San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina was named by the City of San Diego's Environmental Services Department as "Recycler of the Year 2013" for their outstanding food composting and recycling program that started in January 2013. Employees at all food and beverage outlets, kitchens, and the employee cafeteria separate food and recyclables from trash. As of April, the hotel has already diverted 122 tons from the landfill including nearly 50 tons of food waste that is being turned into compost. Tuni Kyi, General Manager, notes that the overall waste diversion rate for the hotel has significantly increased from 15.9% in 2012 to almost 60% in 2013. However, they are not stopping there. According to Kyi, "By the end of 2013, our goal is to divert 75% of all our waste generated that would be disposed into the landfill to food composting and recycling."
Other recycling efforts the hotel has made include reusing paper in offices, battery and light bulb recycling, special events during Earth Week, participation in the "Clean Up Embarcadero" boardwalk volunteer event, do-it-yourself workshops on how to compost, and a smoothie sale to benefit a local sustainable organization. Additionally, when making purchasing decisions, the hotel maintains a philosophy that supports responsible, eco-friendly products, packaging, and disposal.
Such success is possible because of San Diego Marriott Marquis's dedicated Environmental Management Committee. They are a group of managers and associates who have volunteered their time and are responsible for the environmental stewardship of the hotel's sustainable business practices. Each week the committee meets to discuss current progress and ideas on recycling, energy and water conservation, sustainable foods, pollution prevention, non-toxic products, and education. The Environmental Management Committee has allowed the hotel to incorporate sustainable practices throughout each department. Kyi states, "In our sales and events efforts, we do paperless contract turnovers; we use 5-gallon water coolers instead of plastic bottles in meeting rooms, we convert old sheets to rags to use in Stewarding and Housekeeping, and the chef purchases local-grown foods whenever possible and looks for certified organic or organic practice-growing technique purveyors."
San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina has been a member of the Green Business Network since 2011, when they earned the highest honor, the Chairman's Award for conducting energy, water, and waste audits, decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, and planting native and drought-tolerant landscaping.