Marriott announces new environmental initiatives

Marriott International has submitted a letter to the Science Based Targets initiative, committing to:

  • Set science-based emissions reduction targets in line with 1.5-degree centigrade emissions scenarios; and
  • Set a long-term science-based target to reach net-zero value chain greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050, in line with the criteria and recommendations of the Science Based Targets initiative.

As part of its commitment to net-zero emissions, with support from a number of organizations including Global Citizen, Marriott has signed on to the zero-emissions initiative Race To Zero global campaign, committing to the Business Ambition for 1.5 degree C standard, which sets a net-zero target for emissions.

Race to Zero is a global campaign rallying companies, cities, regions and financial and educational institutions to reach net-zero value chain greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050. Participants are committed to the same overarching goal: reducing emissions across all scopes swiftly and fairly in line with the Paris Agreement with transparent action plans and robust near-term targets.

Marriott International’s portfolio of hotels has been working to reduce its collective carbon footprint as part of its existing 2025 sustainability goals. Achieving these new targets will require partnering with Marriott’s associates across disciplines along with the company’s hotel owners and franchisees. Over time, initiatives may include increased use of renewable energy, building electrification to maximize renewable electricity, continued modifications to design standards so buildings are more efficient, and the installation of automation systems and energy efficiency upgrades (for example, smart thermostats). 

The company will also be focusing on existing sustainability efforts such as solid waste and food waste reduction and natural capital restoration, with the opportunity to participate in activities such as reforestation as well as coral and mangrove plantings.

Marriott’s sustainability strategy is driven by several initiatives to reduce environmental impacts through the construction and operation of sustainable hotels and responsible sourcing while protecting and restoring the ecosystems: 

  • The reduction of single-use plastics, including replacing single-use toiletry bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bath gel in guestroom showers with larger pump-topped bottles. When fully implemented across the globe in 2022, the company’s expanded toiletry program is expected to prevent about 500 million bottles annually from going to landfills.
  • The roll-out of an internal food waste prevention and reduction educational campaign to reduce food waste by 50 percent.
  • The launch of a publicly available responsible sourcing guide to help Marriott’s supplier community responsibly source 95 percent of the company’s top 10 priority categories.
  • The development of a certifications database to help properties operate more responsibly and work toward the goal of 100 percent of the portfolio receiving a third-party sustainability certification.
  • Planting more than 415,000 trees over the past several years, including through the company’s work as a founding member of the Evergreen Alliance, a group of Arbor Day Foundation partners and collaborators committed to advancing trees and forests as natural solutions for corporate sustainability and citizenship goals.
  • Ecosystem restoration and carbon sequestration projects, such as working with The Ocean Foundation to remove and repurpose sargassum seaweed, which has had devastating impacts on the environment.