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The Green Programs Of Marriott International Corporation Tourism Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Tourism
Wordcount: 5398 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Since 1987, the concept of sustainability was mentioned on a coordinated international platform, the movement towards “sustainability” had been expanded over the globe. The governmental and non-governmental organizations, corporations and consumers those focusing on exist in harmony are increasingly with the surroundings and environmental footprints. The hospitality industry also not exception, therefore the sustainability concept had begun to gain the momentum in this industry. (Ernst and Young, 2008)

Alison Sperry (2010) defined that Going Green is making the daily decisions with responsible that benefits to the environment and also can reduce waste and pollution. This concept also encourages a lifestyle of recycling, using chemical-free products, using the alternative energy sources such as the wind and solar, and reducing the dependency on fossil fuels for energy.

Hotel businesses developed and operated by the consumption of significant amounts of natural resources which are affected the sustainability of the natural environment. The field of corporate social responsibility (CSR) therefore, has grown considerably over the last decade due to an increasing number of companies formally recognising the impacts they have on the environment, on society and on the economy (Jones et.al, 2006).

Ernst and Young (2008) defined that “green: not a black and white issue.” The travellers that concerned about the environment were increasingly and they always make their own determination as to what constitutes “greenness” in the lodging industry.

According to Deloitte Survey (2008) showed that, consumers, employees and individual travellers start to concerned more about the hospitality industry’s sustainability. Most of the individuals also start to changes their lifestyles and accepting higher green standards for themselves and also to the companies that they cooperate with.

Marriott International has more than twenty-year commitment to start the environmental preservation. The Marriott International is “working toward a greener, healthier planet” and their operating units are employ methods to protect the surroundings of natural and resources (Marriott, 1996 – 2010).

Every year, the Marriott International and its owners had spent around 10 billion just for buy the products and services for its 3,300 hotels around the world. Marriott International also expanding its “green” hotels and buildings’ portfolios. Besides that, approximately 275 of Marriott’s hotels have received the “ENERGY STAR®” label from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Marriott, 1996 – 2010).

Last but not least, Marriott International also was ranked 42nd out of 100 in “The Greenest Big Companies” on Newsweek’s first-ever list. Moreover, Marriott International also gets the “2009 Tourism for Tomorrow Award for Sustainability” in the categories of the Global Tourism Business by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) (Marriott, 1996 – 2010).

The Problem Statement

The problem of this topic is about how Marriott International. Inc. practices their going green programs in their properties. Marriott International Corporation is a leading worldwide hospitality company (Marriott, 2010). Currently, Marriott has more than 3100 of lodging properties is in the United States and 65 is in other countries and territories through 17 lodging, and vacation resort ownership brands (Marriott, 2009). Marriott Corporation has more than twenty year commitment with environmental preservation (Marriott, 2010). In 2007, Marriott formed a Global Green Council, a cross-functional team of senior executives that collaborated with Conservation International, a global environmental organization, to evaluate its practices, set long-term goals, develop an environmental strategic plan and catalyze its progress (Marriott, 2010).

Five-point Environmental Strategy of Marriott International was developed in collaboration with Conservation International which are includes (Marriott, 2009):

Reduce Consumption of Water, Waste and Energy

Greener Buildings, expansion of LEED-certified hotels

Greening Supply Chain

Protecting the Rainforest with Carbon Offsets

Employee & Guest Engagement

Over the last decade, for, the Marriott International corporate organized the “Going Green” programs which involved in energy conservation by changed 450,000 of the light bulbs with fluorescent lighting, installed around 400,000 low-flow of showerheads and toilets and also introduced the linens reuse programs in their hotels worldwide (Marriott, 2009). Besides that, the Marriott’s Retro-Commissioning (MRCx) program, planning process and a comprehensive evaluation that helps their properties which conducted more than 30 of their largest properties become as energy efficient as possible (Marriott, 2009). Through the projects to completed over last few years and those which currently under way, Marriott anticipate saving 12 million kilowatts of power (Marriott, 2009). In general, properties find that after it implement all the recommendations that evolved from an MRCx assessment, it energy costs decrease 5 to 25 per cent, they are also achieving on the average and a payback on their investment in just 1.4 years (Marriott, 2009).

