Hilton will remove plastic straws from its 650 managed properties by the end of 2018. Hilton also reveals its new goal to double its social impact investments and cut its global environmental impact in half by 2030, with the help of science-based targets.
In Europe, Middle East & Africa alone, the commitment will remove more than five million plastic straws and 20 million plastic water bottles annually. Laid end to end, the straws saved each year in the region would exceed the length of the River Seine.
An estimated eight million tons of plastic waste enter the ocean each year, and research projects that plastic in our oceans could triple in a decade. Plastic pollution not only impacts our waters and marine life, but also our food chain and overall health.
Simon Vincent, Executive Vice President and President, EMEA, Hilton said: “As a leading global hospitality company, we have a huge responsibility to act as stewards of our natural resources, and support the communities in which we operate. Through our corporate responsibility strategy, Travel with Purpose, we are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our environmental impact. Extending a ban on plastic straws across our managed portfolio is an important move in the right direction, and one which we are committed to building on in the coming years.”
Hilton will remove plastic straws and offer a paper or biodegradable alternative upon request – an effort the company plans to implement globally across its hotels by the end of 2018. Hilton will also remove plastic water bottles from meetings and events in hotels across the EMEA region, as part of its global Meet with Purpose program to offer socially and environmentally responsible meetings.
The ban on straws is part of a new set of global targets designed to cut Hilton’s environmental footprint in half by 2030 and double its social impact investment around the world. With this commitment, Hilton will become the first major hotel company to institute science-based targets to reduce its carbon emissions and commit to sending zero hotel soap to landfill.
The company will also double the amount it spends with local and minority-owned suppliers, and double its investment in programs to help women and youth around the world. These goals are part of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose corporate responsibility strategy to further the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.
“For nearly 100 years, Hilton has been driven by our mission to have a positive impact on the communities surrounding our hotels,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, President and CEO, Hilton, and Chairman, World Travel & Tourism Council. “In this Golden Age of Travel, we are taking a leadership role to ensure that the destinations where travelers work, relax, learn and explore are vibrant and resilient for generations of adventurers yet to come.”
Hilton’s new 2030 goals include the following social and environmental targets:
- Reduce carbon emissions intensity by 61%, in line with the Paris Climate Agreement and approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi)
- Reduce water consumption and produced waste by 50%
- Sustainably source meat, poultry, produce, seafood and cotton
- Expand existing soap recycling program to all hotels and send zero soap to landfill
- Double the amount spent with local, small and minority-owned suppliers
- Double investment in opportunity programs for women and youth, including partnering with local organizations and schools
- Contribute 10 million volunteer hours through Team Member initiatives
- Double monetary support for natural disaster relief efforts
- Advance Human Rights capabilities in Hilton’s value chain to eradicate forced labour and trafficking