In May 2010, Marriott announced an investment of US$ 500K in seed money over two years to support a vital water conservation program that helps protect the largest source of fresh water on the planet, located in the mountains of Southwest China. “Nobility of Nature” is designed to assist rural Sichuan Province communities with sustainable businesses, such as honey production, causing less stress on the environment. Reducing erosion and sedimentation will also improve water quality downstream in both rural and urban areas where they have hotels. Marriott works in partnership with Conservation International and local NGOs to implement the project.
Within their hotels in China, their Nobility of Nature project is also helping to drive guest and associate engagement in their water and energy conservation practices. In the
guest rooms and through television videos, guests learn of their Nobility of Nature project and practices. their
associate ambassadors, who have visited the project in Pingwu County, help build awareness and support hotel implementation with their fellow associates.
Most of Marriott’s 55 hotels in China feature organic honey harvested by the Guanba Bee Farming Cooperative, Nobility of Nature's first community to receive a grant. Proceeds from honey sales were used to purchase a truck for the cooperative. Honey revenues for the cooperative have doubled since the program began. All 128 Guanba Village families receive economic and educational benefits, including fixed assets (hives).Soon Marriott's China hotels will feature honey harvested from the program's newest site in Yingjing.
In 2010, their hotel practices in China resulted in a 13.5% year-over-year water savings per occupied room.