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In the Americas, Marriott achieved a 2.2 per cent reduction per available room (Marriott, 2009). In late 2009, through a partnership with a U.S.-based landscaping company, Marriott adopted a climate-specific approach to landscaping, using native plants and restricted colour palettes to reduce irrigation demands and cut the amount of fertilizer required to keep plants healthy (Marriott, 2009). In 2009, Marriott’s landfill waste in the USA totalled 726,993 tons which reflects a 17 per cent reduction from 2007(Marriott, 2009). Additionally, its recycling rate also was increased to 69 per cent and all the header quarters’ waste also was diverted from the landfill to the waste-to-energy plant (Marriott, 2009). Also, Marriott expanding its existing of ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ programs that already in place of 90 per cent of hotels which included guest room and meeting rooms (Marriott, 2009).

Forty Marriott International hotels are expected to receive the LEED certification from the USGBC (USGBC, 2010). In addition, Marriott international’s global Headquarters in Bethesda was received the LEED-Existing Building Gold status (USGBC, 2010). Moreover, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency also had awarded Marriott International for three following years with its Sustained Excellence Award and more than 275 of its hotels also placed the “ENERGY STAR®” label (Marriott, 2010).

Marriott has teamed up with many Corporation or organizations to help them support their efforts to preserve and protect the environment (Marriott, 2009). For instance, Amazonas Sustainable Foundation (FAS), Conservation International, ENERGY STAR®, International Tourism Partnership (ITP), and U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). The Marriott’s protecting the rainforest strategy is help to protect 1.4 million of acres in endangered rainforest for the Juma Sustainable Development Reserve (Marriott, 2009).

Research Questions

The followings are some key questions addressed by his research:

Is the Marriott International had practiced the going green?

How the Marriott International practiced the going green in this industry?

Why the Marriott international will practiced the going green?

What level of going green programs of Marriott International?

What differences between Marriott International’s going green program with other companies?

Does the going green program increase the income of Marriott International?

Research Objectives

To answer the above research questions, this study seek to accomplish the following objectives:

To investigate going green practiced among all Marriott International’s properties.

To determine how the Marriott International practiced the going green.

To determine the reasons of Marriott International practiced the going green.

To examine the level of going green practiced among all Marriott International’s properties.

To compare the level of going green with other companies.

To determine the advantages and disadvantages of going green in Marriott International.

To defined the relation between hospitality industry and CSR.

Theoretical/ Conceptual Framework

Conceptual Framework

Marriott International. Inc.

Going Green’s Programs

The strategies and programs of going green in Marriott International. Inc.

Identify the concept and structure of CSR in hospitality industry.

The Actions that practices by Marriott International corporate.

Theoretical Framework

This research mostly searches on the Marriott International Corporate practising the level of going green in most of their properties. The reason why Marriott International become famous in going green program because their organized a lot of events or activities to greening their companies. In the internet or newspaper, we can see that Marriott International corporate organized a lot of activities in greening and get a lot of award internationally in greening program. Besides that, their also is one of the famous go green corporate in the world. Moreover, the going green is not easy to practices in the companies because it need a lot of resources to make it really work.

Scope and Limitation

This study was carried out among all Marriott International in going green program. The Marriott International, Inc.’s operations are grouped into the five business segments which are North American Limited-Service Lodging, North American Full-Service Lodging, Luxury Lodging, International Lodging and Timeshare. This study also for defined the level of go green in Marriott International Corporate by Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Significance of the Study

The significant of this research proposal is to evaluate the level of going green activities that practices or organized by Marriott International Corporate.

