Category Archives: Brand Identity

United States Carbon: Venture-Backed Companies Put Social Impact on Par with Financial Returns

Governor Markell, Entrepreneurs and DE State Legislators celebrate the first DE benefit corporations

Today, Delaware Governor Jack Markell and Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock welcomed a record 17 companies to register as Delaware benefit corporations on the statute’s first effective date.

Registering companies include popular home goods brand Method Products, fastest-growing organic baby food brand Plum Organics, innovative paper company New Leaf Paper, leading fair trade food business Alter Eco and Farmigo, the world’s first online personal delivery farmer’s market. Venture capital investors, corporate investors and parent companies of these businesses include San Francisco Equity Partners and European eco-leader Ecover (Method), American icon Campbell Soup Company (Plum), Benchmark Capital and RSF Social Finance (Farmigo), Pacific Community Investors (New Leaf Paper) and Good Capital (Alter Eco).

Benefit corporations meet a market need and a societal need,” said Governor Jack Markell. “They have the potential to create high quality jobs and improve the quality of life in our communities.”

“B Corp re-imagines corporate governance in a way that drives value creation for all and creates lasting companies,” said Michael Eisenberg of Benchmark Capital.

Delaware is the 19th state (plus the District of Columbia) to enact benefit corporation legislation, but as legal home of most venture-backed businesses, the majority of publicly-traded companies, and nearly two-thirds of the Fortune 500, it is the most important state for businesses that seek access to venture capital, private equity and public capital markets. Current Delaware law requires corporations to prioritize the financial interests of shareholders over the interests of workers, communities and the environment. Benefit corporations enjoy legal protection to create value for society, not just for shareholders, while meeting higher standards of accountability and transparency.

“Part of Method’s mission is to show that business can be a force for social and environmental good. Delaware benefit corporation law enables responsible businesses like Method to practice a more enlightened form of corporate governance that includes not only financial objectives, but social and environmental objectives,” said Adam Lowry, Co-Founder and Chief Greenskeeper of Method Products.

“Adopting this legislation is a natural extension of how we do business at Plum,” said Neil Grimmer Co-founder & President of Plum Organics. “We are committed to providing little ones with the very best food from the very first bite, and a publicly stated benefit recommits us to that core value. We are honored to be among the first to reincorporate as a benefit corporation, and hope today will set the stage for many like-minded companies to join us.”

In recognition of what members of the Delaware Bar have called a “seismic shift in corporate law,” more than 600 business leaders from the community of B Corps have signed an Open Letter inviting their colleagues to join them in redefining success in business. Signatories include well-known businesses like Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s and high growth businesses like online marketplace Etsy and eyewear company Warby Parker; the Open Letter to Business Leaders can be read at www.bcorporation.net/open-letter-to-business-leaders.

Benefit corporations are a new kind of corporation legally required to: 1) have a corporate purpose to create a material positive impact on society and the environment; 2) expand fiduciary duty to require consideration of the interests of workers, community and the environment; and 3) publicly report annually on its overall social and environmental performance using a comprehensive, credible, independent and transparent third party standard. Delaware’s statute does not require use of a third party standard and only requires reporting to shareholders, not to the general public.

Four other companies, SustainAbility, Honest Company, GOOD Inc. and Performance Management Institute, have also committed to registering as benefit corporations in the coming year.

“With the passage of Delaware Benefit Corporation legislation, the path is now clear to scale business as a force for good,” said Andrew Kassoy, B Lab Co Founder. “It’s great to see venture capital and corporate investors taking advantage of this new tool to scale mission driven businesses on the very first day.”

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

United States Carbon: Benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility

benefits-of-corporate-social-responsibility

 

No longer is the term ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ a novel idea amongst businesses. A 2011 sustainability study by MIT showed that sustainability, in the US at least, now plays a permanent part in 70% of corporate agendas.

Organisations such as Unilever haven’t simply been championing sustainable business as a form of corporate philanthropy. Since implementing their Sustainable Living Plan, they have increased growth and profits. Quite simply, doing good is good for business.

