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Marriott Rolls Out Green Events Program Throughout Europe

This article first appears on greenlodgingnews.com on June 1, 2009

Through Marriott’s Spirit to Preserve program, the company announced It is rolling out “Green Events” at all Continental Europe JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Renaissance Hotels & Resorts and Courtyard by Marriott Hotels. The largest hotel industry initiative of its kind, this program builds on Marriott’s aggressive environmental strategy, applying the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle to all events and meetings in Continental Europe, making them more eco-friendly and helping guests and meeting planners reduce their environmental impact. Last year, Marriott hotels throughout the United States began to offer green meetings and it has been so well received that it is now being rolled out internationally beginning in Europe.

The “Green Events” concept was unveiled at the Frankfurt Marriott Hotel in conjunction with IMEX, the worldwide exhibition for meetings and incentive travel. Meeting and event planners will have the chance to take a look at the new standard products and services for all meetings that include:

• 100 percent FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified writing pads, flipcharts and stationary items;
• Bic Ecolutions pens made from recycled content and biodegradable (Marriott purchases 47 million pens per year);
• Environmentally-friendly presentation materials;
• Access to recycling containers in or near meeting rooms;
• Water service featuring seasonal flavors served in large recyclable bottles or pitchers;
• Paperless event proposals, contracting and billing (where legally possible);
• Fresh seasonal fruit and produce;
• Bulk candy in glass jars rather than packaged;
• Glass or wooden, linen-less tables used for all pre-function and meeting areas; and
• Use of energy-efficient audio-visual equipment.

As an added value, hotels can also choose to offer services and products including digital signage, fair trade coffee, nametag collection bins, and tickets for public transportation.

Response to Customer Demand

“Marriott is already recognized as an industry leader in sustainable hotel operations, and has a proven track record as one of the largest and most professional hosts of events and meetings,” said Frank Zehle, vice president of brand marketing and leader of Marriott’s Green Council in Continental Europe. “We are responding to the demand of our customers, who are increasingly asking for greener meetings. By offering ‘Green Events’ throughout our hotels, we feel we can make a big step to reduce our footprint on the environment while continuously delivering the high level of service our event planners expect from Marriott.”

A key centerpiece of Marriott International’s environmental strategy is helping protect 1.4 million acres (589,000 hectares) of endangered rainforest in the Juma Sustainable Development Reserve in partnership with the state of Amazonas in Brazil. Through this pioneering effort, Marriott has committed $2 million to this rainforest fund, and now invites guests to “Green Their Hotel Stay” by making contributions. As an additional way to make meetings even greener, meeting planners can now calculate their event’s carbon offset at www.conservation.org and then visit www.marriott.com/green-brazilian-rainforest.mi to donate and offset it.

Working with Conservation International, a global environmental organization, Marriott has developed a five-point green strategy that includes: (1) carbon offsets through the protection of rainforest; (2) further reducing fuel and water consumption by 25 percent per available room over the next 10 years, and installing solar power at up to 40 hotels by 2017; (3) engaging Marriott’s top 40 vendors to supply price-neutral green products across its $10 billion supply chain; (4) empowering development partners to site, design and construct new hotels in line with the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standards by the end of 2009; and (5) educating and inspiring employees and guests to support the environment through their everyday actions at home, while at work and on travel.






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