According to The New York Times (2009), the Marriott International announced that they would no longer deliver newspapers to every guestroom in the morning. They only will deliver to which guest rooms had requested a newspaper or can pick one up in the lobby. Although that change is arguably as much about saving money more than saving trees. Marriott had assessed that it would reduce the newspaper distribution at its hotels to about 18 million only annually.

Furthermore, this research is for acknowledge people around the world to know how important and advantages of going green in hospitality industries now a days. Now, most of the knowledge people are targeting the greening companies to cooperate with than normal companies.

This is why more and more companies going to practising greening in their company because followed by the trend of all around the world.


Literature Review

2.1 Introduction

The literature review will begin with an essential understanding of the key points needed in order to accomplish the aim of the project. The research will be analysed in the literature to help construct an academic structure on the definition and concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The literature will also evaluate the purpose of sustainable development in the hospitality industry and its advantages and limitations. One area which has been particularly analysed is the going green programmes that practice by the hospitality industry as it contains most of the key areas. Furthermore, the literature reviews also analysing the views, theories arguments and perspectives of previous authors for assessment. The literature reviews also will finally perform as a source with which to analyse the differing perspectives on these key points identify gaps for argument and highlight key issues associated with going green programme in hospitality.

2.2 Corporate Social Responsibility Definitions and Concepts

The field of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has grown considerably over the last decade due to an increasing number of companies formally recognising the impacts they have on the environment, on society and on the economy (Jones et.al, 2006). CSR issues are now being combined into all parts of the business operations. CSR is made in the missions, visions and value statements of companies all around the world (Ofori and Hinson, 2007).

Definitions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) have, however, remained an area of deliberation from the concepts very beginnings. A variety of definitions have been framed. The Commission of the European Communities, Brussels (2001, p.6 ) defines CSR as:

“…a concept whereby companies integrate environmental and social concerns in the business operations and in their interactions with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis.”

Therefore, CSR is not just fulfilling legal responsibilities but may also go beyond compliance to embrace wider social, environmental and economic goals (Brussels, 2001).

The concept of CSR is one which has emerged over the last 50 years to occupy a significant role in certain aspects of organisational theory and has only been in wide use since the 1960s (Meehan et al., 2006). CSR was eventually recognised as businesses that are part of society and have the potential to make a positive impact to the social goals (Jones et al., 2006). CSR therefore seems to be synonymous with charitable and voluntary acts by business organisations designed to improve social skills. Conversely, Donaldson and Preston (1995) believe that businesses are not responsible to society but responsible to their stakeholders and view CSR from this perspective.

Furthermore, one of most cited definitions of CSR is defined by the World Bank (2003), which defines CSR as the responsibility of businesses to contribute to the sustainable economic development which working with internal stakeholders, the local community, and society to improve the quality of life which is positive for business and development. The similarity among these different definitions of CSR is that companies should engage in CSR behaviour as part of their organisational strategy.

Bevan et al. (2004) list nine potential benefits of CSR which include reduced operating costs; improved profitability and financial performance; enhanced capability to innovate; better risk and crisis management; long-term sustainability for companies and the workforce; improved staff commitment and involvement; good relations with government and society; enhanced reputation and brand value; and enhanced customer relationships and increased awareness of customer needs.

2.3 The Sustainability Development of the Hotel Industry

International Tourism Partnership (2010) defines the term ‘green’ in business as initially related to the environmental issues. It also has evolved to include all aspects of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability. Sloan et al. (2009) define a sustainable hospitality operation as one which manages its resources in such a way that economic, social and environmental benefits are maximised in order to meet the need of the present generation while protecting and increasing opportunities for future generations.

According to Green Hotels Association (2010), “Green Hotels” have gained a foothold in lodging operators’ contribution to society’s concern for the environment which focuses on programmes which are designed to reduce solid waste, save water and save energy. Programme components such as towel rack hangers and sheet-changing cards have achieved positive responses by hotel management staff as well as guests for over ten years.