How have Unilever achieved this growth? By being a responsible, sustainable business, they have saved money (energy, packaging etc.), won over consumers, fostered innovation and have managed to inspire and engage their people.

Benefits of corporate social responsibility

The Unilever success story is well publicised, but it can be hard to identify with a business of such size. However, the great news is that even the smallest of organisations benefit when putting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) at the heart of their business.

Whilst profit may be the end goal for any business, responsible businesses have managed to attract more investors, reduced their risks and addressed stakeholder concerns. With there barely being a day in the news where a business hasn’t made an embarrassing error of judgement, more interest is being show in business demonstrating Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

The benefits from adopting CSR can be less obvious than say, helping the environment. For example, a survey from Net Impact found that 53% of workers said that “a job where I can make an impact” was important to their happiness. Interestingly, 35% would take a pay cut to work for a company committed to CSR.

Examples of corporate social responsibility

CSR isn’t about giving money to charity, or just asking people not to print emails for the sake of Mother Earth! First and foremost, businesses exist to make profit, and this isn’t meant to change as a goal. The reality is that no organisation operates in isolation; there is interaction with employees, customers, suppliers and stakeholders. CSR is about managing these relationships to produce an overall positive impact on society, whilst making money.

So how do you put CSR into action? Below are a few examples of what businesses around the World are doing.

Making ‘green’ fashionable: The Body Shop

The Body Shop forged a reputation as a responsible business long before it became fashionable. They were one of the first companies to publish a full report on their CSR initiatives thanks to founder Anita Roddick’s passionate beliefs of environmental protection, animal rights, community trade and human rights. The company has gone so far as to start The Body Shop Foundation, which supports fellow pioneers who would normally struggle to get funding.

Over 20 years ago the company set up a fair trade programme, well before the term ‘Fair Trade’ started to become popular on supermarket shelves. Of course, The Body Shop is famous for its anti-animal testing stance. Whilst this makes testing their products more difficult, especially in markets such as the USA and Japan, their position has created a loyal customer base. The results? From opening her first store in 1976, 30 years later Annit Roddick’s empire was taken over by L’Oreal for £652m, where it has continued to make annual profits of over £40m.

Putting the fun into CSR: Walt Disney

Moving beyond making cartoons, today the Walt Disney Company additionally owns the ESPN and ABC networks, holiday resorts and publishing businesses to name a few. The result is a lot of social and environmental impact, as well as the ability to influence a huge amount of people.

Importantly, Disney recognised that you can’t entertain a family on the one hand and then disregard the world and circumstances in which they live. Acting responsibly gives the company credibility and authenticity. Accordingly, they have set themselves strict environmental targets and disclose their figures in the Global Reporting Initiative which provides a comprehensive set of indicators covering the economic, environmental and ethical impacts of a company’s performance

Setting ambitious financial targets together with environmental performance targets may sound like an oxymoron, but Disney has managed to do this with initiatives such as running Disneyland trains on biodiesel made with cooking oil from the resort’s hotels. They also created the ‘Green standard’ to engage and motivate employees in reducing their environmental impact when working, having meetings, travelling and eating lunch. With more than 60,000 staff, the results are enormous when everyone is pulling in the same direction.

A clear example of financially benefiting from reducing environmental impact is made with this simply statistic: a 10% reduction in the corporation’s electricity use is enough to power the annual consumption of 3 of their theme parks. Whilst their CSR efforts may have taken a great deal of organisation, dedication and investment, 2012 was a record year for Disney’s profits.

Haagen-Dazs and honeybees

This might sound odd at first, but honeybees are an important part of the global food chain as they pollinate one-third of all the food we eat! With numbers lower than ever, this is bad news for companies such as Haagen-Dazs and their all-natural ice creams. To raise awareness, they created a website, started a social media campaign and donated a portion of proceedings to research.

