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Marriott International: Sustainability and Social Impact Report

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business Strategy
Wordcount: 6397 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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Executive Summary

The report gives a detailed report of Marriott International’s environmental policy development practices using the CSR report and compare it to the Global Reporting Initiatives which are the recommended standards. The report will greatly rely on the 2017 Marriott International’s report on the sustainable development by the company (Marriott International Inc, 2017b). It is by this report that we shall evaluate whether the company has environmental policies regarding sustainable development. The report shows that Marriott International has done comparatively well in sustainable development with the areas to be improved mentioned.

Table of Contents

Executive Summary

Table of Contents

1. Introduction

1.1 Purpose

1.2 Background

2. Sustainable practices being implemented by Marriott

2.1 Environmental Initiatives (refers to Appendix A)

2.2 Social-economic Initiatives (refers to Appendix B)

3. Areas not yet implemented

3.1 Environmental

3.2 Social

3.3 Economic

4. Impacts

4.1 Positive Impact

4.2 Negative Impact

5. Compare to the GRI Index

6. Conclusion

7. References

8. Appendices

8.1 Appendix A – Environmental Initiatives

8.2 Appendix B – Social-Economic Initiatives

8.3 Appendix C – Environmental and Social Sustainability Practices

1. Introduction

1.1 Purpose

The report analyses Marriott International, hereinafter, referred to as Marriott, and how it has adopted sustainable development practices. The main aim will be determining whether Marriott has applied sustainable initiatives as well as operations and how they have impacted the organisation’s social and economic aspects. The report on sustainability and social impact by Marriott will be analysed to come up with the findings and demonstrate how the company has implemented or failed to impalement issues of sustainability. The report also examines the challenges encountered by the tourism and hospitality industry while trying to meet the goals of sustainable development.

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1.2 Background

The last twenty years have seen issues of environmental sustainability gain much attention in the hospitality and tourism industries. All across the globe, discussions about environmental sustainability have been ongoing and the hospitality industry has not been left out and has taken serous notes about sustainability. Williams and Ponsford (2009) defined sustainable development as the one which can meet the present needs without interfering with the ability of the future generation in meeting their future needs. Sustainability practices have become more common and the issues that concern sustainability are today a very essential part of the socio-political discussions in many nations (Porter & Kramer, 2011). There has been a strong emerging urge for sustainable development and thus businesses are forced to involve all the stakeholders in their decision makings.

According to United Nations World Tourism Organization (2015), the tourism and hospitality industry as among the largest sectors of the global economy and contributing to over 10% of the world’s GDP. It has created numerous jobs thus making it among the largest employment opportunity sectors. The research shows that it has almost outperformed sectors like manufacturing, retail and agriculture which have being the leading sectors in the past.

The sector despite its success has however be seen to greatly affect the ways to a more sustainable development. It has been urged to decrease the detrimental effects through its programs to future generations. Hotels today have the obligations of publishing their corporate social responsibility (CSR) reports which gave an account of their actions and behavior with regard to sustainability (Ramirez, 2012). This paper report will evaluate Marriott’s CSR report of 2017 giving the themes and goals which lack in their report.

2. Sustainable practices being implemented by Marriott

2.1 Environmental Initiatives (refers to Appendix A)

Energy: To reduce its energy consumption, the report shows that Marriott will invest in having renewable energy systems which will be achieved by incorporating use of low-carbon energies which are renewable.

Emissions: About emissions, the report shows that the organization has been using renewable energy systems to reduce carbon emissions. The hotel has integrated carbon offset programs which help reduce the emission of their greenhouse gases. Using these programs, the company is able to regulate the supply of their electricity both during peak and off-peak periods.

Water: Regarding water consumption, Marriott has taken into account some areas in its properties in order to reduce consumption. They have installed detector tools making sure no leaks and they have programs which always analyze the efficiency of water.

