Looking for a green hotel for your next event? Checking out Marriott might be a good idea, as the hotel chain just announced that its global headquarters and over 30 of its hotels in design, development or under construction are expected to achieve LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
"LEED certification gives these hotels a 'green' stamp of approval that our customers recognize and look for,” said Arne Sorenson, Marriott’s newly appointed President and Chief Operating Officer and co-chair of the company’s Executive Green Council, in a statement. "Saving energy and reducing waste saves money and helps the environment—it’s good for business and a key part of our growth strategy."
Marriott was the first major hotel company in the United States with a LEED-certified hotel: The Inn and Conference Center by Marriott at the University of Maryland in College Park. Its upcoming 2009 green properties include the Fairfield Inn & Suites Baltimore Downtown/Inner Harbor, which expects to achieve LEED-Silver status; the Ritz-Carlton Highlands Lake Tahoe in Truckee, California; the Residence Inn Arlington Courthouse in Virginia; and Courtyard hotels in Chevy Chase, Maryland, Portland, Oregon, and Pittsburgh.
Several additional LEED-certified properties are also expected to open in 2010. Among them are the Renaissance Crystal City Potomac Yards and the Residence Inn Crystal City Potomac Yards in Arlington, Virginia; the Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway; and the JW Marriott Hotel Los Angeles and The Ritz-Carlton Los Angeles, both part of the L.A. LIVE sports and entertainment destination.
At its headquarters, a number of initiatives are underway to help Marriott achieve its goal of getting the global HQ LEED-Existing Building status. Its efforts include diverting 64 percent of its total waste (450,000 pounds) from the landfill; shifting to biodegradable disposable containers in its cafeteria, and then ultimately migrating to all permanent-ware; and converting used cooking oil into biodiesel fuel.
Marriott's LEED efforts are all part of its Spirit to Preserve program, which covers a variety of environmental initiatives.