The ripple effect. That is what I often think about when someone passes away. What kind of impact did that person have on those he or she encountered along the way—that was then passed along to others?
I never got to meet Arne M. Sorenson, President and CEO of Marriott International but it is quite clear that he had an amazing positive impact on others in his personal life and in our industry for a long time. Arne passed away from pancreatic cancer on February 15. He was just the third CEO in Marriott’s history. He held the positions of both President and CEO since April 2012.
I asked Denise Naguib, Marriott’s Vice President, Sustainability and Supplier Diversity, about Arne’s impact and she told me: “Arne Sorenson was a true champion and an incredible advocate, epitomizing Marriott International’s sustainability and social impact platform’s tagline, Doing Good in Every Direction. He will be greatly missed, and we will carry his energy and support on these issues and more as we move through our ambitious goals. Arne was very connected to Marriott International’s goals on sustainability, social/community impact, human rights, and diversity.”
Green Lodging News, founded in 2006, first mentioned Arne in an article in February 2007 when Marriott announced its partnership with Clean the World. Can you imagine how many bars of soap were sent to those in need under Arne’s watch? Again, ripple effect. In that same article it was announced that Marriott had just formed a new senior-level sustainability council—the Global Green Council. Arne was the Council’s co-chairperson.
‘The Future of Business is Green’
A little more than a year later, Marriott and the state of Amazonas signed an agreement to support the first project of its kind to help protect 1.4 million acres of endangered rainforest. This innovative partnership between government and the private sector was one of the first in the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. At that time Arne said, “At Marriott, we believe the future of business is green. Building on a 20-year track record of responsible energy consumption and waste reduction, we believe rainforest preservation is critical to reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change.”
I suspect Arne’s stances on equality and sustainability were not always smiled upon by some in our industry but thank you Arne for recognizing that we are indeed all equal and that it is our responsibility to be caretakers of this planet while we are here. What Arne also knew was that being an outstanding Earth citizen and respecting others is exceptionally good business strategy.
The list of Marriott’s green accomplishments during Arne’s leadership is long—ranging from committing to phasing out single-use plastic items to reducing carbon intensity by 30 percent by 2025 (baseline 2016). Click here to review Marriott’s 2025 Sustainability & Social Impact Goals.
“Arne was an exceptional executive—but more than that—he was an exceptional human being,” said J.W. Marriott, Jr., Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board, in a press release announcing Arne’s passing.
Here is a list of additional things you should know about Arne, as provided by Marriott:
- In 2015, Marriott International started working on its next set of sustainability and social impact goals and Arne was instrumental in the development of those goals over the next two years.
- In 2017, with Arne as the lead voice for both internal and external communication, Marriott launched Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction, the company’s combined social and environmental goals.
- Arne was also very involved with the Business Roundtable and the statement on the purpose of a corporation. He participated in this sustainability challenge with them.
- Arne was a huge supporter and played a significant role in all of Marriott International’s diversity efforts, leading Marriott’s Global Diversity & Inclusion Council. This Council’s purpose is to advance Marriott’s progress around the world and ensure the integration of the company’s diversity and inclusion focus across all aspects of its global business strategy. The Council has been instrumental in accomplishing this through a dedicated focus on: establishing and communicating the overarching vision, strategy and business case for global diversity and inclusion; ensuring integration across the diversity and inclusion areas (workforce, suppliers, customers, owners and communications) and continents, as appropriate; and monitoring and reporting the progress of diversity and inclusion to the board of directors and other stakeholders.
- Arne and his senior leadership team also established comprehensive diversity performance metrics, which are part of their globally-shared MBOs.
- Arne was also part of Business Roundtable’s Racial Equity and Justice Health Committee.
- He was an ally member of Marriott’s LGBTQ employee resource group, called ONE Marriott. See this article from Out Traveler for more on Arne’s support of the LGBTQ community. Arne said: “Our company was built on the idea that everyone is welcome, that our strength lies in the diversity of our workforce and our community of customers.”
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Arne’s personal family, his Marriott and hotel industry family, and all of those touched by his impact.
Green Lodging News Adds SportsArt as Founding Sponsor
Green Lodging News has added SportsArt as a Founding Sponsor at the Silver level. As the green fitness company, SportsArt believes movement is energy and that our human energy can make the planet more sustainable—one workout at a time. SportsArt’s mission is to create superior fitness equipment that helps people find their best selves while being as environmentally friendly as possible. The heart of SportsArt’s brand comes together in its ECO-POWR line of cardio equipment that captures 74 percent of the energy generated during a workout and feeds it back into the facility’s grid, offsetting consumption and providing meaningfulness to guests’ workouts. Call (425) 481-6250, or e-mail email@example.com for more information.
Who is Your Sustainability Champion?
Green Lodging News is always looking to profile sustainability champions in our Personnel Profile section. If you would like to nominate someone for this section of Green Lodging News, contact me at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking for Guest Columnists
Every two weeks Green Lodging News posts a new guest column on its website. (Click here for examples.) The guest column also appears in the weekly e-newsletter. Green Lodging News is currently in need of industry experts to contribute occasional guest columns. Experts may include consultants, architects, designers, suppliers and those who own or operate green lodging establishments. Columns may be articles that take a stance on a particular subject or be strictly educational in nature. Columnists benefit by having their photo included along with a one paragraph description of their company. Interested in writing a column? Contact Glenn Hasek, publisher and editor, at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Get in the Green Suppliers Spotlight!
Green Lodging News, lodging’s leading environmental news source, publishes Green Suppliers Spotlight, an e-blast to 24,482 subscribers that features the lodging industry’s leading green products and services. The e-blast features multiple vendors—unlike the current Green Supplier Spotlight that allows one supplier to “own” the Green Lodging News subscriber list for one e-blast. (Click here for a Green Suppliers Spotlight sample.)
Green Suppliers Spotlight is published weekly on Thursdays to general managers, owners, management companies, directors of sustainability, directors of engineering, facilities managers and many others who are either in purchasing positions or who influence purchasing decisions. Suppliers of green products and services throughout North America and beyond are invited to participate in the e-blast. (Minimum two suppliers per e-blast.) Green Suppliers Spotlight was created to give vendors an opportunity to reach a high number of industry purchasers at a very low cost—as low as $200 per e-mail. (Click here for rate sheet.)
Those advertising in Green Suppliers Spotlight can include up to 100 words, one image, contact information and multiple links to their website in their ad. At the end of each month, a report will be sent to each supplier with information on delivered e-mails, opens and click-throughs.
Planning Advertising for 2021?
Green Lodging News is accepting reservations for advertising spots for 2021. Many excellent spots are available on our website and in the weekly e-mail newsletter. Many Green Supplier Spotlight dates are also available. Interested in receiving a 2021 media kit? Be sure to contact me as soon as possible at (813) 510-3868, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Media kits can also be accessed by clicking here. Thank you to all those companies that consistently support Green Lodging News.
Newsletter & Green Supplier Spotlight Circulation
The circulation of our weekly e-newsletter and Green Supplier Spotlight currently stands at 24,482. Thank you to our new subscribers for signing up. Be sure to encourage your colleagues to do the same. There are “subscribe” links on the Green Lodging News home page. You may also e-mail email@example.com to be added to our list.
Green Lodging News & Social Media
Green Lodging News now has 1,777 Twitter followers. Thank you to all of those who follow our tweets. In addition to following us on Twitter, be sure to bookmark the Green Lodging News Blog in your browser. More importantly, participate with your comments. Green Lodging News is also on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” us there. Green Lodging News now has 979 Facebook likes.
As always, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.