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At the ninth annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting in New York City last month, Hilton Worldwide announced its commitment to reducing waste across the organization's portfolio of more than 4,000 hotels in 90 countries. This Commitment to Action, entitled, RePurpose: Making Waste History for our Business and Society, will operate in partnership with Feeding America, The Global FoodBanking Network, Global Soap Project, Good360, DH Hospitality Group, Serta, and Waste Management Sustainability Services.
Recognising that waste is not only a defining issue for the hospitality industry, but is a complex global challenge with far-reaching and long-lasting impact, Hilton Worldwide’s launch of RePurpose represents a commitment to support its hotels' efforts to dispose of waste through reusing, recycling and donating items, instead of sending them to landfills.
RePurpose builds on Hilton Worldwide's global focus on improving operational efficiencies by accentuating LightStay, its sustainability measurement tool, to track and manage performance. Further, RePurpose provides tools and strategic partnerships to support hotel participation. These efforts are intended to reduce waste and increase recycling and donation activities across the world.
"We are honored to join the Clinton Global Initiative," said Randy Gaines, vice president of engineering, housekeeping and laundry operations for the Americas, Hilton Worldwide. "The business impact of waste presents a complex challenge, especially within the hospitality industry. It requires thoughtful and creative solutions like RePurpose. RePurpose helps our hotels achieve triple bottom line results by reducing their impact on natural resources, reducing the cost of waste disposal and supporting the communities where we live, work and travel. Sustainability is a business imperative, and we continually look to integrate it throughout our overall business model."
The initiatives have been developed with the support of several national and international business and nonprofit partnerships. These strategic partnerships enable hotels to donate soap, safe food items, soft and hard goods, as well as to manage the recycling of cardboard, glass, plastic, mattresses and box springs in an efficient and effective manner. Using RePurpose, Hilton Worldwide can offer its hotels the ability to identify and establish local donation and recycling collaborations. The organisation is also seeking additional implementing partners to support RePurpose.
Current partners include:
Feeding America connects Hilton hotels in the US with local food banks and their networks of local community agencies to help deliver food to school feeding programmes, food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, day-care centers, and after-school programs. The group has developed food donation systems for hotels in New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Minneapolis, Orlando, and Seattle. The company is also working with Feeding America to provide volunteer opportunities with local food bank partners through its Global Team Member Volunteer Programme.
The Global FoodBanking Network
The Global FoodBanking Network operates in countries outside the US connecting Hilton Worldwide hotels with its network of food banks providing food donations and distribution to community agencies. Food donations are already active at a number of properties in Egypt and Australia, with programmes proposed for selected European countries in the coming year. Activities focus on optimising food and beverage operations to minimise food waste, educating hotels on food banking opportunities, developing relationships between hotels and local food banks, and establishing systems for donating safe and nutritious food.
Global Soap Project
The Global Soap Project (GSP) and its Asian affiliate Soap Cycling reprocess soaps collected from Hilton Worldwide hotels and make them into new bars for distribution to populations at risk of hygiene-related disease. Hilton Worldwide has invested $1.3 million to help expand the Global Soap Project's processing and distribution capabilities.
Good360 connects Hilton Worldwide hotels with opportunities to donate gently used and surplus goods to organisations in need. Using LightStay, each hotel can enter goods available for donation into a tracking system that links to Good360's online product donation marketplace where more than 37,000 charities have the opportunity to claim items as needed.
DH Hospitality Group and Serta
Hilton Supply Management, in collaboration with DH Hospitality Group, Inc., has developed a mattress recycling programme which works in tandem with the installation of new Serta mattresses and box springs. The components of the mattresses and box springs are recycled into various products including tools, oil filters, particle board shelving and carpet padding, rather than being diverted into landfill. On average, 95 percent of the components can be recycled.
Waste Management Sustainability Services
Waste Management Sustainability Services (WMSS) provides adaptable waste hauling solutions for Hilton Worldwide's hotels. Over the next three years, WMSS is introducing food waste reduction strategies in tandem with the RePurpose programme, as well as providing direction on capturing and recycling materials like cardboard, plastics, lights and glass.
Hilton Worldwide and its partners gather data on the amount of usable waste diverted from landfills. This information is uploaded and tracked through LightStay to record the combined impacts of donations and items recycled across the Hilton hotel portfolio. Impact metrics include:
Pounds of food diverted from landfills
Number of meals provided
Number of people impacted by donations
Employee volunteer hours
Monetary value of waste donated
Cost savings resulting from waste reduction
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. The mission of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) is to turn ideas into action. At the ninth CGI Annual Meeting last month, members made over 160 new Commitments to Action, expected to impact nearly 22.2 million people and valued at more than $10.8 billion. To date, nearly 2,500 commitments have been made, improving the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries. When fully funded and implemented, these commitments will be valued at $87.9 billion.
For more information on Hilton Worldwide's Corporate Responsibility programme, visit their site.