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The Orlando World Center Marriott is not the only resort in the chain to establish a framework that helps reduce its environmental footprint. Marriott International Inc. has developed Environmentally Conscious Hospitality Operations (ECHO), an internal program that addresses energy and water conservation, as well as carbon-footprint reduction and wildlife preservation, Plutz says. The company’s focus on sustainability has led to national and local recognition.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded Marriott International Inc. the 2007 Energy Star Sustained Excellence Award in March. Marriott also has received the Energy Star Partner of the Year Award for Excellence in Energy Management since 2004. Programs such as linen reuse, group relamping, and showerhead and light-fixture replacement have led to the Energy Star recognition.
The Orlando World Center Marriott also became part of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Green Lodging Program. To be a part of the program, hotels must: implement water-conservation measures stemming from low-flow plumbing fixtures and linen-reuse programs; install Energy Star appliances and programmable thermostats; reduce waste through recycling programs; specify high-efficiency air filters; and clean air handlers frequently.
While other Marriott hotels are working to become more environmentally responsible, Plutz knows the world’s largest Marriott might take on certain projects other hotels in the chain never have to worry about.
“We all know buildings are designed to operate one way,” Plutz says. “Then 20 years later, they’re being operated another way. Somewhere in between those two is really the way it should be done.”
Plutz and 30 other engineers are going through Marriott’s Advanced Engineering Program, which focuses on building maintenance and retrocommissioning. The engineers are working to develop standardized preventive maintenance for all of Marriott’s hotels. Looking back at the chiller project, preventive maintenance helped Plutz and his team identify inefficient operations and potential downtime and disruption. Operating without air conditioning could have led to a significant loss in business for the hotel, but that risk has produced big rewards in terms of energy savings and the bottom line.
Says Plutz, “Energy savings improves profitability. We’re partners, our owners and the management company. This project is certainly something I don’t think will apply to everybody, but this is a unique situation that came out to be a lot better than anyone really had planned on.”
Orlando World Center Marriott RESORT & Convention Center
• World’s largest Marriott
• Built in 1986
• 2,000 guest rooms
• 1.3 million registered customers annually
• 2.24 million square feet — 400,000 square feet of meeting space
• 10 restaurants and lounges
• Golf – Hawk’s Landing Golf Club, 18 holes
• More than 1 million gallons of water in pools and spas
• 200 acres of landscaped areas
Relamping Program and Fixture Replacements Garner Attention