Since 2009, Hilton Worldwide’s environmental management systems have saved the international hotel chain $550 million. They set out to achieve this by improving their environmental performance to conserve resources and minimise their impact.
Four years ago, Hilton launched its own corporate responsibility strategy ‘Travel with Purpose’ which has so far driven positive and effective social impacts around the world as well as supporting the long-term success of the business. Since 2009, the hotel chain giant has been able to reach countless environmental achievements including:
- A reduction of energy use by 14.5%
- A reduction of carbon output by 20.9%
- A reduction of waste output by 27.6%
- A reduction of water usage by 14.1%
Hilton have partnered with well respected international organisations including WWF (World Wildlife Fund) to assist in preserving natural resources, while reducing the environmental impact of each hotel around the world. The WWF partnership was set up to reduce food waste in hotels and to improve the supply chain of food used; to ensure they support local suppliers and farmers.
RECOMMENDED READ: Explaining ‘Creating Shared Value’
The international hotel chain revealed that they used ISO standards to help manage their efforts. In fact, they claim to the first in their industry to be awarded certification to ISO 14001 for environmental management, ISO 9001 for quality management and ISO 50001 for energy management across its entire hotel portfolio – an incredible achievement which has set a real precedent for the £billion industry.
Lessons for all
Hilton have shown that what gets measured, gets done. The first step of reducing environmental impact is measuring your current position. Involving all staff provides an impression of what is needed and what can be changed/removed entirely to improve the business’ carbon footprint. Areas to consider when assessing your current environmental position include the use of lighting, sending emails rather than letters, turning off electrical equipment, recycling, etc.
The little things add up… Hilton may have struggled to make the investment for just one hotel, but their global reach meant once processes were set up, they were simply rolled out globally.
Hilton has demonstrated they have bought into Creating Shared Value, by partnering with the WWF. Could you partner with a local charity based upon seeking feedback from your staff? Companies are moving away from simply cash donations, to providing their time instead; as team BAB did in summer 2015 (pictured below) volunteering their time to clear litter and weeds at Rainham Marshes to improve the local environment.
Where do you go for guidance?
The international environmental management standard, ISO 14001 is recognised as the ideal way for businesses to prove their environmental social responsibility credentials. Businesses are able to use ISO 14001 to create an Environmental Management System (EMS) as a tool to help them management and reduce their negative impact.
A study by Nielson has revealed that 55% of global online consumers (across sixty countries) say they are willing to pay more for a product/service when the company is committed to positive environmental and social impacts; with 40% of Europeans willing to spend more money with an environmentally responsible company.
Furthermore, knowing you have met global best practice for environmental management is a huge reward for organisations! What’s more, 69% of our clients who have certification in the standard say it has helped them succeed in winning new work, proving that more organisations are paying attention to the environment when making business decisions.