As you can see, a campaign like works fantastically from a number of different angles. Not only is it helping society as a whole, in keeping with the company’s CSR goals, it helps to show a human side to consumers, which can’t hurt sales. In fact, research shows consumers are more likely to pay a premium for a product linked to a charity donation.

How can CSR translate to a smaller business? The issues are the same, just on a smaller scale. The key is to start by conducting a review of what impacts your business has. This could be from environmental issues (energy use, waste etc.), to how your employees are treated, your supply chain and the local community. Below is a look at some examples a small business would recognise, and could act on.

The environment

Even the smallest of office-based businesses can make big changes when it comes to the environment. When you consider an average office worker can use up to 11 sheets of paper a day, are you really reusing and recycling as much as you could?

A common lapse is forgetting to turn off your PC’s monitor come home time. Left on overnight, that is the equivalent of printing 800 A4 pages! Multiply that by the varying IT equipment in your office and you’re looking at a lot of unnecessary energy use.

The above examples ideally illustrate how thinking sustainability isn’t just good for the environment; it saves overheads and helps the bottom-line too.

Staff welfare

For a smaller business, extravagances can be hard to justify. However, happier staff doesn’t simply mean bonuses and pay rises.

What employees value is participation: do they get a fair say? Keeping staff updated on the business and inviting opinions keeps them motivated and loyal. Investing in them with internal and external training helps them do a better job and helps in retraining them, too. Would you rather invest less and have a poor performing, unmotivated team with a high attrition rate instead?

Community

You can incorporate your staff welfare plans with your aims to boost community relationships too. If you’d like to support a local charity, why not let your staff vote for their favourite? It’s now common for businesses to allocate charity days where staff get hands-on with their chosen charity, the effects going far further than monetary donation.

In uncertain financial times, employment rates are always an issue. Could your business offer part-time work or training to those in long-term employment, or students looking for their first work experience?

Finally, there’s the supply chain. Do you have a policy to purchase locally? With the internet opening up the world, it’s surprising how far away some suppliers are. Not only could sourcing locally boost the local economy, you’re helping the environment by avoiding unnecessary travel and consequent emissions.

It’s surprising when you break down your organisation’s activities to see how many people are affected by it. It’s also clear that CSR isn’t a cynical marketing ploy for big businesses; there are tangible benefits to be had by all. The key is not to treat CSR as an ‘initiative’, but to simply view it as the way you do business. Applying CSR is just redefining aspects of what you’re already doing; it needn’t be exotic or costly. Instead, start small and gain momentum.

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

United States Carbon: Smart Power Opens Minds, Opens Markets

“Why give money to people that don’t like us?”

“We’re broke at home, so how can we afford to send money to people abroad?”

These are the two most oft-repeated objections heard by many US senators and congressmen to spending money on international affairs programs. So why would the US Chamber of Commerce and the US Global Leadership Coalition (USGLC), a coalition of over four hundred businesses and non-governmental organizations along with over one hundred thirty retired generals and admirals, call on Congress this week to do exactly that?

It’s just smart business.

A senior sales executive at a major US company recently told me, “We’re the best in the world at designing the next generation of products in [our industry]. But we’re terrible at figuring out the next generation market for those products.” For many American companies, from aviation to pharmaceuticals, the lead-time for product development can take decades. According to this executive, “As a company, we need to be in these developing markets now…investing through our corporate responsibility and citizenship programs,” she said. “That’s why we need partnerships with NGOs [non-governmental organizations] and folks like USAID…they’ve got intimate knowledge, on the ground in developing nations and can help us build trust in those countries now so we don’t show up late to the party after the Chinese beat us to the punch.”

Programs funded by the International Affairs Budget create enabling environments for American businesses to succeed in overseas markets today.   

Unlike many of our counterparts in Europe and Asia, American businesses don’t always think about export markets.

That has to change. “Outside our borders are markets that represent 80 percent of the world’s purchasing power, 92 percent of its economic growth, and 95 percent of its consumers,” testified John Murphy, Vice President of International Affairs for the US Chamber of Commerce, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday.