The UK hotel sector would appear to accept that it does have an impact on the environment (Brown, 1996). This is not only confirmed by exploratory research but also through the formation of the International Tourism Partnership (ITP). The ITP has published an environmental magazine, the ‘Green Hotelier’, whose readership cares about environmentally and socially responsible hotel behaviour as focused on positive sustainable travel and tourism development (International Tourism Partnership, 2010). According to research by the Carbon Trust (Green hotelier, 2010), rising energy prices and taxes are the biggest worries facing the British hospitality industry in 2010. This view is supported by Alexander and Kennedy (2002) who find that the most wasteful and costly of resources usage in hotels are commonly in the consumption of over water usage, non-renewable energy and also the overall wastage.

2.4 The state of CSR within the Hospitality and Tourism Industry

The state of CSR within hospitality and tourism enterprises may be slightly different from that in other businesses. Since 1992, the trend in the hospitality and tourism industry has been to focus on environmental concerns, use of technology, and efficient use of energy (Henderson, 2001). European hospitality organisations have established two initiatives that improve CSR in the European hospitality sector which are European Federation of Food and Agriculture and Tourism Trade Unions (EFFAT) and “Green Hotels” (Holcomb, 2007). In 2004, the EFFAT and the Confederation of National Associations of Hotels, Cafés and Restaurants in Europe drafted the agreement parameters for employers to sign a joint document on CSR, concerning working conditions, pay, equal opportunity, training, health and safety, and restructuring (The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 2008). These combined actions would appear to show the hospitality industry’s adoption of and commitment to socially responsible behaviour as opposed to externally derived governmental compliance directives.

2.5 Green initiatives, incentives and green wash

Nunes and Bennett (2010) list two categories of green initiatives that are operational in the marketplace. Firstly, businesses focus on integrating green features into the design or characteristics of individual products, for instance, developing a laundry detergent that is eco-friendly. Secondly, larger proportions of resources have been committed to reductions in the amount of waste generated and energy used, and also to building green and limiting CO2 emissions from production. In a major study, Alexander and Kennedy (2002) propose a ‘Zero Waste Approach’ that includes energy efficiency, water conservation and solid waste reduction, which can increase efficiency, provide cost savings, reduce the burden of extraction from and waste to nature, and allow more resources to be available. This view is supported by Nunes and Bennett (2010) who suggest that, ideally, green behaviour should go beyond simply creating a recyclable product to a more holistic incorporation of sustainable values into a corporation’s core principles and values.

Bohdanowicz et al. (2005) finds that the availability of facility-specific data and access to information on the relevant best practice are essential for assessing and benchmarking the environmental performance of hotel facilities. Alexander and Kennedy (2002) suggest an option for conserving energy which is implement energy-efficient projects in space heating and cooling systems. For instance, The Hyatt Regency International Hotel in New Zealand developed a project to link energy use with room occupancy which has saved $14,000 of energy annually (Hyatt, 2010). Alexander and Kennedy (2002) suggest that low-flow shower heads and tap aerators are some options for water conservation, which are becoming common among hotel facilities, and the payback period can be three years depending on the extent of the project. For instance, Green Hotels Association (2010) observed water use in the La Quinta Inn, San Antonio that had saved 180,000 gallons of water per year by installing ultra-flow toilets, low-flow shower heads and aerating taps in each room.

In addition, Priesnitz (2008, p.14 ) defines greenwash as:

“….the acts of misleading consumers regarding the environmental practices of a company or the environmental benefits of a product or service”.

Whellams and MacDonald (2007) label the corporations as greenwashers if they spend more on corporate image advertising that boasts about humanitarian programmes than on the programmes themselves, for instance, charities, donations or contributions. Greenwashing can have fatal effects on a company’s trustworthiness. This view is supported by Priesnitz (2008) who points out that not only are a firm’s customers deceived, but, that greenwashing can also ruin relationships with all stakeholders.

