The Hilton group has partnered with social enterprise South Pole to offset the carbon footprint of meetings and events across approximately 60 hotels in Europe, the Middle East and Africa at no extra cost to the customer.
Initially launched in The Netherlands last month, the offer has been extended to more hotels across the region, with plans to roll out further in the coming months. The initiative will complement existing efforts to deliver low environmental impact solutions that limit waste and increase the focus on local sourcing, in support of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals to cut its environmental footprint in half and double its social impact by 2030.
Tanya Clifford, vice president, Hilton Worldwide Sales EMEA said, “We know our meetings and events customers share our passion for sustainability and, like us, are committed to finding ways to further reduce their environmental footprint. Offering carbon neutral meetings at no additional cost is a fantastic addition to existing efforts to limit the environmental impact of our operations and achieve our collective ambitions. We look forward to exploring opportunities to extend the programme in the coming months.”
The footprint of all business meetings with ten or more delegates at participating hotels will be offset through carbon credits. Credits will be allocated to a range of projects which support Hilton’s Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals, including repairing and maintaining boreholes in Rwanda to increase access to safe water sources, the construction of a geothermal power plant in Turkey to generate clean, emissions-free energy and the development and maintenance of wind farms in India and the US.
Hilton will use its corporate responsibility performance management system, LightStay, to estimate each meeting’s energy, water, carbon and waste consumption. LightStay’s Meeting Impact Calculator tool gives customers the opportunity to see an estimated carbon footprint for their event using each hotel’s specific utility data. In addition to the available measures for businesses to decrease the waste and energy usage of corporate events, carbon credits will be purchased from South Pole to offset any remaining environmental impact.
Michael Malara, senior business development manager, South Pole said: “Everyone has a role to play in helping to halt climate change – first and foremost through reducing carbon emissions, water use, waste and energy output as far as possible. We are delighted to partner with Hilton and its customers to boost their efforts to tackle the climate crisis. Through this initiative, Hilton will help to fund some of the world’s most cutting-edge sustainability projects in addition to reducing its own environmental impact and that of its clients. We look forward to working closely together to drive positive change.”
Knowing that businesses will continue to choose to combine in-person meetings with virtual participation for some time, particularly as restrictions continue to change, Hilton recently launched Hilton EventReady Hybrid Solutions. The new product enables businesses to host seamless hybrid meetings across multiple sites if they choose to do so.