ORLANDO, FL (November 2, 2010) — Marriott Vacation Club is teaming up with Audubon International to further the “greening” of its resorts in North America and the Caribbean region through the Audubon Green Leaf Eco-Rating Program for Hotels. With 28 resorts currently enrolled, Marriott’s signature timeshare brand expects to have all 43 resorts in the region participating in the program by next year.
“Our resorts have been utilizing green practices for years and the Audubon Green Leaf Eco-Rating Program will take it a step further by providing consistency through a respected environmental group like Audubon International,” said Dirk Schavemaker, senior vice president of resort operations for Marriott Vacation Club. “By enrolling our resorts in the Green Leaf Program, we’re confirming our enduring commitment to the environment, our communities and our Owners and guests who stay at our resorts.”
As an extension of Marriott Vacation Club’s current Green Initiative program, the Audubon Green Leaf Eco-Rating Program combines environmental awareness and education with best management practices tailored to the lodging industry. In order to achieve a “Green Leaf” rating, resorts must meet requirements for water quality, water conservation, waste minimization, resource conservation and energy efficiency. After a review of the environmental checklist, a verification audit is conducted and resorts receive a rating — from one to five “Green Leafs.”
“We’re pleased to have Marriott Vacation Club work with us to better protect and sustain our land, water, wildlife, and other natural resources,” said Fred Realbuto, Director of U.S. Green Leaf Operations at Audubon International. “Our program is unique in that it is international in scope, uses a standardized process for evaluating environmental performance, provides environmental education and conducts visits to verify eco-rated practices.”
With average occupancy rates over 90 percent, Marriott Vacation Club resorts in North America and the Caribbean region collectively welcomed over 696,000 guests through their doors in 2009.
“By promoting sustainable tourism, we have the opportunity to educate our Owners and guests while protecting our most valuable resources and ensuring a more environmentally-friendly future — a true win-win for everyone,” said Schavemaker.
This latest endeavor is part of Marriott Vacation Club’s larger Green Initiative which began at its corporate headquarters with continued roll-out to its resorts worldwide. In addition to these most recent steps, each Marriott Vacation Club resort has established its own “green team” which manages its environmental efforts. In 2009, the brand demonstrated its continued commitment to green operations by eliminating more waste from landfills through implementing recycled key cards, pens and Forest Stewardship Council certified paper for guest arrival packets at its resorts.
About Marriott Vacation Club
Marriott Vacation Club is a worldwide leader in vacation ownership. In 1984, Marriott became the first branded hospitality company to enter the timeshare industry, adding its signature quality, service and hospitality expertise. In 2006, the brand established a regional presence in Asia-Pacific through the launch of a flexible points-based program tailored to the Asian consumer and after more than 25 years of innovation and evolution, the Marriott Vacation Club Destinations program was introduced in 2010 in North America and the Caribbean. For more information, please visit www.marriottvacationclub.com. For nightly Marriott villa rentals, please visit www.marriott.com. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MarriottVacClub.
Marriott Vacation Club’s green initiatives are a key component to Marriott International’s commitment to protecting the environment. Building on more than 20 years of energy conservation experience, Marriott is committed to protecting the environment. The company’s Spirit To Preserve® environmental strategy calls for: greening our $10 billion supply chain; further reducing energy and water consumption by 25 percent per available room by 2017; expanding our portfolio of green hotels and buildings, including 300 LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design)-certified hotels, by 2015; educating and inspiring employees and guests to support the environment; and investing in innovative, large-scale conservation projects worldwide.
SOURCE: Marriott Vacation Club International