As these data indicate, the American economy simply can’t afford to ignore export markets any more. In fact, according to Murphy, many American businesses already grasp this reality and take advantage of it, “One in three manufacturing jobs depends on exports, and one in three acres on American farms is planted for hungry consumers overseas. Nearly 300,000 small and medium-sized businesses export, accounting for more than one-third of all merchandise exports.”

The most forward-looking companies increasingly use their own “smart power” partnerships with international development agencies and NGOs as a way of opening markets. While a country uses smart power when it intelligently combines hard military power with soft – diplomatic, development, economic – power, companies combine their hard power – revenues, contracts, supply chains – with their soft power – brand, corporate citizenship, public-private partnership, philanthropy. A senior corporate responsibility officer at a major US corporation recently described the use of, “CSR and philanthropy in the ‘pre-competitive’ stage,” as a way of investing in new markets before his products and those of his competitors have reached developing countries in order to build both trust and purchasing capacity. These smart power partnerships are another way the international affairs budget pays dividends for American companies.

In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Bill Lane, head of Caterpillar‘s Washington Office and Co-President of the USGLC, pointed out that many developing countries have limited ability buy American products and services today. “In these countries the road to development – and the investment, commerce, and trade that follow –may begin (literally) with a road,” testified Lane, “referring to the basic infrastructure that must be improved and, in some cases, created from scratch using machinery and expertise often supplied by companies like Caterpillar.”

Lane said businesses need, “conditions where there are stable governments, transparency, predictability, adequate financial infrastructure, free market economic policies that allow for competition, and rule of law.” Lane voiced the collective conviction of USGLC’s four hundred business and NGO members that, “…programs funded in the International Affairs Budget are vitally important for America’s economic future, national security, and global influence.”

Both Lane and Murphy urged America not “unilaterally disarm,” in the face of growing competition from Chinese and other potential competitors. In their view, the smart power combinations of American businesses, NGOs, and government agencies can level the playing field abroad and expand the economy at home. For firms like Caterpillar, the math is simple, according to Lane, “The more trucks and tractors we sell overseas, the more jobs… in places like Peoria where those vehicles are manufactured.”

Modest investments – the international affairs budget represents just over one percent of the federal budget – can pay big rewards for shareholders, America, and the world. After all, as Bill Gates has said, “Investing in the world’s poorest people is the smartest way our government spends money.”

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

United States Carbon: Business Leaders Call to Action on U.S. Climate Policy by Signing Climate Declaration

Two weeks after President Obama announced plans to address climate change in a major speech, large American businesses are continuing to express their support for U.S. policy action on climate change. Eight more leading businesses, including several multi-billion dollar enterprises, have signed the Climate Declaration, which calls on U.S. policymakers to capture the American economic opportunity of addressing climate change.

The new signatories include leaders in the IT, healthcare, media, hospitality and consumer products sectors: Akamai Technologies, AMD, Dignity Health, K2 Sports, Participant Media, Saunders Hotel Group and The Weather Company. In addition, Mars, Incorporated, one of the nation’s largest private companies, recently endorsed the Climate Declaration when it joined CeresBICEP (Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy) network in June.

By signing the Climate Declaration, these business leaders join more than 600 other companies, including Starbucks, Nestle, adidas and Patagonia, in asserting, “Tackling climate change is one of America’s greatest economic opportunities of the 21st century … We cannot risk our kids’ futures on the false hope that the vast majority of scientists are wrong … There must be a coordinated effort to combat climate change—with America taking the lead here at home.”

“For us, climate change isn’t a political issue; it’s a scientific issue, and the science tells us we have to act,” said David Kenny, chairman and CEO of The Weather Company. “The Weather Company believes there is an economic opportunity as well as a moral obligation as a good corporate citizen in responding to climate change, and we will continue to inform our viewers and users about the science behind this important issue.”

