“As we continue to execute on our mission and vision, sustainability supports our three strategic principles: high-quality hotels in urban and destination resort locations, innovative asset management, and conservative capital structure. Through our sustainability objectives and initiatives, we aim to increase shareholder returns by implementing programs designed to reduce utility consumption and increase profitability in our portfolio of hotels."
Mark W. Brugger
Chief Executive Officer, DiamondRock Hospitality Company
Our sixth sustainability report highlights our approach and progress for material sustainability issues as real estate investment trust (REIT) with a portfolio of full-service hotel properties in the United States located in key gateway cities and destination resort locations. To assist readers, we have included a GRI Content Index and provided performance tables with key environmental, social and governance (ESG) metrics.
Strategy, Engagement and Governance
DiamondRock remains conscious of the investment community's increasing attention to ESG reporting; we are committed to enhancing the value of our sustainability platform through open and transparent communications with our stakeholders.
Our sustainability objectives are designed to support our Company's vision and strategic principles through measures to:
- Reduce energy and water consumption,
- Increase profitability at our hotels,
- Proactively manage environmental risks, and
- Make positive contributions to communities.
As a lodging REIT, success requires collaborating with key stakeholders (stockholders, employees, management companies, brand companies, suppliers, partners, communities and industry associations) and working with our management companies to identify opportunities that help us achieve our sustainability objectives.
Our corporate governance guidelines define our Board of Directors’ structure, objectives, procedures, qualification and compensation. Our Board of Directors’ committees are reviewed annually by our Board and are modified as appropriate to ensure that they comply with current regulations in addition to aligning properly with the needs of our organization and stakeholders. For more information, we invite you to review our Corporate Governance page.
To support our sustainability objectives, our Executive Officers actively engage with our Asset Management, Investment and Design, Development, Construction, and Legal teams to review operating performance at hotels and evaluate capital expenditures opportunities.
DiamondRock’s Sustainability and Human Rights Policies also support our mission and ESG objectives. Our Sustainability Policy focuses on collaboration with stakeholders to create value and reduce risk through our sustainability initiatives; promotion of environmental stewardship practices; health, safety, and well-being of employees, contractors, and hotel guests; and community engagement through the support of local charities and the monitoring of community impacts. Our Human Rights Policy focuses on conducting our business in a manner consistent with the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labor Organization’s Fundamental Conventions. This includes a commitment to ensure respect, equality, and inclusiveness of employees, and the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights by third-party management companies.
2025 Sustainability Targets and Performance
In 2018, we announced our portfolio-wide energy, carbon and water targets. These environmental targets aim to reduce energy, carbon and water intensity by 25%, 40% and 25% respectively by 2025 from our 2011 baseline. (Our 2025 energy and carbon reduction are based on intensity per square foot. Our 2025 water target is based on intensity per occupied room.)
Through these targets, we aim to continuously improve our environmental performance throughout our portfolio of properties. Since 2011, we have reduced energy intensity by 17%, emissions intensity by 32% and water intensity by 22%.
Sustainability Investments and Portfolio Management
Across our portfolio, we continue to make strategic investments in sustainability and emissions reduction projects. We also engage in preventive maintenance and invest in enhancements to roofs, façades, and structural property elements to protect against weather-related risks. Additionally, we monitor energy consumption and consider other environmental risks specific to the locations and regions where our hotels are located.
In addition to the sustainability investments we make, we take a strategic approach to portfolio management by continuing to conduct a portfolio-wide water risk assessment using the World Resources Institute’s Aqueduct tool and Ecolab Water Risk Monetizer. We plan to continue monitoring potential changes in the cost and availability of water in key markets, such as California, and leveraging the water risk assessments to inform future decision making on capital expenditures for water efficiency projects.
In 2018, we continued to support the Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking study and encouraged the companies that manage our owned hotels to participate. We will be using the results to engage with our management companies on performance and to help support the industry initiative to develop common hotel benchmarks for energy, greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption.
Sustainability at our Hotels
Our hotels continuously strive to improve their environmental performance through the implementation of sustainability practices, installation of equipment to reduce overall impacts and usage of responsible products.
In 2018, several of our hotels, including Atlanta Marriott Alpharetta, Westin Boston Waterfront, Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, Sheraton Suites at Key West, The Lexington New York City, Hilton Garden Inn New York/Times Square Central, Vail Marriott Mountain Resort & Spa, and Salt Lake City Marriott Downtown, installed LED lighting retrofits, resulting in improved efficiency and reduced energy usage, and a savings of approximately $1.1 million in electricity costs. The Courtyard Denver Downtown also installed a new energy management system to improve the controls for the variable frequency drive associated with the hotel’s mechanical equipment.
To reduce water consumption, Vail Marriott Mountain Resort & Spa replaced toilets with low- flush technology. This retrofit will reduce water usage by 25% at the property.
As we work towards increasing energy and water efficiency and decreasing waste to landfills, we will continue engaging with our properties to make strategic investments.
At our corporate headquarters, we strive to give back and support local charities as well as national charities that promote education, environmental conservation, and public health. In 2018, DiamondRock contributed over $84,000 in charitable donations through its corporate giving program that began in 2007.
In 2018, we supported 12 organizations, including: Achievement Trust, AH&LA Opening Doors, Marriott Foundation, Service Source Foundation, The Lab School of Washington, N Street Gala, UJA Federation of New York, International Churchill Society, Suburban Hospital Foundation, Trust for the National Mall, and Penn State University. These organizations help to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals targeting poverty, health and education.
In addition to DiamondRock’s corporate giving programs, each of our owned hotels’ brands, including Marriott® and Hilton®, and our management companies are engaged in targeted community development and engagement programs to support the communities where our hotels are located.
We believe prioritizing employee well-being is a key element for attracting and retaining the best and most talented associates. In our corporate office, DiamondRock employs 31 full time employees. We provide all employees with 100% coverage of the premium for health care and dental insurance, group term life insurance and short and long-term disability insurance. Employees also receive a mid-year and annual performance review at year-end to aid in their professional development. In 2018, DiamondRock employees also participated in an employee satisfaction survey. From the results from this survey, we enhanced our Paid Time Off Policy to provide a better work/life balance. In addition, we eliminated the use of Styrofoam cups in our corporate headquarters, and replaced the cups with a more sustainable option.
We continue to provide all parents up to eight weeks of paid leave for the birth or adoption of their children. DiamondRock also offers up to $10,000 for financial assistance to all employees who wish to further their education.
To further increase employee engagement, DiamondRock continues to utilize an employee-led committee that plans company-wide social and community activities, including a yearly community involvement event, in which all employees contribute to a community project.
In 2019, DiamondRock plans to continue our company-wide commitments to sustainability and the community. These include reducing energy, carbon, and water intensity at our hotels, proactively managing environmental risks by measuring impacts and making strategic sustainability investments and making positive contributions to communities through supporting local and national charities
GRI Index, ESG Performance Data