Marriott Decision Helps Environment, Hurts Newspapers 3

Yesterday Marriott announced that they are ending their automatic free newspaper service for hotel guests, following a 25 percent drop in demand by their guests at a combine 2,500 hotels in the United States. The hotel’s announcement stated:

The company’s 30 million Marriott Rewards members will be able to update their online profiles and receive their preferred newspaper automatically. Guests who are not Rewards members will be asked for their preference at check-in. Guests will have a choice between USA TODAY, The Wall Street Journal, the local paper, or no paper.

While this isn’t a big change for hotel guests, many of whom are getting their news online, it can have a major affect on the environment and the newspapers:

  1. This new model can reduce carbon emissions by 10,350 tons a year (each newspaper is responsible for half pound of carbon dioxide).
  2. The move also reduces Gannett’s daily newspaper distribution by approximately 50,000 (a whopping 18 million newspapers every year).

The change comes after a 25-year partnership between Marriott and Gannett, where Marriott’s hotels distributed 1.3 million copies of Gannett’s newspapers daily – accounting for more than half of their 2.3 million paid circulation (as of September 2008). This is clearly a huge loss for Gannett that couldn’t come at a worse time.

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