“Responding to climate change is not only an imperative for the U.S. economy, but it is also an important issue of public health,” said Susan Vickers, RSM, vice president of community health at Dignity Health, the largest hospital system in California. “Reducing the harmful pollutants from power plants will improve air quality in our communities, which are already experiencing the destructive effects of pollution and the changing climate.”

“While there is no debating the scientific evidence of climate change, it is certain there is more debate ahead on the policies needed to combat its effects,” said Anne Kelly, director of BICEP. “The business community has been a strong supportive voice behind climate action, and you can see that reflected in this broad array of business leaders who have joined us in signing the Climate Declaration.”

Over the course of an ongoing campaign organized by Ceres and BICEP, other businesses, as well as individuals, are encouraged to sign the Declaration and join the call to action, along with other advocacy efforts. For more information about the Climate Declaration, please visit www.climatedeclaration.us.

About Ceres
Ceres is an advocate for sustainability leadership. Ceres mobilizes a powerful coalition of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy. Ceres also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $11 trillion. For more information, visit www.ceres.org.

About BICEP
BICEP (Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy) is an advocacy coalition of businesses committed to working with policy makers to pass meaningful energy and climate legislation enabling a rapid transition to a low-carbon, 21st century economy – an economy that will create new jobs and stimulate economic growth while stabilizing our planet’s fragile climate. BICEP is a project of Ceres. For more information, visit www.ceres.org/bicep.

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

United States Carbon: UPS Reports Reduction of Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions

UPS (NYSE:UPS) today released its annual Sustainability Report announcing that while the total number of packages shipped in 2012 increased, the company reduced its total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Environmental achievements included ground and air fuel savings, increased investments in alternative fuel vehicles, and retooled routes that shaved 12.1 million miles from ground deliveries.

“UPS also set a new alternative fuel goal,” said David Abney, UPS Chief Operating Officer. “By 2017, the company will reach one billion miles driven by alternative fuel/advanced technology vehicles – more than double the previous 400 million mile goal.”

For the second year in a row, UPS earned superior credentials for reporting transparency: A Sustainability Report that fulfills the Global Reporting Initiative’s requirements for an A+ level as well as third-party assurance of its report and greenhouse gas data from Deloitte & Touche LLP. Less than 20% of all GRI Sustainability Reports are A+.

“Our industry-leading accomplishments showcase innovative technology and global operational efficiency gains as well as world-class credentials for rock-solid data,” said Scott Wicker, UPS Chief Sustainability Officer. “The report’s theme, More of What Matters, sharpens UPS’s focus on how to make the most measurable positive impact through sustainability business practices and logistics expertise.”

Highlights of the 2012 report include:

  • Reduction in the absolute amount of global greenhouse gas emissions from operations and purchased energy of 2.1 percent compared to 2011
  • Rapid expansion of UPS’s dedicated global healthcare infrastructure to more than 6 million square feet (0.557 million m2)
  • A Global Forestry Initiative to plant more than 1 million trees by the end of 2013
  • Humanitarian relief efforts in 35 countries, with related in-kind donations valued at US$2.6 million
  • Total Charitable Contributions and United Way donations of US$97.5 million, up from 2011 by US$4 million
  • 1.8 million volunteer hours donated by UPS employees, friends and families, a new record

Noteworthy in 2012 is that UPS Airlines, which represents 57 percent of UPS’s carbon footprint, reduced its fuel use and carbon production. Air shipping volume rose 4.8 percent year over year, while fuel use dropped 1.3 percent.

One of the cornerstones of UPS’s environmental strategy is to support the development and use of lower-emission alternative fuels. Vehicles represent approximately 35 percent of UPS’s carbon footprint. UPS is accelerating its testing, purchase and deployment of new-generation vehicles. Between 2000 and the end of 2012, the alternative fuel/advanced technology fleet has logged 295 million miles with an ambitious new goal of 1 billion miles set for 2017. In 2012, this growing fleet drove 49 million miles, a 43 percent increase compared to 2011.