2.6 Case study of Accor and Hilton

Based on their total room number and location of their hotels, the two hotel groups selected for case study were Accor Hotel Group (Europe) and Hyatt Corporation (USA), being in 2009 the top 10 hotel groups in UK (Caterersearch, 2010). Marriott International Corporate also is one of the top 10 hotel groups in UK.



Number of hotels

Number of rooms

Number of hotels worldwide


Whitbread Hotel Company





InterContinental Hotels Group





Travelodge (Dubai International






Accor Hotels





Hilton Hotels Corporation





Best Western





Wyndham Worldwide




Marriott Hotels





Carlson Hotels Worldwide 





The Rezidor Hotel Group  




Table 1: Top 10 Hotel Groups in the UK, 2009 by number of bedrooms.

(Caterersearch, 2010)

Accor Group Hotels

Accor currently manages 4,100 hotels under 13 different brands worldwide (Accor, 2010). The philosophy of Accor Corporation is respect for diverse cultures and incorporating environmental best practices in all its properties’ operations (Accor, 2010). The goals of their ‘Earth Guest’ programme, launched in 2006, are to reduce water and energy consumption, promote balanced nutrition and to double, in three years, the number of hotels that offer fair-trade products (Accor, 2010). The programme is divided into two parts which are a social responsibility development area (EGO) and an environmental responsibility development area (ECO) (Accor, 2010). EGO is includes programmes for local development, the protection of children, combating of epidemics and the promotion of healthy eating. Besides that, the ECO is includes the reduction of water and energy usage and the preservation of biodiversity, as well as the upgrading of waste sorting and recycling (Accor, 2008 and 2009).

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The Hotelier’s Environmental Charter is Accor’s internal benchmarking tool and provides the local hotel managers with guidelines for environmentally sustainable business practices. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (2010), the 88% of 4,000 Accor’s properties has adopted Hotelier’s Environmental Charter. The Charter gives hotel managers and employees clear instructions on how resources can be saved in the areas of energy, water and waste (Accor, 2008).

The first and second point of Hotelier’s Environmental Charter considers is energy and water (Accor, 2010). Compact fluorescent light bulbs are used in 82% hotels for areas that remain light 24 hours a day (Accor, 2010). Accor also continued to promote the use of renewable energy sources, installing solar-powered hot water systems in 32 hotels in 2009, with a total of 99 hotels now equipped worldwide (Accor, 2009). Accor is actively involved in water conservation measures and water usage per occupied room, total was reduced 4% between 2006 and 2009 (Accor, 2009). Moreover, flow-regulators have now been installed in showers and faucets in 89% of hotels (Accor, 2009).

Accor actively promotes waste sorting and recycling as well as eco-designed products for instance, 51% of hotels recover paper, cardboard and glass (Accor, 2008). Accor has improved its performance in waste management by manage with a dedicated waste management module that monitor the amount of waste produced per room, the recovery rate and the cost of waste disposal (Accor, 2009). Waste Traceability mainly concerns the separation of waste, where the company already achieves a high score in France owing to its proactive information policy (Accor, 2008). According to Accor (2010), their hotel prefers eco-labelled suppliers. In 2002, Accor dispatched an environmental purchasing charter to its purchasing organisations as well as to over 2,000 preferred suppliers (Sloan et al., 2009).

Hilton Hotels

Currently, Hilton Hotels Corporation has more than 3,200 hotels and 525,000 rooms in 77 countries. In 2009, Hilton is new global headquarters in McLean, Virginia which meets the highest environmental standard for his design, operation and construction (Environmental Leader, 2009).

Besides that, the sustainability target that aims in coming 2014 by Hilton Hotels was announced. Those include:

20 per cent: Reducing energy consumption from direct operations;

20 per cent: Reducing output of waste;

20 per cent: Reducing CO2 emissions;

And 10 per cent: Reducing the water consumption.

