BETHEDA, MD.—Marriott International headquarters has been awarded the gold medal for green buildings. After a three-year effort to become more sustainable and environmentally-friendly, the 30-year-old building is celebrating its LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Existing Building Gold status—an investment that is saving the company $700,000 annually and that will result in up to $1.3 million in expected tax credits over three years.
This achievement moves the company closer to the goal announced last fall to expand its green building portfolio to approximately 300 properties in five years, the broadest commitment of its kind in the industry. Today, there are 40 LEED hotels certified or registered across nine Marriott International brands—Courtyard, Fairfield Inn, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, TownePlace Suites, Marriott, JW Marriott, Renaissance and Ritz-Carlton. Much of the company’s green hotel expansion will be fueled by a new Courtyard hotel program that has filed for pre-certified LEED, making it faster, easier and less expensive for hotel owners. The new prototype is expected to save owners roughly $100,000, six months in design time and up to 25 percent in energy and water.
“We have a companywide initiative to create more sustainable and greener hotel operations, and so we wanted to lead by example at our corporate headquarters,” said Jim Young, senior director, corporate facilities, Marriott International, Inc. and an integral member of Marriott’s Green Council—a cross-functional team responsible for creating and implementing the company’s environmental strategy. “We were able to reduce energy, water, and waste by collaborating with our 3,000 headquarters employees and like-minded strategic partners such as Philips, Kohler and Waste Management.”
Marriott Headquarters Initiatives
Changes that led to Marriott International headquarters’ LEED Existing Building Gold status include:
• Achieving and maintaining an Energy Star rating of 77 (out of 100; a score of 75 or better indicates top performance) for the last three years, which has placed the building in the top 25th percentile for energy efficiency when compared to buildings of similar age, size and use and an accumulated reduction of 9.04 percent in electricity consumption.
• Increasing the recycling rate to 69 percent in 2009 and diverting all headquarters’ waste from the landfill to a waste-to-energy plant;
• Eliminating disposable products and converting to permanent dishes and flatware in the cafeteria;
• Purchasing higher efficiency lighting options with reduced mercury content;
• Participating in Demand Response energy reduction programs, earning more than $100,000 in electricity rebates;
• Installing motion sensors in all restrooms, telephone and electrical closets;
• Switching from evening to daytime office cleaning;
• Choosing cost-neutral or highly-recycled office supplies; and
• Offering designated parking for hybrid vehicles and providing car-sharing for employees through a partnership with Connect by Hertz.
Marriott International headquarters also earned LEED credits in the areas of innovation and protection of open space through its Amazon Rainforest preservation project to protect nearly 1.5 million acres of rainforest in Brazil.
Marriott’s Spirit To Preserve environmental strategy calls for greening its $10 billion supply chain, further reducing fuel consumption by 25 percent per available room, creating green construction standards for hotel developers to achieve LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, educating and inspiring employees and guests to support the environment, and helping protect the rainforest.
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