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CONTACT: 
Stephanie Hampton

(301) 380-1217
stephanie.hampton@marriott.com
BethesdaMD  -  17 February 2009 - 

[Watch Our Video to Learn More and See the Rainforest: www.youtube.com/marriottgreen.  Photos available on Flickr.] 

In a bold move to help improve the climate, Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) is launching a new way for guests to “green” their hotel stays.  Now, when you book a room on www.Marriott.com or visit http://www.marriott.com/green-brazilian-rainforest.mi, you can offset the carbon generated during your stay for as little as US$10, or US$1/day for 10 days.  As part of Spirit To Preserve, Marriott’s five-point environmental strategy, guests can contribute to a Brazilian rainforest preservation fund already supported with a US$2 million commitment by the company.

“Conserving rainforests – the lungs of the Earth – is one of the most important things we can do to improve the climate,” says Chief Financial Officer Arne Sorenson, who co-chairs Marriott’s Executive Green Council.  “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.”

Through an agreement with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation, Marriott and its guests are protecting 1.4 million acres of pristine rainforest in The Juma Sustainable Development Reserve in the State of Amazonas, Brazil.  Without this intervention, up to 62 percent 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.  TÜV SÜD, an independent accredited environmental auditing firm, has validated the project, awarding it “gold status” under the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards.

The fund also supports 2,500 residents of Juma who in turn will help protect the rainforest from illegal farming and logging.  Contributions will help fund personnel and equipment to monitor and protect the forest, a school and education curriculum, medical facility, community center and more.

Prior to creating this carbon offset program, Marriott began the journey to reduce the company’s carbon footprint, which has been certified by ICF International at 3 million metric tons of CO2 annually, or 69.5 pounds per available room.  These goals include:  Greening its $10 billion supply chain; further reducing fuel and water consumption by 25 percent per available room, and installing solar power at up to 40 hotels by 2017; creating green construction standards for hotel developers to achieve LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council; and educating and inspiring employees and guests to support the environment.

Marriott has been recognized for its environmental leadership in the hotel industry by several groups, including Ceres, an alliance of investors and environmentalists; the non-profit organization ClimateCounts.org; and Travel + Leisure magazine.

For terms and conditions of the program, visit http://www.marriott.com/green-brazilian-rainforest.mi.

For updates on Marriott’s progress against its green goals, visit www.marriott.com/spirittopreserve, follow Green Marriott on Twitter and become a fan of Travel Green on Facebook.

Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) for a company overview.

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