Climate change — caused by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions — threatens species, biodiversity and life on Earth as we know it. According to Conservation International and other environmental experts, the destruction of tropical forests contributes 20% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions and fuels climate change. But conserving forests — the lungs of the Earth — is one of the most important things we can do to improve the climate.
Marriott has taken steps to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions through Spirit To Preserve, its five-point environmental strategy. To help offset its remaining carbon footprint, Marriott has committed $2 million to help protect the Juma rainforest reserve in the State of Amazonas, Brazil.
Marriott’s Carbon Footprint
To calculate Marriott's carbon footprint of 3 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually — or .031 metric tons (69.5 pounds) per available room — the company measured its electricity and gas consumption in guest rooms and public spaces at nearly 1,000 managed hotels worldwide, as well as at its headquarters building and regional offices. The calculation followed the World Resources Institute's Greenhouse Gas Protocol and has been independently certified by ICF International, a leader in climate change consulting services.
The Juma Sustainable Development Reserve encompasses 1.4 million acres of pristine rainforest (589,000 hectares) and is set along the Aripuanã river in the State of Amazonas, Brazil. It is rich in biodiversity, including reptiles, amphibians and mammals, including 21 species of primates. Nearly 2,500 people -- including 350 families -- call Juma home.
Through an agreement with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation and the State of Amazonas, Marriott is helping to preserve the future for Juma’s residents, who in turn will help protect the rainforest from illegal farming and logging.
Without intervention, it's projected that up to 62% of the Juma rainforest will be lost to illegal deforestation activities by 2050, resulting in 4 million tons of carbon emissions in the first 10 years alone. These projections have been certified by TÜV-SÜD, an independent accredited environmental auditing firm, which awarded the project “gold status,” the highest rating according to the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards.
Preserving the rainforest and offsetting the carbon generated during a hotel stay is the centerpiece of Marriott’s Spirit To Preserve, our five-point environmental strategy, which also calls for: