Marriott Vacation Club Teaming up with Audubon

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.

The Audubon Green Leaf Eco-Rating Program "provides the assurance that the lodging company meets environmental best practice standards." The program began in 1998 to meet the lodging industry's desire to provide quality guest services while minimizing the impact of those services on the environment.

In order to achieve a “Green Leaf” rating, resorts must meet requirements for water quality, water conservation, waste minimization, resource conservation and energy efficiency.

"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.”

Marriott’s signature timeshare brand currently has 28 resorts enrolled in the Green Leaf program, and expects to have all 43 resorts in the region participating in the program by next year. With average occupancy rates over 90 percent, Marriott Vacation Club resorts in North America and the Caribbean region collectively took care of over 696,000 guests in 2009.

“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.”

This latest endeavor is part of Marriott Vacation Club’s larger Green Initiative which began at its corporate headquarters, and is being rolled 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, MVC demonstrated its continued commitment to green operations by eliminating waste from landfills through implementing recycled key cards, pens and Forest Stewardship Council certified paper for guest arrival packets at its resorts.

“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.

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