Biodiversity: On the issue of biodiversity, the hotel has identified two key elements to support their investments in natural capital as well being involved in projects of environmental sustainability. The first element they have identified is engaging all stakeholders in the conservations projects. Another critical component is the hotels which have helped in conserving as well as the restoration of habitats.
Wastes & Effluents: Regarding wastes as well as effluents, the company aims reduce its total waste to almost zero. They have employed recycling practices among other waste reduction methods to help reduce their waste by operating a waste classification facility. In reducing food waste, the hotel has been donating unused food to the needy. The food scraps have been used to feeding animals and composting.

Supply Chain Environment: The supply chain environment for the hotel has always revolved around what we call responsible sourcing. The company has always engaged with sustainable suppliers who have complied with all the policies set regarding a sustainable environment.

2.2 Social-economic Initiatives (refers to Appendix B)

Employee Well-being & Engagement: About employee well-being as well as engagement, the company has taken its employees very seriously as they are pillars towards a sustainable environment. The hotel focuses on three regarding their employees namely; promoting their health, safety and well being. Marriott has engaged its employees in all its sustainability programs by creating for them an opportunity to train and get educated. It has ensured the employees have a safe working environment where it has encouraged the work-life balance. The company carries out surveys to know the satisfaction levels of their employees with regard to sustainable strategies and they are given chances to suggest strategies they deem good for sustainability.

Diversity & Equal Opportunity: On the issue of diversity and equal opportunity, the hotel ensures that there is an increased diversity workforce while protecting human rights. Marriott hotel has focused more in the support of women and the minorities. The second component is that the company has implemented practices and policies which have been tied to spread awareness, among its stakeholders and human rights protection.

Welfare Community: Welfare community comprises of community engagement in projects as well as involvements in the international sustainability programs. One is to support the education of children about environmental practices and volunteering employees in skill development. The hotel has also partnered with NGOs in assisting the needy through donations to international projects and through fundraising. The company cares a lot for the well-being of the society and large and it has done all it can to improve the lives of the community.
Supply Chain Environment : In addition to supplier chain environment, the company has engaged with suppliers who share similar thoughts. It has partnered with non-profit associations in evaluating suppliers on how they have dealt with labor practices and human rights practice. The company has never gotten involved with any supplier with bad history.

Economic Well-being: On economic well-being, the company recognizes a sustainable approach and policies to promote the economic wellbeing of its employees and the community. By having employed many people and employing others indirectly vial suppliers, promoters among others; the company promotes the economic wellbeing of its stakeholders. There are job opportunities though internships and apprenticeship programs which are for women empowerment and disadvantaged people. They have been offering internships as well as apprenticeship programs to the youth drawn across the world. The hotel reports that it has women empowerment programs which will lead to economic freedom to the women. The company has also complied with anti-corruption policies where they have enforced policies and laws to ensure high integrity and ethics with all the businesses they deal with.

3. Areas not yet implemented

3.1 Environmental

Smart Building Design

This can be blamed to the fact that the company’s premises were constructed before the guidelines were formulated. This means that they can fit in the future but going by the report, Marriott has strong policies to comply with the terms of architecture and structure.

Low-Temperature Laundry

This is might because of the fact that low-temperature landry has high risk of delivering clothes with bacteria to guests/employees (Ray, 2017) and Marriott refuses to take the risk.

3.2 Social

Planning for Retirement & Employee Retention

The company needs to have strategies to make employees fully satisfied and retain them while attracting new employees.  The retirement benefits though they are there need to be taken into consideration to make sure all the employees are aware of their pension plans’. They ought to improve their economic policies to improve the welfare of all stakeholders.

3.3 Economic

Alleviating the Levels of Poverty

The views by the hotel to reduce poverty by increasing the opportunities are good but more need to be done to alleviate the poverty levels of the community.  The methods being used cannot be sustained and the hotel needs to do more to deal with real challenges facing the society.

4. Impacts

The 2017 report by Marriott hotel depicts that there are more positive impacts to the stakeholders as opposed to the negative impacts.

