BETHESDA, Maryland – 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 continues 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.