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Marriott Building Aggressive Environmental Strategy to Green its Meetings

Marriott Replaces Meeting Products and Services
with Eco-Friendly Alternatives 

BETHESDA, Md., July 22, 2008 - The average three-day meeting at a Marriott hotel attended by 1,000 people produces more than 12 tons of trash, uses 200,000 kilowatts of power and consumes 100,000 gallons of water. Beginning this summer, Marriott, JW Marriott and Renaissance Hotels & Resorts will introduce a series of meeting products that are eco-friendly and will help guests and meeting planners reduce their environmental impact. Marriott is building on an aggressive environmental strategy by adding new elements to green its meetings. 
  
Products and Services include:

  • 100% post-consumer fiber writing pads
  • Bic Ecolutions(R) pens made from recycled content and biodegradable (Marriott purchases 47 million pens per year)
  • Access to recycling containers in or near meeting rooms in many of the hotels
  • Meeting rooms set with water service in pitchers or coolers rather than plastic bottles
  • Boxed lunch containers made of recycled content, including biodegradable cutlery kits and napkins
  • Organic, sustainable and natural food and beverage options in many hotels to include Fair-Trade teas and meeting room chocolate options
  • Organic flower options
  • Linen-less banquet buffet tables made of 49%-recycled aluminum and are 99% recyclable at many hotels
  • Safe-to-donate food given to America's Second Harvest's network of food banks
"Our customers have been demanding greener meetings and we feel we can make a difference in the world by taking steps to reduce our footprint on the environment. This is just the beginning of an evolving program that continue to add 'green' products and services as they become available," said Bruno Lunghi, CMP, Marriott's vice president for event management. "An important element to any successful program is the engagement of our associates. As part of the program, event and sales managers will be trained on what makes a meeting environmentally friendly."

Since 2004, Marriott has received the Partner of the Year Award for Excellence in Energy Management, and awarded more ENERGY STAR labels (200) than any other hotel company. In 2005, Marriott proactively joined the prestigious EPA's Climate Leaders as the next step in its six-year partnership with ENERGY STAR. As a Climate Leader, Marriott made a commitment to reduce greenhouse gases by 40,000 tons annually. Last year, Marriott set a goal to reduce its carbon footprint by one million tons from 2000-2010 and is well on track to achieving the company goal.

Some of Marriott's energy-saving programs include retro-fitting existing hotels, seeking LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for new hotels and implementing features such as two-flush toilets, solar panel roofs, energy demand response systems, fluorescent lighting and more. Marriott's hotels have replaced over 450,000 lightbulbs with fluorescent lighting and installed 400,000 low-flow showerheads and toilets. The hotels use two million gallons of low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paint per year and are switching to one million "room ready" towels. By not having to wash towels before using them for the first time, it saves six million gallons of water annually. For more environmentally-friendly hotels and programs, visit www.marriott.com/environment.

Earlier this year, Marriott launched the Spirit to Preserve the Rainforest promotion. For meetings or stays of 10 rooms or more booked during select dates, participating Marriott hotels around the world will contribute funds equal to five percent of the total cost of the group's guest rooms to protect the critically endangered Brazilian Amazonas rainforest. Donations will be made in the name of the group as part of Marriott's ongoing rainforest protection plan. Groups must book between July 1, 2008 and December 31, 2008 and stays must take place between July 1, 2008 and December 31, 2011. For more information, log onto www.marriott.com/preservetherainforest.

In April, Marriott International signed a historic agreement with the Brazilian State of Amazonas to commit $2 million to fund an environmental management plan administered by the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation. Under the agreement, the Foundation with the State of Amazonas, will monitor and enforce the protection of the Juma Sustainable Reserve, an area rich in bio diversity.

The Amazonas project will support employment, education and healthcare for the reserve's approximately 500 residents. The Foundation is seeking certification of the conservation project by an independent accredited environmental auditing firm under the internationally recognized Climate, Community and Biodiversity (CCB) standards.

Working with Conservation International, a global environmental organization, Marriott has developed a five-point "green" strategy that includes: (1) carbon offsets through the protection of rainforest; (2) further reducing fuel and water consumption by 25 percent per available room over the next 10 years, and installing solar power at up to 40 hotels by 2017; (3) engaging Marriott's top 40 vendors to supply price-neutral green products across its $10 billion supply chain; (4) empowering development partners to site, design and construct new hotels in line with the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED standards by the end of 2009; and (5) educating and inspiring employees and guests to support the environment through their everyday actions at home, while at work and on travel.

Marriott has been actively involved in energy conservation for more than 20 years, and over the last decade, replaced 450,000 light bulbs with fluorescent lighting, introduced linen reuse programs, and installed 400,000 low-flow showerheads and toilets at its hotels worldwide. These industry-leading efforts have been recognized by the EPA, which awarded Marriott with its 2008 Sustained Excellence award and placed the ENERGY STAR(R) label on more than 250 of its hotels (the most of any hotel company). For more details, visit www.marriott.com/environment.

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Contact:

Laurie Goldstein
Marriott International
+1-301-380-5296
Laurie.goldstein@marriott.com
http://www.marriott.com/environment 

 

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Also See: Marriott International Develops Integrated Strategy to Address Climate Change; Signs Agreement with the Brazilian State of Amazonas to Help Protect 1.4 million Acres of Endangered Brazilian Rainforest / April 2008
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