4.1 Positive Impact

The company has foundations which are aimed to support and engage with the local communities and the global village. It donates to international welfare organizations and also does fundraisings in support of societal issues (Marriott International Inc, 2017a). They have created employment, protected human rights, empowered the women and given the youth internships through apprenticeship programs. The company has also considered the vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the society. It has put up mechanisms to reduce emissions thus enabling sustainability and this can be said to be good for environmental sustainable development.

4.2 Negative Impact

One negative impact to the environment is the Marriott properties itself which if it controlled can have negative impacts on the local community. This can be attributed to time it was constructed when there was no policies to guide sustainability. The increase of food prices economically affects the locals who cannot afford it thus leaving it for tourists (Roos, 2010). The hotels need to improve on the negative impacts by coming up with strategies that will minimize the environmental, social and economic impacts discussed earlier in the report.

5. Compare to the GRI Index

As discussed above, the findings show that the Marriott has tried in implanting policies to ensure sustainable development. Referring to appendix C, Marriott has similar environmental and social sustainability practices compare to the reporting proposed by Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) index, and Marriott has complied in ensuring that its corporate social responsibility strategies meet the standards.

6. Conclusion

This report has given an insight of how sustainable development can be implemented in the hospitality and tourism industry. As said earlier in this report, there have been discussions about environmental sustainability have been ongoing and the hospitality industry has not been left out and has taken serous notes about sustainability. Companies in this industry should thus take environmental sustainability serious so that as they make profits, there is something left for the future generations to smile about.

7. References

  • Marriott International Inc. (2017a). CDP 2017 Climate Change 2017. Retrieved from https://www.marriott.com/Multimedia/PDF/CorporateResponsibility/2017_Re ports/Marriott_CDP_Climate%20Change_2017.pdf
  • Marriott International Inc. (2017b). Marriott Sustainability and Social Impact Report 2017. Retrieved from https://serve360.marriott.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/2017_Sustainability_and_Social_Impact_Report.pdf
  • Marriott International Inc. (2017c). Marriott Sustainability and Social Impact Report Highlight 2017. Retrieved from
  • Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2011). Strategy and society: the link between competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility.  Harvard Business Review, Vol. 87, pp. 78-92
  • Ramirez, G. A. (2012). Sustainable Development: Paradoxes, Misunderstandings and Learning Organizations, The Learning Organization’, Vo. 19, No. 1, pp. 58-76
  • Ray, C. C. (2017). How to Kill Germs in the Laundry. The New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/13/science/how-to-kill-germs-in-the-laundry.html
  • Roos, G. (2010). Marriott Sustainability Report: GHG Emissions, Energy Use Down 11% since 2007. Environmental Leader. Retrieved from https://www.environmentalleader.com/2010/10/marriott-sustainability- report-ghg-emissions-energy-use-down-11-since-2007/
  • United Nations World Tourism Organization. (2015). Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals’, http://cf.cdn.unwto.org/sites/all/files/pdf/sustainable_deve lopment_goals_brochure.pdf
  • Williams, P.W. & Ponsford, I. F. (2009). Confronting tourism’s environmental paradox: Transitioning for sustainable tourism., Futures, Vol. 41, pp. 396-404

8. Appendices

8.1 Appendix A – Environmental Initiatives

The table below was developed based on the SCR report (Marriott International Inc, 2017b).

Energy and Emission



Reduce energy consumption

-          Using low-carbon/renewable energy system
( Geothermal, wind and solar)

-          Retrofitting lightning to newer technology

-          Incorporating building automation systems

-          Retro-Commissioning  heating, ventilation and air conditioning, chiller and boiler systems)

-          Sharing data/training guide

Reduce carbon and greenhouse gas emissions

-          Using low-carbon/renewable energy system
(Geothermal, wind and solar)

-          Using carbon offset program

-          Using energy and environmental action plans

(lighting upgrades, installation of variable frequency
drive pumps, fans and air handling units and chiller 


Reduce water consumption

-          Targeting specific aspects of hotel operations
( laundry and linen/terry reuse programs;
  dishwashing and water service at restaurants and events;
  central plant operations; landscaping/irrigation; and golf
  course maintenance/operation)

