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Eco-friendly hotels? Marriott announces plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050

  • September 22, 2021

hospitality company announced Wednesday that it would commit to a target of net-zero value chain greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the latest travel business to boost environmental efforts as a growing number of travelers seek eco-friendly travel options.

The net-zero target would have Marriott taking out just as many greenhouse gas emissions as it produces.  The company submitted a letter affirming its commitment to the Science Based Targets initiative, a partnership between the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute, CDP and the World Wide Fund for Nature that asks participants to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals through transparent action plans and near-term targets.  

“Every day, we read about rising global temperatures and the way those temperatures are triggering extreme weather conditions around the world and the way it’s impacting communities,” Marriott CEO Anthony Capuano told USA TODAY. “Given all the evidence out there, it’s critical we accelerate and challenge ourselves.”

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Studies show that travelers believe sustainability is critical as well. A 2021 online survey of more than 29,000 global travelers from Booking.com found 83% believe sustainable travel is vital. Another 61% said the pandemic has made them want to travel more sustainably in the future.  

“Our associates, our customers, our hotel owners and shareholders, they are all increasingly focused on the challenges that climate change is having on them personally,” Capuano said. “Our customers are not simply relying on (companies’) words, but on actions, when deciding which hotels they want to continue to patronize.” 

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Marriot has already taken sustainability steps with initiatives such as eliminating single-use amenity bottles and reducing food waste. The new emissions plan escalates the company’s previous emissions target from 2017, which aimed to reduce carbon emissions 30% from a 2016 baseline by 2025.  

The new initiatives could include modifications to hotel designs to make them more energy efficient, more renewable energy usage and upgrades such as smart thermostats.

“We’ve got to figure out the most efficient strategies to help accelerate the targets we’ve set,” Capuano said. “The good news is, we are not starting from a dead stop. We’ve been on this sustainable journey for years.”  

Other hotel companies are also working to curb their greenhouse gas emissions. Hilton’s website says the company is committed to cutting both direct and indirect carbon emissions by 61% by 2030, and Wyndham aims to reduce direct and indirect emissions 15% from a 2019 base by 2025

Travelers will soon be able to compare hotels’ sustainability efforts on Google. Starting this week, hotels certified by organizations like Green Key or EarthCheck will have an eco-certified badge next to their name on a Google search. Clicking on their “About” tab will show more detail on what steps they’re taking, such as reducing waste or conserving water.  

Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz

Article source: http://rssfeeds.usatoday.com/~/667297474/0/usatodaycomtravel-topstories~Ecofriendly-hotels-Marriott-announces-plan-to-reach-netzero-emissions-by/

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