RIO DE JANEIRO—At the RIO+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Marriott International, Inc. and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) announced a partnership to support new environmentally-sustainable hotel development in growth markets in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
The partnership stands to generate millions of dollars in OPIC financing for Marriott hotel projects internationally, demonstrating a shared commitment to the environment and investment in these emerging economies.
According to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently concluded between the two parties, OPIC will make long-term loans to the third-party owners of the hotels, with Marriott providing hotel management or franchising services under separate agreements. OPIC will design a streamlined loan approval process and loan terms which can be modified based on local conditions and regulations.
Each hotel project will be evaluated on its own merits and approved according to regular OPIC due diligence procedures. OPIC financing for the hotel projects could reach up to $200 million in total.
Hotels to be Built to LEED, Other Green Standards
The OPIC-Marriott partnership is expected to jump start sustainable hotel development in emerging markets where water and energy resources may be limited. The loans will be available to hotel owners to fund projects across Marriott’s 14 lodging brands, including Marriott Hotels & Resorts, Courtyard and Fairfield. The hotels will be built to environmentally-sustainable standards such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) program, where available, or in accordance with other respected global or regional specifications.
“This is an exciting collaboration to drive sustainable hotel development in emerging markets, while creating opportunities for people to build lifelong careers, supporting local businesses and offering a multiplier effect in the local community,” said Mari L. Snyder, vice president of social responsibility, Marriott International.
“Given that renewable resources is one of OPIC’s major priority sectors, we’re pleased to partner with Marriott—one of the world’s most respected corporate citizens—on this new initiative,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, president and CEO, OPIC. “We hope this partnership serves as a model for future energy-efficient hotel development in emerging markets.”
OPIC committed $1.1 billion in financing to the renewable resources sector last year, roughly tripling its commitments from the previous year.
The MOU complements Marriott’s longstanding pledge to the communities where it does business. Since 2008, Marriott has contributed $2 million to the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation to protect 1.4 million acres of rainforest in Brazil. This week, Marriott also announced its next 10 hotels opening in Brazil will contribute $500,000 to sustain the REDD+ (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation) project.
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