Marriott International to strengthens its sustainability drive this year

Marriott International announced its plans to strengthen their commitment towards hospitality with some key campaigns in the region as well as obtaining the “Green Key” certification for all their properties. Speaking at a media gathering Sandeep Walia COO Middle East Marriott International shared, “Mangroves store carbon dioxide give out oxygen four times more than trees so you will see more mangrove plants. We started our journey this year in Ajman in January then we move into Dubai and Fujairah and we started in Saudi as well. St.Regis Red Sea in Saudi is 100% renewable energy on this island. All local, solar energy being generated and 100% on the whole island for everything is renewable. Zero waste in terms of food as well. We want to see that we don’t throw away. We have a responsibility and opportunity for us to make a change. Water will be a big thing and being mindful and instead of flying bottles making it locally and reduce the transport of bottles.

Sustainability is engraved into everything we do, everybody is asking about it, whether it is the traveller, booker or operator, everybody is getting into it and doing the right thing. It is no longer a trend, but it is the way forward and here to stay which is the good part. It is the part where we give back to the community and the area we take it from so a lot we did in that space in 2023. We started this big project of mangroves which we started from the UAE itself. We partnered with Etihad, and we conducted mangrove planting in Abu Dhabi but instead of doing a few we did a full forest. So, if you’re driving from Dubai to Abu Dhabi near the Al Jubail area we did a whole area of Etihad – Marriott Forest of 12,000 mangroves, so this year we are looking at doubling that to 24,000 mangroves in the UAE itself. It’s something which we see in the region grow as well. In Saudi at the Red Sea, we’re doing mangrove planting, then Qatar and a lot growing in that space and a lot of the local community supporting us to do that as well. Sustainability is dominating into two or three other categories; I would say one is going away from plastics the biggest thing being bottled water – the place where we are the hotel itself has a bottling plant for the three complex and we are looking at other hotels take water from here. It does its own cleaning of glass bottles, sterilizing, production and then to the guest. So not only is it glass bottles, so something I want to highlight is that you can move from plastic to  glass but if you’re going to fly that glass from across the world, its not truly helping instead you’re consuming that much energy to get it here so it would not really make a difference. So, we started our own production unit, 50 of our hotels in the UAE are Green Key sustainable hotels and we intend to get it to 100 per cent by year end.