Marriott International Spotlights Planet and Youth Unemployment

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is one of several cities benefiting from Marriott’s heightened involvement with the Youth Career Initiative.

Here’s one hotel chain, or rather, family of hotel chains, you can feel proud to support while on your future travels. Marriott International, Inc., where the Ritz-Carltons, Fairfield Inns, and Courtyards of the world call home, released its second annual full scale Sustainability Report for 2011-2012 (using  the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines no less) just last week, and it’s looking especially good for the environment and the various youth employment programs the company supports.  The report also details Marriott’s business values and goals for the coming years.

“For Marriott, creating a sustainable future includes preserving the environment, but it also means creating more jobs and stronger communities,” said Mari Snyder, vice president of social responsibility. “Over the next two years, we plan to hire approximately 100,000 people in our growing portfolio of hotels, two-thirds outside the United States. These programs are equipping disadvantaged youth with employable skills that can hopefully prepare them for jobs with Marriott.”

So, how exactly is Marriott creating a sustainable environmental future and new jobs in communities worldwide? Let’s get into the specifics.

In the report, Marriott outlines its environmental accomplishments in water and energy consumption and resource conservation and the development of Project Vulcan (no, sadly not this one.). Between 2011 and 2012, Marriott succeeded in reducing water consumption per occupied guest room by 12%  and energy consumption per square meter by 4% since 2007, and joined in on Constellation Energy‘s Project Vulcan. Vulcan is a five-year program that aims to track and then maximize energy (and fiscal) efficiency throughout hotel facilities by measuring peak and off-peak demand for resources. For example, during the peak demand of a heat wave, hotels may choose to lower lighting in common areas, use less air conditioning in hallways or unoccupied rooms, or rearrange cooling cycles. As of 2011, the partnership with Project Vulcan has resulted in:

  • 264 of 362 eligible Marriott managed hotels under contract (up from 141 in 2010)
  • $141,000 or 1.3 million kWh saved annually
  • $292,000 or 268,231 therms saved annually
  • $1.2 million in demand response revenues annually

2012 also marks Marriott’s three-year anniversary of the company’s $2 million commitment to the Juma Sustainable Development Reserve in Amazonas, Brazil to protect 1.4 million acres of rainforest and a partnership with Conservation International, which is helping to protect fresh water sources in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province

The real stars of the show, however, are Marriott’s contributions to community development and job creation. In January 2012 Marriott engaged in a global portfolio of partnerships called “World of Opportunity.” These partnerships aim to address the rising unemployment rate for Millennials (give or take a decade) and the like and provide opportunities for positive change. The portfolio includes partnerships with:

  • Youth Career Initiative (YCI) in nine countries. Marriott has also secured a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of State for YCI to assist in the rehabilitation of human trafficking survivors in Mexico, Vietnam, and Brazil.
  •  SOS Children’s Villages and The Prince’s Trust in 24 European countries.
  • Ritz-Carlton’s “Succeed Through Service” program in 26 countries.
  • Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities (MFPD) in nine U.S. cities. For 21 years, MFPD has provided job and life-skills training for over 13,500 young people with disabilities.

Marriott also announced its plans to open the company’s first hotel in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which will undoubtedly contribute significantly to the country devastated by the 2010 quake. In all, Marriott hired nearly 36,000 associates in 2011 with plans to hire approximately 100,000 more people worldwide by 2014.

“Our success depends on providing the information and transparency that our stakeholders increasingly expect,” said Arne Sorenson, president and CEO of Marriott International.  “It also depends on being true to this purpose: to provide the opportunity for rewarding travel experiences for our guests, the opportunity for personal and professional growth for our associates, and the opportunity for a better and more sustainable future in the communities where we live and work.”

To read the full report click here.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Samantha is a graduate of Boston University with concentrations in English, Biology and Environmental Policy. After working in higher education textbook publishing for some time, she turned to the freelance writing world and now reports on corporate social responsibility, green technology and policy, and conservation for TriplePundit.

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