-          Chilled Water Efficiency
( identify water savings opportunities)

-          Using energy and environmental action plans
(installation of low-flow toilets and showerheads,
  smart irrigation controllers, laundry water reuse systems
  and high-efficiency irrigation spray nozzles)

-          Using recycled water
(landscaping, cooling tower makeup water and flushing)

-          Capturing greywater and rainwater for water recycling

-          Establishing a standard for water submetering

-          Supporting Southeast Asia’s freshwater conservation


Support investments in natural capital

-          Engaging stakeholders in the conservations projects

-          Restorating mangrove habitat

-          Preserving amazon rainforest

-          Associating water conservation and reef protection projects

-          Integrating with Starwood
(project, grants and guest engagement)

Effluents and Waste

Reduce total waste-to-landfill

-          Incorporating best practice guidelines
(recycling and reducing waste)

-          Adopting E-Waste Recycling (Information Technology)

-          Recycling used soap and other hygiene amenities

-          Managing food waste (donating prepared/unused food to local organizations for consumption/animal feed)

Supply Chain Environment

Reduce environmental impacts and support positive change in supply chains

-          Developing brand standards (eliminating the tubes on bath tissue)

-          Encouraging/engaging sustainable suppliers
(furniture, fixtures and equipment; operating supplies and equipment; food and beverage; hotel amenities; and corporate services)

-          Removing injected molded foam products
(cups, bowls, plates and to-go containers)

-          Supporting suppliers for improving their animal welfare efforts

-          Supplying sustainable products
( cage-free eggs, liquid egg products, and seafood)

-          Participating in a new consortium working to develop the Hospitality Sustainable Purchasing Index (HSPI)

8.2 Appendix B – Social-Economic Initiatives

The table below was developed based on the SCR report (Marriott International Inc, 2017b).

Employee Well-being & Engagement



Promote employees health, safety and wellbeing

-          Providing health insurance

-          Offering a portfolio of work-life balance initiatives (flexible work arrangements, paid and unpaid time off, dependent care discounts and flexible staffing for professional career breaks)

-          Providing strict policies and procedures

-          Protecting an associates’ rights

-          Promoting safe and respectful working conditions

-          Providing TakeCare Program (taking care of individual body, mind and spirit; embracing opportunity to build a healthy and secure future; and helping co-workers feel valued)

-          Providing Takecare Wellbeing Program (worksite Wellbeing challenges, health coaching and health promotion activities that focus on nutrition, physical activity, stress management, smoking cessation, weight management, cancer prevention, family wellbeing and etc)

-          Providing non-profit financial help

-          Providing engagement surveys

-          Providing awards and recognitions

-          Associating health and safety protection

-          Providing safety training and raising employees’ awareness (Web-based safety training topics, Global Safety and Security Awareness Month, and BeSafe program)

Engage more employees in sustainability programs

-          Associating employees with sustainability programs

-          Creating opportunities to employees to accompany sustainability programs

-          Providing associate engagement surveys

-          Providing awards and recognitions

Gain advanced employees with a strong leadership

-          Providing skills training programs, professional development opportunities and other learning experiences

-          Providing performance review
(a confidential Associate Engagement Survey)

-          Providing formal learning programs
(eLearning with the balance being instructor-led or blended programs)

-          Encouraging open dialogues
(Living Our Core Values/Living Our Employee Promise meetings, walk-around management, daily stand-ups and world tour town hall meetings)

-          Providing functional-based trainings (Culinary, Food and Beverage, and Facilities Management)

Diversity & Equal Opportunity

 Increase global diversity in workplace

-          Establishing a formal diversity and inclusion program

-          Establishing specific multi-year goals for each facet
of diversity and monitors progress

-          Establishing comprehensive diversity performance metrics

-          Engaging corporate member of several national and multinational NGOs across many different diverse segments (diverse and historically underrepresented suppliers, current and potential associates, hotel owners and customers)

-          Providing Women’s Empowerment program
(advancing women in the management and executive ranks, gaining their loyalty as customers, creating economic opportunity as hotel owners and including women-owned businesses in our supply chain)

