Hilton Worldwide CR report shows partnerships key to responsible business

Hilton report details their collaborative actions and impacts

Hilton report details their collaborative actions and impacts

Hilton Worldwide’s latest report on its corporate responsibility strategy - Travel with Purpose - reveals the company’s investments in global partnerships and programmes to activate its hotel and office teams is not only creating positive social impact, but also fuelling its long-term business success.

Travel with Purpose was designed to examine global issues where Hilton can make an impact while also contributing to its future success, for example:

  • Opportunities: Globally more than 74 million young people are unemployed, yet the travel and tourism industry will need to hire 73 million new jobs by 2022. Hilton has a commitment to invest in youth and has reached more than 400,000 young people through apprenticeship programmes, career engagement and life skills training.
  • Communities: Tourism makes up 9 percent of global GDP and up to 40 percent GDP in developing countries so the success of companies in the tourism industry is directly tied to the success of the countries and communities where they operate. Around the world, Hilton hotels are active in their communities throughout the year and set aside each October to celebrate this commitment, activating 4,145 volunteer projects resulting in 213,000 volunteer hours during the 2015 Global Month of Service.
  • Environment: Natural resources are diminishing 50 percent faster than the earth can replenish, and the survival of businesses from a wide range of industries – including transportation, tourism, finance, and food and beverage – will depend on their ability to manage the major risks posed by climate change, including depleted natural resources, the loss of biodiversity, and extreme weather conditions. Hilton has invested in proprietary technology to track, analyse and improve natural resource management across its portfolio, and as a result has reduced energy use by 14.5 percent, carbon output by 20.9 percent, waste output by 27.6 percent and water use by 14.1 percent since 2009, resulting in an estimated $550 million of cumulative savings.

“Travel with Purpose has played an important role in bringing our vision and values to life by uniting our organisation around a set of global issues that connect our business to society,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton Worldwide. “We continue to invest in issues we believe we can positively influence - creating pathways to opportunities for young people, building stronger communities and preserving our environment. We’re proud of the successes we’ve had to date, and look forward to using guidance such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals to continue to partner with governments, NGOs and other businesses to do our part to address pressing societal challenges of our time.”

As a member of ITP (the International Tourism Partnership) Hilton has been an active player across the key pillars of carbon, water, youth unemployment and human trafficking. They were part of the working group which helped to develop the HCMI (Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative) which produced a universal measurement for all hotels to track carbon emissions per room or meeting, and are now part of the team developing the Hotel Water Measurement Initiative (HCWI) to do the same for water.

Their report highlights their work with the Youth Career Initiative (YCI) saying,

‘Working with the Youth Career Initiative (a programme of the International Tourism Partnership) we continue to bring apprenticeship programmes to our hotels providing underserved youth with their first exposure to the hospitality industry and sometimes even the formal work sector.

Programmes in Brazil, Mexico, Romania and Vietnam have provided nearly 60 young people with internships at our hotels, and we expanded the program to hotels in Lebanon in summer 2015.’

Jennifer Silberman, vice president of corporate responsibility, Hilton Worldwide said, “Since launching Travel with Purpose, we have developed partnerships with organisations such as the International Youth Foundation, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative to advocate for key issues at a global level coupled with programmes like our Travel with Purpose Action Grants to activate teams to address local challenges. Now that our programmes have matured we’re starting to see the impact we can have when we engage our hotels around the world and align on key issues that support the long term viability of our business while also benefitting society at large. We look forward to expanding our reach and deepening our impact in the coming years.”

Hilton recognises that its most powerful asset is the people who work in its owned, managed and franchised properties and corporate offices, acting as “intrapreneurs” who find creative solutions to challenges in their communities every day. To support these ideas, and encourage more of them, Hilton has awarded nearly 200 Travel with Purpose Action Grants to hotels and offices that partner with local organisations to implement projects that addresses these global issues.

The report details the many ways in which Hilton is striving to create opportunities, strengthen opportunities and preserve the environment. Their opportunities work covers their inclusion policies, their labour rights work and their initiatives to improve prospects for young people around the world.

Their community programme details their volunteering programme as well as their human rights work and partnerships to tackle human trafficking risk and employment issues, saying:  We are also members of the International Tourism Partnership’s (ITP) Labour Standards Working Group which brings global hospitality brands together to develop common approaches to industry-wide challenges.

Finally the environmental aspect of their work details their actions on carbon, water, waste and responsible sourcing. Further partnerships with organisations like WWF, Soap for Hope, Global Soap and Clean the World help make the actions effective and impactful.

The report includes local action case studies which become part of the wider Hilton sustainability programme. For example:

No Bin Day: From A Local Idea to A Global Success Story

In 2012, a Kitchen Stewarding Hilton Team Member at the DoubleTree by Hilton Gurgaon had an idea to reduce food waste by simply removing waste bins from the Hilton Team Member restaurant to encourage people to only take portions they can finish. His No Bin Day idea was swiftly adopted by fellow properties in India, the Hilton Garden Inn New Delhi/Saket and Hilton Mumbai International Airport. When the regional team caught wind of No Bin Day in 2014, they scaled it across India as amweekly practice, with Hilton Team Member support. By 2015, No Bin Day was formally launched in 135 hotels in Asia Pacific, with hotels recording up to 95 percent reductions in food waste in a single day. Now the project is available for any hotel globally, all because of a simple, cost-free idea from one Hilton Team Member.

Access the entire Travel With Purpose report here. You can read more examples of Hilton’s actions elsewhere on Green Hotelier.

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