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Hotels are going green as they work to adopt sustainable initiatives to help keep our planet and the communities that they serve happy and healthy. Read on for a brief overview of what some of the world’s most popular hotel groups are doing to make a difference. 

Marriott International

Rooftop view at Alof Madrid Gran Via, photo courtesy of Marriott International

With more than 6,500 properties worldwide, Marriott International does not take its obligation to operate responsibly lightly. In fact, the hotelier is taking some serious steps to up its sustainability game with goals to reduce its water intensity by 15%, carbon intensity by 30% and waste-to-landfill by 45% by 2025. Additionally, the company joined Race to Zero, a global campaign that will hold the business accountable to achieving a 1.5-degree C standard by 2050.

In addition to its lofty plans for the future, Marriott International has already taken eco-friendly action at its properties across the globe by replacing small, single-use toiletries with larger, refillable bottles; planting 36,000 new trees in the U.S. and Canada; partnering with The Ocean Foundation to support the Insetting Carbon Through Sargassum Mitigation Pilot Project; cutting food waste by 50%; and using on-demand cooling systems. Additionally, Marriott International also aims to break ground on 250 adaptive reuse projects where it will outfit older buildings with contemporary materials to reduce its overall carbon footprint.


Hilton Sydney’s Marble Bar, photo courtesy of Hilton

Established in 2011, Hilton’s Travel with Purpose strategy showcases the brand’s commitment to creating positive environmental and social impacts across its operations, supply chain and  communities. Environmentally, the hotel group is looking to reduce its ‘watts, water and waste’ as it lays the groundwork to achieve a net-zero future. To meet this goal, the brand will cut managed portfolio emissions intensity by 75%; cut franchised portfolio emissions intensity by 56%; cut water use intensity by 50%; and cut landfilled waste intensity by 50% by 2030.

Socially speaking, Hilton is focused on creating a culture that benefits its team members, business partners and the communities where the brand operates around the world. To achieve this goal, Hilton aims to create 5 million growth opportunities for team members and communities with a focus on underrepresented groups by 2030; achieve 50% gender diversity in global leadership levels by 2027; achieve 25% ethnic diversity in leadership levels by 2027; meaningfully impact 20 million community members through local support, disaster relief and economic opportunities by 2023; and promote responsible and inclusive conduct across 100% of its operations.


Aerial shot of Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, photo courtesy of World of Hyatt

Through the group’s World of Care initiative, World of Hyatt is doing its part to do good for the planet. Since the brand’s first environmental strategy launched in 2008, the hotelier has worked hard to collaborate with different hotel owners and operators to further advance in its journey to design and operate properties that are more efficient and have a lower impact on our world.

In upcoming years, Hyatt has big plans for 2030 with goals surrounding climate change, water conservation, waste disposal, responsible sourcing and ‘thriving destinations’. Concerning climate change and water conservation, the company hopes to elevate its efficiency measures, prioritize water conservation in drought-prone areas and increase the use of renewable energy and grey water. Additionally, the hotel wants to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 27.5% compared to previous numbers from 2019. Additional environmental goals include the curbing of food waste by 50% per square meter by 2030, increasing responsible sourcing of products and services, and prioritizing the impact that the hotelier has on its global communities.

Best Western

The entrance to Best Western Plus Island Palms Hotel & Marina, photo courtesy of Best Western

Working towards not one, but two big sustainability initiatives, Best Western is heading a duo of eco-friendly projects with the help of its scientific partner LifeGate: Stay PlasticLess and Stay for the Planet. Stay PlasticLess is a movement dedicated to reducing the use of disposable plastic across Best Western properties by limiting the usage of virgin plastic cups, implementing dispensers instead of single-dose food products, encouraging the use of durable or biodegradable crockery and cutlery, reducing the usage of plastic bottles and plastic bags, and finally, calling for the removal of plastic straws.

As for Stay for the Planet, eco-conscious travelers may already be familiar with the name as it represents LifeGate’s rating system designed to help vacationers choose environmentally conscious hotels and hotel chains. By joining this project, Best Western has pledged to manage its activities in a sustainable manner by monitoring its consumption, reducing its environmental impact and taking action toward energy-efficient policies. Stay for the Planet uses what it calls a “five-leaf rating system” that ranks properties according to five categories — energy, water, waste, purchases and behaviors. Since joining the project, Best Western has reduced its potential greenhouse effect by 21%, water footprint by 26% and energy usage by 17%. 

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

View of the city skyline from Wyndham Boston Beacon Hill, photo courtesy of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

With more than 8,900 hotels around the world, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is shining a light on sustainability through The Wyndham Green Program, a certification program that ranks the hotelier’s properties according to five progressive levels — Level 1: Core, Level 2: Essential, Level 3: Proficient, Level 4: Advanced and Level 5: Expert. Inquiring minds can read more about each level here, but the long and short of it is that the program was designed to address a variety of sustainability concerns including water and energy conservation, waste disposal and operational efficiency. Additionally, the hotel group offers education and engagement opportunities to keep employees active and up-to-date.

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts also showcases a strong commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts and has been recognized by notable organizations like DiversityInc and the Human Rights Campaign for its high ranking in workplace equality.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts

The dining room at Fairmont Century Plaza in Los Angeles, photo courtesy of Fairmont Hotel & Resorts

As one of the first luxury hotel brands to achieve its emission reduction targets, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts has been a leader in sustainability for more than 25 years. Forging the way for the popular hotelier’s eco-friendly initiatives is Accor, a group consisting of over 290,000 hospitality experts with a special focus on reimagining the industry to better serve its guests, team members and the world. As far as sustainability goes, Accor champions four categories: working with its teams, involving its clients, innovating with its partners and involving local communities. The group also dedicates special attention to implementing sustainable initiatives towards its food and buildings.

So what does that look like for Fairmont? It means rolling out more eco-friendly programs at its properties around the world. From rooftop bee hotels and water conservation to energy savings and food waste reductions, the hotelier is committed to promoting long-term sustainability and stewardship. In addition to observing Accor’s four categories, Fairmont also supports three key initiatives to protect and preserve the earth’s fragile ecosystems — sustainable design and construction, support for biodiversity and integration of sustainable procurement in its purchasing processes

Originally Sourced from The Compass – Jenna Buege

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