BETHESDA, Md., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --In a bold move to help improve the climate, Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) is launching a new way for guests to "green" their hotel stays. Now, when you book a room onwww.Marriott.com or visit http://www.marriott.com/green-brazilian-rainforest.mi, you can offset the carbon generated during your stay for as little as US$10, or US$1/day for 10 days. As part of Spirit To Preserve, Marriott's five-point environmental strategy, guests can contribute to a Brazilian rainforest preservation fund already supported with a US$2 million commitment by the company.
"Conserving rainforests - the lungs of the Earth - is one of the most important things we can do to improve the climate," says Chief Financial Officer Arne Sorenson, who co-chairs Marriott's Executive Green Council. "According toConservation International and other environmental experts, the destruction of tropical forests contributes 20% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions and fuels climate change."
Through an agreement with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation, Marriott and its guests are protecting 1.4 million acres of pristine rainforest in The Juma Sustainable Development Reserve in the State of Amazonas, Brazil. Without this intervention, up to 62 percent of the Juma rainforest will be lost to illegal deforestation activities by 2050, resulting in 4 million tons of carbon emissions in the first 10 years alone. TUV SUD, an independent accredited environmental auditing firm, has validated the project, awarding it "gold status" under the Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standards.
The fund also supports 2,500 residents of Juma who in turn will help protect the rainforest from illegal farming and logging. Contributions will help fund personnel and equipment to monitor and protect the forest, a school and education curriculum, medical facility, community center and more.
Marriott has been recognized for its environmental leadership in the hotel industry by several groups, including Ceres, an alliance of investors and environmentalists; the non-profit organization ClimateCounts.org; and Travel + Leisure magazine.