Earlier this year, UPS announced plans to add nearly 1,000 liquefied natural gas (LNG) tractors in the next two years, expanding its current fleet of 2,700 alternative fuel and technologically advanced vehicles. The fleet today includes all-electric, electric hybrids, hydraulic hybrids, natural gas (LNG, compressed natural gas), propane, biomethane, and light-weight fuel-saving composite body vehicles.

The new Sustainability Report also cites the greenhouse gas reductions, fuel savings and miles avoided through the innovative use of technology. For example, telematics data fed through vehicle sensors helped UPS cut more than 206 million minutes of engine idling time last year, saving more than 1.5 million gallons of fuel. Routing technology increased pickup and delivery stops per mile, saving 12.1 million miles of driving which equates to approximately 1.3 million gallons of fuel.

Details of UPS’s GHG initiatives and all of our sustainability programs can be found in the report available at www.ups.com/sustainability.

UPS (NYSE:UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including the transportation of packages and freight; the facilitation of international trade, and the deployment of advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. The company also has a world-class sustainability program committed to positive social, community and environmental impact. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. UPS’s Corporate Sustainability Report and related information can be found at www.ups.com/sustainability and www.pressroom.ups.com.

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

United States Carbon: Harvard Business School Executive Education offers Corporate Social Responsibility Program

Increasingly, senior corporate executives must find new ways to address the social, economic, and environmental effects of doing business while balancing conflicting demands on their attention, time, and resources. Emphasizing the alignment of corporate social responsibility (CSR) with business strategy in large established companies, this program helps you define priorities, integrate social responsibility throughout your business, and build social and business value. You will strengthen your ability to define and implement powerful CSR strategies that position the firm, its reputation, and its way of doing business for enduring success.

What You Can Expect

Corporate Social Responsibility explores the challenges and opportunities of current CSR models, as well as the next generation of issues that senior business leaders will face. New frameworks and concepts will help you sharpen your program’s focus and integrate social responsibility throughout operations in order to position your enterprise for higher levels of success.

Your Course of Study

This intensive program focuses on the practices of large companies that have successfully created business and social value through focused, aligned, and integrated CSR programs. It provides the practical knowledge and insight you need to improve decision making, leverage partnerships, manage risk, and measure performance.

Who Is Right for the Program

The program is specifically designed for senior executives who direct corporate social responsibility programs or oversee departments such as public affairs, philanthropy, sustainability, environmental health and safety, or community affairs. Senior officers with profit-and-loss responsibilities will benefit from attending.

Social Enterprise Initiative

By integrating social enterprise-related research, teaching, and activities into daily life at HBS, the Social Enterprise Initiative plays a critical role in supporting the School’s mission to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. Visit the HBS Social Enterprise Initiative website for more information.

To learn more about United States Carbon and our energy reduction technology that will help you become greener, cleaner, and more socially responsible please contact us at (855) 393-7555 or visit our website: www.unitedstatescarbon.com

Marriott’s Sustainable Hotel Development Boosts Economies and Creates Jobs

As Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE:MAR) grows beyond its current global footprint of more than 3,800 hotels in over 70 countries, the company is focusing on development which will provide sustainable economic activity and local employment.   In coming years, more than half of Marriott’s new hotels will be located in emerging markets where tourism is a major driver of new jobs and economic development.  In its just-released 2013 Sustainability Report Update, which updates the company’s 2011-2012 Sustainability Report, Marriott noted substantial progress in job creation in underserved and emerging markets.

Two major sustainable development projects include Marriott’s first hotel in Sub-Saharan Africa—and the largest in Rwanda.  The hotel, which is expected to open in 2014, represents the start of Marriott’s aggressive growth plans in Sub-Saharan Africa where the company plans to help fuel the Rwandan travel industry and train young women through a partnership with  Kigali Marriott Hotel

In addition, the Marriott Hotel Port-au-Prince in Haiti is expected to open in early 2015, making it the first four-star branded hotel in Haiti. The hotel is expected to help boost the local economy by supporting local vendors, supporting hospitality training and generating more than 200 new hospitality jobs.

