SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--“People are the heart and soul of the hotel industry,” says the American Hotel and Lodging Association, but Marriott’s Green Program is a debit against its human capital account. Host Hotels & Resorts (NYSE:HST) recently told investors that Marriott’s so-called ‘Green Choice’ programs are “positively impacting expenses,” but these programs have a damaging impact on hotel housekeepers, says a new study released by UNITE HERE:
- Housekeepers say Green Choice rooms are harder to clean and are dirtier than rooms that are cleaned daily.
- Because the rooms are so dirty, housekeepers report using larger quantities of hazardous chemicals. These products may “cause damage to eyes,” “cause severe irritation to skin,” and “irritate throat and respiratory system.”
- An analysis of 23 legacy Starwood hotels over 9 cities shows that Legacy Starwood hotels had a 49% increase in the number of injuries between 2013 and 2017.
- A survey of one hotel found 91% of housekeepers with lower seniority have been left off the schedule or lost hours as a result of Green Choice.
These programs save money for Marriott (NYSE:MAR) and hotel owners. Host Hotels & Resorts, the largest owner of Marriott hotels, told investors “we continue to see benefits from Marriott’s implementation of Make a Green Choice…” and “sustainability initiatives that provide guests with the option to forgo housekeeping services in exchange for reward points, like Marriott’s Your Room Your Choice, and Starwood’s Make a Green Choice program are also positively impacting expenses.”
Host and Marriott’s “Make a Green Choice” program that puts housekeepers at greater risk of pain and injury is a central issue as more than 7,000 hotel workers are on strike at Marriotts in San Francisco, Boston, Hawaii, San Diego, and San Jose. The other main issues are economics and new technology. Well known environmental, social, and governance (“ESG”) failings at REITs preceded the strikes.