Marriott International has announced its commitment to reach net-zero value chain greenhouse gas emissions no later than 2050.
The move comes in response to the United Nations climate science report that warns current efforts are insufficient to limit global warming to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, a threshold that would bring catastrophic and irreversible effects of climate change.
Marriott announced that it would be joining the Race to Zero campaign on Sept. 25 at Global Citizen Live, a 24-hour global event to unite the world to defend the planet and defeat poverty. Race to Zero is a global campaign rallying companies, cities, regions and financial and educational institutions, to reach net-zero value chain greenhouse gas emissions by no later than 2050, via the Business Ambition standard for 1.5. Participants must commit to reducing emissions in line with the Paris Agreement, with transparent action plans and near-term targets.
“We are driven to make a positive and sustainable impact wherever we do business, and this rigorous climate commitment to reach net-zero emissions is a needed step for us to do our part to help the communities and environments where we live, work and visit remain resilient and vibrant,” said Anthony Capuano, chief executive officer, Marriott International, in a press statement. “Even as we navigate one of the industry’s most difficult periods, we know this ambition will be a challenge. We are proud to join companies and institutions around the world striving to tackle climate change and build a healthier, more sustainable world.”
Future initiatives being considered by Marriott include increased use of renewable energy, building electrification to maximize renewable electricity, continued modifications to design standards so buildings are more efficient, and the installation of automation systems and energy efficiency upgrades (for example, smart thermostats).
The efforts to achieve these new targets will build on Marriott’s existing sustainability strategy, Serve 360: Doing Good in Every Direction, which aims to reduce environmental impacts through the construction and operation of sustainable hotels, while protecting and restoring the ecosystems on which life depends.
Recent initiatives include reducing single-use plastics, such as replacing tiny, single-use toiletry bottles of shampoo, conditioner and bath gel in guest rooms with larger pump-topped bottles. When fully implemented across the globe in 2022, the company’s expanded toiletry program is expected to prevent around 500 million tiny bottles annually from going to landfills.
Marriott has also implemented an internal food waste prevention and reduction educational campaign, designed to support its goal to reduce food waste by 50 percent; as well as participating in innovative ecosystem restoration and carbon sequestration projects, such as working with The Ocean Foundation to remove and repurpose sargassum seaweed, which has had devastating impacts on the environment.
Over the past several years, Marriott has planted more than 415,000 trees, including through the company’s work as a founding member of the Evergreen Alliance, a select group of Arbor Day Foundation partners and collaborators committed to advancing trees and forests as natural solutions for corporate sustainability and citizenship goals.