In support of its environmental strategy to address climate change, Marriott International (NYSE: MAR) has announced that its global Headquarters building and more than 30 of its hotels in design, development or under construction are expected to achieve LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council(USGBC). Marriott was the first major hotel company in the U.S. with a LEED certified hotel--The Inn and Conference Center by Marriott at the University of Maryland in College Park.
“LEED certification gives these hotels a ‘green’ stamp of approval that our customers recognize and look for,” says Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s newly appointed President and Chief Operating Officer and co-chair of the company’s Executive Green Council. “Saving energy and reducing waste saves money and helps the environment— it’s good for business and a key part of our growth strategy.”
LEED certification provides independent, third-party verification that a building project meets the highest green building and performance measures. LEED-certified buildings: reduce waste sent to landfills; conserve energy and water; are healthier and safer for occupants; and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
Scheduled for a July 2009 grand opening, the Fairfield Inn & Suites Baltimore Downtown/Inner Harbor expects to achieve LEED-Silver status. The hotel will offer a range of eco-friendly amenities, including environmentally friendly suites, bicycle storage and changing rooms, and preferred parking for fuel-efficient vehicles. The hotel’s breakfast area features solar tracking skylights, and the outdoor courtyard includes turf made of recycled tires and rainwater cisterns (former brewing barrels from the site’s original occupant, the Baltimore Brewing Company).
Other Marriott LEED-certified hotels expected to open this year include: The Ritz-Carlton Highlands Lake Tahoe in Truckee, Calif; the Residence Inn Arlington Courthouse in Virginia; and Courtyard hotels in Chevy Chase, Md., Portland, Ore., and Pittsburgh, Pa.
In 2010, several other LEED-certified hotels are expected to open. These include the Renaissance Crystal City Potomac Yards and the Residence Inn Crystal City Potomac Yards in Arlington, Va.; the Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway; and the JW Marriott Hotel Los Angeles and The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles, both part of the L.A. LIVE sports and entertainment destination.
The company is actively pursuing LEED-Existing Building status for its global headquarters office in Bethesda, Md., by the end of the year. Actions taken toward this goal include: diverting 64 percent of its total waste (450,000 pounds) from the landfill; shifting to biodegradable disposable containers in its cafeteria, and then ultimately migrating to all permanent-ware; converting used cooking oil into biodiesel fuel; and providing Connect by Hertz cars for employees who use public transportation or carpool to get to the office, but need to run an errand or attend an off-site meeting mid-day.
In another symbol of its commitment to build greener hotels, Marriott was the first hotel company to join the USGBC in 2007 and expects that 20 of its Architecture and Construction associates will be LEED-accredited by year-end. This thorough understanding of green building practices and principles is valuable during the design and construction process.
In addition, Marriott hotels worldwide have been recognized for incorporating environmentally-friendly practices into their business:
• Approximately 275 Marriott hotels have earned the ENERGY STAR® label from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for conserving waste, water and energy.
• The Portland Marriott Downtown Waterfront, the Portland Marriott City Center and the Philadelphia Airport Marriott are certified by Green Seal, a non-profit organization that provides science-based environmental certification standards.
• The Newcastle Marriott and Manchester Marriott in the United Kingdom, the Sydney Marriott and Melbourne Marriott in Australia, and the Okinawa Marriott in Japan are certified by Green Globe, the premier international brand for sustainable travel.
• The Dearborn Inn, Detroit Marriott Troy and the Detroit Marriott Livonia in Michigan have been certified by Green Lodging Michigan.
• The Calgary Marriott Hotel in Canada earned a “4 Green Key” rating through the Hotel Association of Canada’s (HAC) Green Key Eco-Rating Program.
• Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa in Australia was named a “Sustainable Hotel” at the Hotel Investment Conference.
Last year, Marriott announced its environmental strategy to address climate change, which it calls its “Spirit To Preserve.” The plan calls for: 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; educating and inspiring employees and guests to support the environment; and helping protect the rainforest.
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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