss of 62% of the Juma rainforest to illegal deforestation activities. Such deforestation could increase carbon emissions by 4-million tons within 10 years.
Last April, Marriott committed $2-million to the preservation effort, including building a school and putting mosquito nets on windows. Future plans include a medical facility and community center.
“Now we’re inviting our guests to join in the effort,” said Marriott spokeswoman Stephanie Hampton, who described the new program as the “centerpiece of our strategy.” She said though the program is only a week old, customers are already signing up to contribute. “We expect to get a good response,” she said. She expects further announcements, specifically relating to Marriott’s green hotel initiative, within the next two to three months.