corporate social responsibility and the sustainable tourism practices of marriott international n.
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Corporate Social Responsibility and the Sustainable Tourism Practices of Marriott International. Marriott International. Cynthia S. Deale. Learning Outcomes. After completing this case study, learners should be able to:

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learning outcomes
Learning Outcomes

After completing this case study, learners should be able to:

  • define basic concepts of CSR and how a company can apply these in its internal practices as well externally with a variety of partners;
  • describe the TBL approach to sustainability in lodging operations in terms of the interconnections between the economy, the natural environment, and the social and cultural realm, and specifically CSR;
  • explain best practices for CSR that can be implemented in lodging operations;
  • identify opportunities and challenges and the give and take involved in balancing the TBL approach to practicing sustainability in lodging operations, particularly while embracing CSR throughout an operation; and
  • suggest additional sustainability practices that would be useful and desired in the future in lodging operations.

This case study features the sustainability practices of Marriott International, Inc., focusing on its corporate social responsibility (CSR).

The company seeks to address the concerns of its varied stakeholders and uses the framework of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) (2013).

This case recognises the Marriott company’s success in applying sustainable tourism practices, through its CSR efforts. (Marriott International, Inc., 2012).


In 2013, Marriott had

over 3,700 lodging properties,

more than 300,000 employees around the world, and

reported $12 billion in sales (for the fiscal year 2011).

Marriott operates and franchises hotels under 18 brands:

Marriott Hotels & Resorts, The Ritz-Carlton, JW Marriott, Bulgari, EDITION, Renaissance, Gaylord Hotels, Autograph Collection, AC Hotels by Marriott, Courtyard, Fairfield Inn & Suites, SpringHill Suites, Residence Inn, TownePlace Suites, Marriott Executive Apartments, Marriott Vacation Club, Grand Residences by Marriott, and The Ritz-Carlton Destination Club (Marriott News Center, 2013).

key concepts case analysis
Key Concepts & Case Analysis

Key concepts

Case Analysis

Marriott’s CSR efforts reflect core values and embrace :

Business values



Marriott’s environmental vision and goals provide a context for the case

  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • Triple Bottom Line (TBL) sustainability
  • Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)
  • Sustainability as a “way of traveling.”
  • Sustainable tourism
future outlook
Future Outlook

Marriott continues its CSR efforts in its hotels to:

  • reduce energy and water consumption, waste production, and the carbon footprint;
  • improve its supply chain;
  • expand its number of green hotels;
  • engage guests and associates in sustainable practices.

Marriott extends its CSR efforts beyond its hotels

  • to embrace rainforest preservation and water conservation

Marriott continues to update and upgrade its CSR efforts

  • pushing forward to improve and expand upon its work in all areas of sustainability.
study questions
Study Questions
  • Sometimes there is resistance to practicing social and environmental sustainability in CSR efforts because these practices must be balanced with profitability. What can various stakeholders do to help ensure that this balance—the TBL of people-planet-profits-- is the focus of sustainability efforts?
  • Compare and contrast Marriott‘s CSR efforts with those of another prominent lodging or hospitality company. Use references to make the comparison.
  • One focus of sustainability is to buy local and fair trade goods, including foods, beverages, household goods, and furniture. Write a plan for purchasing for the lodging industry, or another segment of the hospitality and tourism industry, based on current and future trends in the global economy, with a focus on CSR and the TBL of sustainability. Cite at least two references.
study questions1
Study Questions
  • Globalisation often refers to the increased mobility of goods, services, labour, technology, and capital throughout the world and this process has increased dramatically with the advent of new technologies. This interconnectedness increases interdependence and can create greater uniformity across cultures and societies and promote greater unity and openness (Gizewski, 2009). Discuss the benefits and drawbacks to this globalisation for CSR among those who operate hospitality and tourism businesses. Cite at least two references.
  • Marriott’s CSR efforts are well integrated into its company culture and extensive. Suggest CSR efforts that you might engage in if you were the manager of a lodging operation. Base your ideas on what you had read about Marriott’s CSR efforts, extend your ideas using ideas from at least two other companies, and explain why you believe that these CSR efforts would be effective.