Marriott International has reduced its energy consumption by 11 percent, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 10.7 percent since 2007, according to the company’s first official Sustainability Report using Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines. Marriott says it is the first major U.S.-based hospitality management company to report in accordance with GRI. The report covers performance results from 2008 and 2009.
The hospitality management company also is on track to meet its goal of a 25 percent decrease in energy and water consumption per available room by 2017, which is part of the company’s “Spirit to Preserve” goals. Other goals under this initiative include expanding its ‘green’ hotel development tenfold in five years, greening its $10 billion supply chain, educating associates and guests to support the environment and implementing conservation initiatives.
Other environmental highlights include the company’s plans to reduce water consumption per available room by 8.2 percent in two years, increasing the number of Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) registered and certified hotels from 18 to 67, and funding $2 million to jumpstart an Amazon rainforest preservation project in Brazil and $500,000 to help protect access to fresh water in China.
In 2009, Marriott achieved its goal in the Americas of conserving five percent of energy consumption per available room on a year-over-year basis after weather normalization. The hospitality company also introduced an energy conservation action plan.
Marriott’s Retro-Commissioning (MRCx) program, aimed at helping properties become more energy efficient, conducted evaluations at more than 30 of its largest properties. These evaluations included audits of their lighting, hot water and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems) to bring these systems up to their peak operational performance.
Through projects completed over the last few years and those currently under way, Marriott expects to save 12 million kilowatts of power. In general, properties found that after they implement all the MRCx assessment recommendations, their energy costs decrease 5 to 25 percent and are achieving, on average, a payback on their investment in 1.4 years, according to the report.
Marriott’s overall water consumption rose by 2.6 percent from 2007 to 2009, which the company attributes to net room growth. However, the hospitality company said it reduced water consumption per available room by 8.2 percent during this period.
Also, in the Americas, Marriott achieved a 2.2 percent reduction per available room, and in the Asia/Pacific division achieved a 31.3 percent overall water consumption reduction, translating into a 21.9 percent reduction in water consumption per available room.
In 2009, Marriott’s landfill waste in the U.S. totaled 726,993 tons, which reflects a 17 percent reduction from 2007.
The company is also working towards greener hotels. By the end of 2009, Marriott had 67 properties either LEED-certified or registered, including its headquarters building in Bethesda, Maryland. Marriott has set a target to increase the number of LEED-certified or registered new build and operating hotels to 300 by 2015.
To achieve this goal, Marriott developed and launched a green hotel prototype, also called “volume build precertification by USGBC, for the Courtyard by Marriott brand in November 2009.
Marriott says it is the first in the hospitality industry to launch a green hotel prototype, pre-certified by the USGBC. The prototype was awarded LEED Silver status, and based on national averages, will save owners approximately $100,000 and six months in design time, and reduce a hotel’s energy and water consumption by up to 25 percent.
The Courtyard Pittsburgh Settlers Ridge/Robinson Township, a Concord Hospitality hotel in Pennsylvania scheduled to open in the fall of 2010, was the basis for the new green hotel prototype concept.
Marriott also is working with its top vendors, across its $10 billion supply chain, to supply price-neutral products that reduce energy and resource consumption, reduce waste, increase waste diversion, or use greener, nontoxic materials.
As an example, in the U.S., Marriott purchased 24 million key cards made of 50 percent recycled material, diverting 66 tons of plastic from landfills. In Europe, most hotels use key cards that are fully recyclable or made from recycled content.