On the heels of the successful 2008 environmental program, whereby 24 Marriott Golf managed properties in North America and one signature property in the Caribbean became Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries, Marriott Golf, one of the world’s premier golf operators, announced that the program will be expanded internationally, requiring 17 international golf properties to become Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries by the end of 2009.
Expanding Marriott Golf’s environmental program to include its international portfolio of properties further positions the Company as the industry’s premier “green” golf management organization, while reinforcing Marriott International’s worldwide commitment to environmental consciousness.
Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries, which enable golf facilities to protect the environment by enhancing precious natural areas and wildlife habitats, are part of a system wide commitment by Marriott International, Inc. (MAR:NYSE) to promote environmental stewardship. In order to achieve Audubon Certification, a golf facility is required to demonstrate that it is maintaining the highest degree of environmental quality in many areas including Environmental Planning, Wildlife & Habitat Management, Outreach & Education, Chemical Use Reduction & Safety, Water Conservation, and Water Quality Management.
Marriott’s global Audubon program includes 23 golf courses at 17 international golf properties, highlighted by The Abaco Club on Winding Bay in the Bahamas and The Mallorca Marriott Son Antem Resort & Spa in Mallorca.
“With so much success in 2008, expanding the program to include our international properties was the next logical step and truly elevates our position as an environmental leader in worldwide golf course management,” said Robert Waller, senior director of grounds, Marriott Golf. “We are committed to promoting the game of golf in an eco-friendly way, and working with Audubon allows us to do that while also maintaining the integrity of our premier courses.”
“Marriott’s global commitment to the environment is unwavering, and we are very pleased to expand the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program to our 17 international golf properties,” said Ed Fuller, president & managing director of international lodging at Marriott International. “Audubon Certification speaks volumes to a golf course’s dedication to protecting the environment and wildlife, and we take great pride in joining this important program.”
Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries for golf courses, which are endorsed by the United States Golf Association, provide information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat and protect natural resources. Each of these properties will achieve certification through a variety of methods, such as the development of water conservation plans; converting formerly managed turf into wildlife habitat; constructing nesting boxes for native birds; the creation of butterfly gardens; and much more.
“We are very pleased with the enhanced level of commitment Marriott is showing by expanding Audubon Certification to their 17 international golf properties,” said Kevin Fletcher, executive director of Audubon International. “This program directly enables golf courses to protect the environment by improving the quality of land, water, and air, along with conserving natural resources and protecting wildlife habitats. These proven environmental management practices will help preserve the natural heritage of the game of golf for many generations to come.”
Marriott Golf manages 60 golf courses at 44 locations in 13 countries, offering more than 1,000 holes of championship golf. Marriott has been managing golf operations since 1970 and is one of the world’s premier golf operators. Marriott provides golf management and consulting services to a variety of operational environments including resort, private club, daily fee, golf school and franchises. www.marriottgolf.com