Furthermore, Hilton had already started to green its properties operations. Hilton says that it was reduced CO2 emissions in Hilton hotels that participating by more than 64,000 tons or 56 per cent of its carbon footprint. Those are from the introduction of carbon-free electricity at its properties in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Moreover, they also said that, it has also reduced around 10 per cent in over the last two years for the water consumption and energy usage. Hilton Hotels also reported that, in May it has delivered more than 10 per cent in last year of energy savings which across more than 80 hotels in the Europe.


In 2007, the Association of Corporate Travel Executives had conducted a survey which showed that, only 1/3 of corporate travel policies had promoted the sustainable tourism. Most of the major hotel chains are looking the ways to participate in green concept to their hotels; the water and energy conservation became popular ways to greening. Therefore, Marriott International has set their goal to lowering the GHG emissions around 2.2 million pounds by 2010 which said by Ed Fuller- the president and managing director of Marriott. Besides that, Wolfgang Neuman of Hilton Hotels also looking toward the eco-friendly in solar heating, air-conditioning and heat recovery systems to extract the water waste from another system and use it in other ways in short term period. As well as the 200 of Accor’s hotels in France will have Solar Panels by 2010.



3.1 Introduction

In this research, in order to obtain the broad of knowledge about environmental operating practise in the hotel industry, a wide range of secondary sources will be reviewed. In addition, research strategy adopted was to conduct multiple case studies in two top hotel and Marriott companies in Europe and the USA. The main data collection techniques used in this research study was documentation analysis and content analysis. This chapter is divided into three sections. First, the interpretive stance in the field of information system is examined; second section is about the construction of the secondary research design which deals with the research design and covers the reasons for selecting resources; third section is describes the research approach followed in case study research.

3.2 Research Design

Currently, the secondary literatures have increase rapidly, particularly as new resources which are developed or ready through the internet (Saunders et al., 2009). In this research project, secondary research will allow the research to incorporate suitable and reliable data of green operation initiative in hospitality, so that all the gathered data can respond to the research questions relating to the green activities of hotel in Europe and the USA. Secondary research differs from primary research in the collection of the documentary is not the responsibility of the analyst. Stewart and Kamins (1993) was point out that the analyst enters the picture after the data collection effort is over in secondary research.

On the other hand, in primary research, the analyst is responsible for the design of research, the collection of data and the analysis and summary of the information (Stewart and Kamins, 1993). Secondary data although, has lack of direct control of the date, type, and procedure for collecting and recording of the data (Sauder et al, 2009), however, secondary data is more financial and time saving. For instance, secondary data particularly not necessary to wait for or pay to marketing researchers for a research project to collect primary data. By using secondary data, author can has more time and effort in analysing and interpreting the data, as it has already been collected. Secondary research moreover may increase the quality of the research by targeting the real dilemma and mistakes. Consultation on secondary resources increases the efficiency of the research by targeting real gaps and oversights in knowledge.

Primary research therefore has not been used in this project due to the wide variety of secondary data has been found. Primary research methods such as, questionnaires or interviews will not provide relevant information for this topic. On this basis, it can be concluded that secondary research is the main source of information provided in this study including information from academic journals, books, corporate reports and internet. Nevertheless, author should analyse cautiously the information gathered to determine its validity and reliability. This is because the research only uses one kind of research models and the argument generated about research topic.

3.3 Sources of Data

3.3.1 Secondary Data

Secondary research data is the key resource of information incorporate in this research proposal. However, the different secondary resources might have different type of information. A guideline for obtain valid and reliable information from different resources therefore, has been designed which can found in Table 2.

Type of information

Resources that might have that information

Established facts and figures

Reference books; official publications; government web sites

General information on a topic

Books of collected articles; text books; web sites of relevant organisations

Reviews of the literature on a topic

Journal articles; books of collected articles

Publications of recent research results

Journal articles; proceedings of conferences

Professional and academic debates

Journal articles; web sites of relevant organisations; newspapers

Table 2: The types of resources that provided different information.

In order to justify the author’s arguments and


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