BETHESDA, Md., July 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) grows beyond its current global footprint of more than 3,800 hotels in over 70 countries, the company is focusing on development which will provide sustainable economic activity and local employment. In coming years, more than half of Marriott's new hotels will be located in emerging markets where tourism is a major driver of new jobs and economic development. In its just-released 2013 Sustainability Report Update, which updates the company's 2011-2012 Sustainability Report, Marriott noted substantial progress in job creation in underserved and emerging markets.
Two major sustainable development projects include Marriott's first hotel in Sub-Saharan Africa—and the largest in Rwanda. The hotel, which is expected to open in 2014, represents the start of Marriott's aggressive growth plans in Sub-Saharan Africa where the company plans to help fuel the Rwandan travel industry and train young women through a partnership with Rwandan-based Akilah Institute for Women.
In addition, the Marriott Hotel Port-au-Prince in Haiti is expected to open in early 2015, making it the first four-star branded hotel in Haiti. The hotel is expected to help boost the local economy by supporting local vendors, supporting hospitality training and generating more than 200 new hospitality jobs.
"Sustainable hotel development generates opportunity for Marriott in exciting new markets and supports economic development in emerging economies by boosting local tourism, creating new jobs, and supporting local businesses," said Arne Sorenson, Marriott International's president and chief executive officer. "While we invite our guests to 'See the World' through our portfolio of hotels around the globe, we want them to know how Marriott is working toward a more inclusive and sustainable future."
Mari Snyder, vice president of social responsibility for Marriott, noted that the company recently collaborated with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) to research the economic and community benefit of hotels. "Our initial study of the JW Marriott Lima Hotel in Peru, which employs 350 associates and features 300 guestrooms and 10 meeting rooms, shows that the hotel contributes more than $10 million annually to the Peruvian economy through expenditures on salaries, supplies and services. That was a higher value than anticipated, given prior GIZ research of the tourism and hospitality industries. Hotels are a dynamic factor in the development equation."
The results of Marriott's 2013 Sustainability Report Update are reported to shareholders, customers, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), Marriott's Board of Directors and associates. This allows Marriott to inform critical stakeholders about the company's priorities and actions, and create opportunities to address substantive issues through partnerships and collaboration.
In the report, Marriott captures results from 2012 in the areas of environmental, economic and social responsibility performance. Highlights include:
- A nearly 12 percent reduction in water consumption per cubic meter per occupied room; a 16.5 percent energy reduction per square meter of conditioned space and a more than 13 percent reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
- Growth in the total number of LEED Certified, Registered, and Volume Program hotels in Marriott's portfolio to 115, an increase of nearly 20 hotels in 2012.
- Becoming an official hotel partner of Clean the World®, a nonprofit that collects, recycles and distributes partially used soaps and other hygiene amenities globally to communities in need. Marriott is the number one hotel chain in the Clean the World portfolio, having collected more than 75,000 pounds of soap and 50,000 pounds of amenities.
- Celebrating the four-year anniversary of the company's $2 million commitment to the Juma Sustainable Development Reserve in Amazonas, Brazil to protect 1.4 million acres of rainforest and local residents.
- Helping to protect a major source of fresh water in southwestern China's Sichuan Province through the company's Nobility of Nature program in partnership with Conservation International. The initiative avoids deforestation, erosion and promotes sustainable jobs through beekeeping and honey production.
- Contributing more than $23 million in cash and in-kind donations to organizations worldwide while associates raised an additional $4.3 million for their communities during company-sponsored events and volunteered nearly 460,000 hours valued at $10.2 million.
Diversity & Inclusion and Youth Employment
- Implementing a foundational cross-cultural workshop and Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a leadership tool designed to promote diversity awareness by measuring an individual's or group's fundamental orientation to cultural differences.
- Promoting women's empowerment through training programs for leaders. Women represented 42 percent of participants in our Leadership Excellence Program, 18 percent of participants in the General Managers One Week Program, 33 percent of participants in the Executive Development Program, and 46 percent in the newly launched Professional Leadership Program.
- Supporting youth hospitality career development through programs such as Youth Career Initiative (YCI), and Marriott's World of Opportunity Europe initiative that works with charitable partners that received €300,000 (approximately $400,000) cash, €100,000 (approximately $130,000) in-kind, and nearly 4,000 hours of volunteerism for sponsoring more than 250 young people across Europe.
- Completing the "Human Rights and the Protection of Children" training of nearly 200,000 Marriott associates worldwide.
- Helping to secure grants totaling $550,000 from The U.S. Department of State's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. The funds help survivors of human trafficking lead self-sustaining lives through skills learned in the hotel-based YCI hospitality training program. In 2012, YCI's first graduating class in Mexico City included 11 survivors of trafficking from local shelters.
Comments and feedback related to the report are welcome at email@example.com. For more information about Marriott's corporate social responsibility initiatives or for a full copy of the report, visit www.marriott.com/socialresponsibility. For more about Marriott's environmental initiatives, visit www.marriott.com/environment.
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 Compared to baseline 2007. Marriott's goal is to further reduce energy and water consumption 20 percent by 2020.
 Based on Independent Sector's estimated value of volunteer time for 2012: $22.14 per hour. Independent Sector is a leading forum for charities, foundations and corporate giving programs in America and around the world.
SOURCE Marriott International, Inc.