Name: Claire Cutting
Title: Director, Sustainability
Company: Marriott International, Inc.
Years in Position: One
Primary Responsibilities: “My whole focus is on integrating Marriott’s and Starwood’s sustainability programs. We are trying to make one and one equal three. For example, we both had housekeeping and seafood programs but putting them together can be a real challenge. We are combining the best of both worlds. Each company had its own set of goals. It is like matching apples to oranges.”
Organization’s most significant sustainability-related accomplishment: “Launching Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction, Marriott’s new Sustainability and Social Impact Platform. Our goals are huge. It was a team effort. We are really touching every single department in a property. I have been working with the various teams and making sure the messaging is getting out to all associates.”
Organization’s most significant sustainability-related challenge moving forward: “I would say it is data collection. It is trying to get the data we need to reach these goals. Waste is still a really big one—getting the appropriate data we need. Procurement data is hard to get to. People define ‘sustainable’ differently. Accurate data collection is trickiest. We have been most successful with energy and water management.”
BETHESDA, MD.—When Marriott International, Inc. acquired Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. in late 2016, creating the world’s largest hotel company, it wisely kept much of Starwood’s top talent. One of those individuals crossing over to Marriott was Claire Cutting, at the time the Manager, Global Citizenship for Starwood. Today, as Director, Sustainability for Marriott, Cutting is leading the company in pursuit of its recently announced 2025 sustainability goals while also focusing on combining the best green practices of Starwood and Marriott.
Cutting, a graduate of Cornell University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Hotel Administration/Management, got her hotel career start in 2011 at the Sheraton New York Times Square Hotel as Housekeeping Manager and Sustainability Champion where she managed 250 guestrooms (cleanliness, maintenance, guest satisfaction scores) and associated room attendants and housemen; and coordinated the hotel’s sustainability data and information as well as sustainability events and projects.
Gaining firsthand knowledge of hotel operations early on has been invaluable to Cutting, she says. “My focus very much this year has been to create awareness of the new goals. I work with engineering, food and beverage, procurement. I get to do a little bit of it all.”
Cutting says there are two others with “sustainability” in their titles at Marriott. “There are others in engineering with sustainability as responsibilities,” she says. “We have so many associates who contribute without sustainability in their titles.”
Examples of Serve 360 2025 Goals
Serve 360 is divided into four parts: Nurture Our World, Empower Through Opportunity, Sustain Responsible Operations, and Welcome All and Advance Human Rights. Serve 360 was guided by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The following are some examples of specific Serve 360 2025 goals:
- Contribute 15 million hours to support company priorities and community engagement strategy.
- By 2019, develop and establish a global gender parity goal for company leadership.
Water: Reduce water intensity by 15 percent.
- Carbon: Reduce carbon intensity by 30 percent and commit to analyze the opportunity to set a science-based target by 2018.
- Waste: Reduce waste to landfill by 45 percent. Reduce food waste by 50 percent.
Renewable energy: Achieve a minimum of 30 percent renewable energy use.
Cutting grew up in Ithaca, N.Y.—what she describes as a “very environmentally responsible town.” She says working in sustainability and hotel operations is something she has always wanted to do. “I’m very fortunate,” Cutting says. “I get to see the positive impact on our properties and witness the passion our associates have toward sustainability.”
Cutting is a certified LEED Green Associate. In her free time, she raises awareness and funding for Alzheimer’s research and enjoys far-flung travel destinations to embrace new cultures and better understand global challenges.
Glenn Hasek can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.