Our Commitment to the Brazilian Rain Forest

August 26, 2009

Amazonas School Clean ShotB Our company has joined the worldwide effort to save the Brazilian Amazon Rain Forest from the deforestation that contributes to climate change. It is something I have blogged about before. We have contributed money to build a middle school, a dormitory and a health clinic in the Juma Sustainable Development Rain Forest Reserve in Brazil. Two more schools are now being built.  We're thrilled that some of our business partners have joined us in supporting this project, including the World Travel and Tourism Council - their president Jean-Claude Baumgarten recently visited the Reserve.

Our company's President and Chief Operating Officer Arne Sorenson is spearheading our efforts and recently passed along an email from a friend who visited Juma.  In the email, the friend says, "-the people here are beginning to get a sense of self confidence that they are beginning to have a chance to create a meaningful life for themselves and their families."

We are working with the Amazonas Sustainable Foundation to support the employment, education and healthcare for the 3,000 people who live in Juma. Often the quickest and easiest way for people to sustain themselves in the past was by cutting down trees for logging. Now they are being taught alternative ways, such as how to more effectively harvest Brazil nuts and sell them for a profit.

In the email, the friend talks about a conversation he had with Raquel Luna, the project manager who lives in the Juma Reserve. She told him that the people have more self esteem now, because they, "-have a tangible opportunity to improve themselves, and for the first time they are beginning to think about a future for their children."

I'm glad Arne shared the email with me. Juma is a project I feel strongly about because it represents Marriott's "Spirit To Serve Our Communities" and "Spirit To Preserve" the planet.

I'm Bill Marriott and thanks for helping me keep Marriott on the move.

Our Commitment to the Brazilian Rain Forest


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Once again Mr. Marriott, I am grateful that your lead from the top. Many see you as Marriott key motivating factor driving Environmental Management. I admire your passion and commitment for the environment. However I must say that some hotels outside the US fail to see that commitment. I have tried earnestly to write a report on Marriott green initiatives and the support received from head-office and hotels outside the US was disappointing. Very few hotels take ‘green’ initiatives seriously and I am afraid that this attitude will undermine your kind and genuine gesture. If you would like a copy of the report I would be more than grateful to send you a copy.

Marriott offer wonderful service but the green initiatives are the tie-breaker for me!

John Humphreys, Doylestown PA

Thank you, Marriott!
I will chose to stay at Marriott every chance I get since I read about your efforts to help preserve the brazilian rainforest.

Hello Bill. This is a wonderful outreach program and a further part of what makes so many of us extremely proud to have been Marriott Associates. I value my 28 years with the company and all the followung years since my retirement.
Please let us know how we can help with this wonderful project in Juma and neighboring areas you will will reach through Amazonas Sustainable Foundation.
I know you don't ever write your blogs to appear as an agent for appeals but for those of us who would like to help, perhaps you could provide a link to the appropriate place for giving.
Respectfully, an old Management Services Associate (remember us?) Bud Springer

In recent years and definitely over the past year many people in this country have become demoralized by the actions of some CEO's, most recently in the financial, investment, housing and health care industries. Yet when we read about what Marriott Inc. is doing in the rain forests of Brazil it gives us hope that more CEO's will come to realize you can do good works while building a great company at the same time. Salute to Bill Marriott and all his people.

Hi Bill,
That's great seed to start. Maybe you can convince them to start a website that they can update the world periodically, post pictures, blogs, social, tourism, etc... learning about the rain forests will enhance its value and their value as rain forest shepards!
Regards,
Doug Weller