“Sustainable hotel development generates opportunity for Marriott in exciting new markets and supports economic development in emerging economies by boosting local tourism, creating new jobs, and supporting local businesses,” said Arne Sorenson, Marriott International’s president and chief executive officer. “While we invite our guests to ‘See the World’ through our portfolio of hotels around the globe, we want them to know how Marriott is working toward a more inclusive and sustainable future.”

Mari Snyder, vice president of social responsibility for Marriott, noted that the company recently collaborated with the German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ) to research the economic and community benefit of hotels. “Our initial study of the JW Marriott Lima Hotel in Peru, which employs 350 associates and features 300 guestrooms and 10 meeting rooms, shows that the hotel contributes more than $10 million annually to the Peruvian economy through expenditures on salaries, supplies and services. That was a higher value than anticipated, given prior GIZ research of the tourism and hospitality industries. Hotels are a dynamic factor in the development equation.”

The results of Marriott’s 2013 Sustainability Report Update are reported to shareholders, customers, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), Marriott’s Board of Directors and associates. This allows Marriott to inform critical stakeholders about the company’s priorities and actions, and create opportunities to address substantive issues through partnerships and collaboration.

In the report, Marriott captures results from 2012 in the areas of environmental, economic and social responsibility performance.  Highlights include:

Environment

  • A nearly 12 percent reduction in water consumption per cubic meter per occupied room; a 16.5 percent energy reduction per square meter of conditioned space and a more than 13 percent reduction in Greenhouse Gas Emissions[1].
  • Growth in the total number of LEED Certified, Registered, and Volume Program hotels in Marriott’s portfolio to 115, an increase of nearly 20 hotels in 2012.
  • Becoming an official hotel partner of Clean the World®, a nonprofit that collects, recycles and distributes partially used soaps and other hygiene amenities globally to communities in need. Marriott is the number one hotel chain in the Clean the World portfolio, having collected more than 75,000 pounds of soap and 50,000 pounds of amenities.
  • Celebrating the four-year anniversary of the company’s $2 million commitment to the Juma Sustainable Development Reserve in Amazonas, Brazil to protect 1.4 million acres of rainforest and local residents.
  • Helping to protect a major source of fresh water in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province through the company’s Nobility of Nature program in partnership with Conservation International. The initiative avoids deforestation, erosion and promotes sustainable jobs through beekeeping and honey production.
  • Contributing more than $23 million in cash and in-kind donations to organizations worldwide while associates raised an additional $4.3 million for their communities during company-sponsored events and volunteered nearly 460,000 hours valued at $10.2 million[2].

Diversity & Inclusion and Youth Employment

  • Implementing a foundational cross-cultural workshop and Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI), a leadership tool designed to promote diversity awareness by measuring an individual’s or group’s fundamental orientation to cultural differences.
  • Promoting women’s empowerment through training programs for leaders.  Women represented 42 percent of participants in our Leadership Excellence Program, 18 percent of participants in the General Managers One Week Program, 33 percent of participants in the Executive Development Program, and 46 percent in the newly launched Professional Leadership Program.
  • Supporting youth hospitality career development through programs such as Youth Career Initiative (YCI), and Marriott’s World of Opportunity Europe initiative that works with charitable partners that received €300,000 (approximately $400,000) cash, €100,000 (approximately $130,000) in-kind, and nearly 4,000 hours of volunteerism for sponsoring more than 250 young people across Europe.

Human Rights

  • Completing the “Human Rights and the Protection of Children” training of nearly 200,000 Marriott associates worldwide.
  • Helping to secure grants totaling $550,000 from The U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. The funds help survivors of human trafficking lead self-sustaining lives through skills learned in the hotel-based YCI hospitality training program. In 2012, YCI’s first graduating class in Mexico City included 11 survivors of trafficking from local shelters.