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In October this year Hilton Worldwide announced an upgrade to LightStay, its state-of-the-art, in-house corporate responsibility measurement platform, rolling it out across the company's more than 4,440 global properties.
The next generation of LightStay now serves as a comprehensive, one-solution platform for all environmental, operational and social impact reporting. It tracks historical energy and weather data to forecast future energy usage levels and predict the impact of performance on cost and annual consumption, taking into account variables such as occupancy and weather. The system cross-references the data hotels submit with expected performance, and sends automatic alerts to hotel teams when performance falls below expected levels.
The year-long upgrade was based on in-depth analysis of hotel data across Hilton's global portfolio from the last five years. With thousands of metrics including use of the HCMI, Hilton improved LightStay to help hotels better manage energy and water usage as well as drive improvement across hundreds of indicators over time.
Hilton designed LightStay to provide three-month forecasting of energy and water consumption at each property and identify any discrepancies in usage, enabling hotel operating teams, owners and management groups to take corrective action to influence future performance. All of the hotel teams in the Hilton portfolio are required to track and complete improvement projects each year, enabling the full portfolio to benefit from over 4,800 energy efficiency projects.
Hilton's comprehensive approach to improvement has been recognised by franchisees and third parties including government and certification bodies. An example of the practical application is at the Hilton Columbus Downtown.
"We were determined from the outset of the Hilton Columbus Downtown project, to attain LEED certification for the hotel since sustainability plays a key role in the overall fabric of the hotel's infrastructure - especially, during the initial design phase when we had to select the proper materials, products and systems to be utilised," said Jeff Sachs, Managing Partner, Strategic Advisory Group, who oversaw the development of Hilton Columbus Downtown on behalf of the owner, Franklin County Convention Facilities Authorities. "As a proprietary system, Hilton's global LightStay programme is a great barometer and tool for measuring the efficiency of each hotel's consumption on a daily basis thus improving the hotel's overall carbon footprint."
Hilton's focus on superior energy management helped it achieve its third ISO certification - ISO 50001 for energy management, complementing the company's other global system-wide ISO certifications (ISO 9001 for quality management and 14001 for environmental management). Hilton is the first global hospitality company to be ISO 50001 certified - of the more than 11,500 facilities worldwide that are ISO 50001 certified, more than 4,400 of those buildings are in the Hilton portfolio.
Hilton is partnering with the U.S. Department of Energy through the Better Buildings Challenge to meet a 20 percent energy savings goal in ten years. Hilton has already achieved four percent energy savings across 90 million square feet of hotel space, and is now stepping up to pilot DOE's Superior Energy Performance (SEP) certification in the hospitality industry. Landmark properties implementing the programme include Washington Hilton (and the site for the 2016 Better Buildings Summit), Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort and Hilton San Francisco Union Square.
"Our environmental management strategy is based on actionable data and creating resources to support our global portfolio of hotels," said Maxime Verstraete, vice president of sustainability, Hilton Worldwide. "Through this comprehensive upgrade of LightStay, we are able to manage our impact globally and provide customised solutions for our hotels to improve and optimise performance. With more than 4,440 hotels, our ability to make a positive impact on the environment, while managing our business, is massive."
"Hilton is a great leader in energy management in the hospitality industry and is setting a new bar," said Kathleen Hogan, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Energy Efficiency at the U.S. Department of Energy. "DOE looks forward to recognising Hilton for its achievements as it expands its Better Buildings partnership to pilot the new Superior Energy Performance (SEP) certification programme for the hospitality industry."
Earlier this year, Hilton announced a global partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) focusing on water stewardship, waste management and sustainable seafood sourcing and will integrate learnings of the project into LightStay to benefit all hotels. Hilton also recently signed onto the Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking Study to analyse the drivers of energy and water usage, and will use LightStay data to inform the report.
LightStay forms part of Hilton Worldwide's corporate responsibility commitment - Travel with Purpose - providing shared value to its business and communities in four areas - creating opportunities for individuals to reach their full potential; strengthening communities where Hilton Worldwide operates; celebrating cultures and the power of travel; and living sustainably through the measurement, analysis and improvement of the company's use of natural resources.