-          Providing Cultural Competence Program

-          Recruiting U.S. military veterans

Protect human rights

-          Providing advanced human rights’ policies, standards and procedures
(human rights criteria and information within the Business Conduct Guide, Supplier Code of Conduct, Supplier Sustainability Assessment, Quality Audit Property Certification Survey and ongoing risk management processes)

-          Providing trainings about human rights and laws to protect children for employees

-          Implementing online system for gathering and reporting security-related incidents, including suspected human trafficking

Welfare Community

Engage with community projects

-          Supporting the vitality of children in environmental programs

-          Providing volunteering services

-          Encouraging employability of youth and disadvantaged by developing their skills

Involve in international programs

-          Involving/ engaging international projects

-          Fundraising/doing donation to support communities (Starwood Foundation, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals)

Supply Chain Environment

Engage with social sustainable suppliers

-          Associating with similar valued suppliers

-          Evaluating suppliers about their human right and labor values

-          Evaluating women owned suppliers

-          Establishing partnership with nonprofit associations

Economic Well-being

Provide sustainable approaches and strategies

-          Providing sustainability social Impact Platform: “Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction.”

-          Creating equal opportunities

-          Evaluating suppliers with right values

-          Supporting the sustainable development goal of the United Nation 

-          Evaluating critical issues

8.3 Appendix C – Environmental and Social Sustainability Practices

The table below was developed based on the SCR report and highlights of Marriott (Marriott International Inc, 2017b; Marriott International Inc, 2017c) which shows that Marriott sustainability practices are similar to the proposals by GRI index.

Energy and Emission



Energy intensity

-          Reduced 348.9 kilowatt hours per square meter of conditioned space which was 13.2% lower than the baseline in 2007

Emission intensity

-          Reduced 15.8% emissions per square meter compare to the baseline in 2007

Direct Scope: GHG emissions

-          Reduced 1.28 million metric tons in 2016 which was lower than 3.64m in 2007

Indirect Scope: GHG emissions

-          5.55 million metric tons in 2016 which was lower than 2.33m in 2007


Water intensity

-          Reduced 125.6 million cubic meters of occupied room which was 7.7% lower than the baseline in 2007

-          Improved properties source water outside municipal water withdrawal (wells and desalination plants, rainwater and condensate capture for irrigation and/or cooling towers)


Habitats protected

or restored

-          Supporting Amazon rainforest preservation for 9 years

-          99% of the Juma Rainforest Reserve remains intact

Effluents and Waste

Waste by type and

disposal method

-          60,800 million tons were redirected from landfills in 2016, based on recycling and composting, which resulted the reduction of 1.6% in waste to landfill

Supply Chain Environment

New suppliers

that were screened

using environmental


-          Annually reviewed approved Marriott furniture, fixture and equipment vendors’ environmentally responsible manufacturing efforts and product sustainability practices utilizing the Marriott Sustainability Assessment Program for metrics and reporting

Employee Well-being & Engagement



New associate hires and associate turnover

-          Hired 63,140 new employees

-          17% of global voluntary turnover, including retirements at managed locations

Programs for upgrading associate skills and transition assistance programs

-          Associated participate in approximately 12,000 training classes every year including 5,400 formal learning programs, functional and regional training programs

Diversity & Equal Opportunity

Diversity of governance bodies and employees

-          Achieved 47% of our global workforce were men and 53% were women in 2016 (the board of directors is comprised of 14 members: 10 men to 4 women)

Associate training on

human rights policies

or procedures

-          Trained 9,290 hotel associates globally on human rights in 2016

-          Provided 101 online training with information on our human rights policies.

-          Achieved over 5,000 associates globally completed the training in 2016

Supply Chain Environment

New suppliers that

were screened using

social criteria

-          Provided the annual assessment requirement, including Fair Labor and Human Rights practices, for all approved Marriott FF&E suppliers and their products.

-          Provided supplier code of conduct with environmental and social guidelines


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