Hotel Chain Eliminates 70,000 Tons of Emissions

Marriott International Inc. announced recently that it has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 70,000 tons in one year -- the equivalent of removing 10,000 cars -- from U.S. streets.

As the first hotel company to proactively join the prestigious U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Climate Leaders Program, Marriott has set a five-year goal to reduce greenhouse gases by six percent per guest room by 2010 and launched Marriott's Retro-Commissioning (MRC) initiative last year to maximize energy in all U.S. hotels. As a result, Marriott reduced greenhouse gases in 2006 by two percent in each guest room.

Today, the company has been awarded more ENERGY STAR labels than any other hotel company and has been recognized as the ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year for Excellence in Energy Management for the past two years. Additional environmentally friendly company initiatives:

  • Group "Re-Lamp" campaign, which replaced 450,000 light bulbs with fluorescent lighting in 2006, saved 65 percent on overall lighting costs and energy usage in guest rooms;
  • Linen Reuse Program, a nationwide effort to encourage guests to reuse linens and towels during their hotel stay, saved 11 to 17 percent on hot water and sewer bills involved in laundering operations at each hotel;

  • Marriott's smoke-free policy in all U.S. hotels announced last year, improves indoor air quality and will result in a 30 percent reduction in energy use for air treatment systems;

  • Marriott's "Ozone Activated Laundry" and "Formula One Systems" can save up to 25 percent in energy used in laundry systems;

  • Replacement of 4,500 outdoor signs with LED and fiber optic technology yielding a 40 percent reduction in outdoor advertising use in its first year;

  • Installation of 400,000 new shower heads which reduces hot water usage by 10 percent each year; and

  • Appointed environmental stewards -- Directors of Energy and an architect certified by the U.S. Green Building Council for Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) -- to help oversee a variety of programs including Marriott's first LEED-certified hotel, The Inn & Conference Center by Marriott in Adelphi, Md.

"Being green is good business," said Pat Maher, senior vice president, program management and engineering, Marriott International, Inc. "It is important for the environment and saves our hotels money."

Marriott's next initiative focuses on improving recycling efforts. Marriott is piloting a program to further monitor and evaluate current waste management and recycling practices.

This article originally appeared in the 01/01/2007 issue of Environmental Protection.

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