This fall, Hilton Worldwide announced several developments in the hotel company’s corporate responsibility initiatives. Between the LightStay program upgrade and the addition of electric vehicle charging stations as well as its Stop Hunger Now and GED assistance programs, corporate planners can expect an even more socially responsible hotel company in the New Year.
LightStay, Hilton’s in-house corporate responsibility measurement platform, recently underwent an upgrade that includes new features and enhancements that help hotel teams see when performance falls below expected levels. This will help the hotel company in its partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy through the Better Buildings Challenge to meet a 20 percent energy savings goal in 10 years. Hilton has already achieved 4 percent energy savings across 90 million square feet of hotel space, and is now stepping up to pilot DOE’s Superior Energy Performance (SEP) certification in the hospitality industry.
“Our environmental management strategy is based on actionable data and creating resources to support our global portfolio of hotels,” says Maxime Verstraete, vice president of sustainability, Hilton Worldwide. “Through this comprehensive upgrade of LightStay, we are able to manage our impact globally and provide customized solutions for our hotels to improve and optimize performance. With more than 4,440 hotels, our ability to make a positive impact on the environment, while managing our business, is massive.”
In October, Hilton announced a major electric vehicle-charging program that will be available at 50 U.S. hotels by year’s end and at 100 U.S. hotels by the end of 2016. The program will cover all types of electric vehicles such as Teslas, and Current, powered by General Electric (GE), will provide stations to charge other car makes.
“By teaming with leading organizations like Tesla and GE to add more electric vehicle charging stations, we’re making the travel process easier for a growing number of our guests,” says Jim Holthouser, executive vice president, Global Brands, Hilton Worldwide. “We believe technology can and should take the friction out of travel—no matter if you’re road-tripping in an electric vehicle or flying into town and need to find the best way to get to one of our hotels. Our goal is to support our guests in their travels no matter what technology they’re using.”
In a partnership with Stop Hunger Now, Hilton Worldwide offered meeting attendees staying at nine hotels the opportunity to participate in a meal-packaging event in which teams package rice, dehydrated vegetables, soy protein and a vitamin packet. These boxed meals were then shipped to West Africa, Haiti and other third-world countries. There is still one packaging event on Dec. 7 at the New York Hilton Midtown that groups can join.
Hilton also recently announced a new GED Assistance benefit program to provide thousands of eligible employees the opportunity to earn their high school equivalency diploma. The new program is the largest high school diploma assistance benefit provided by a major U.S. hospitality company and will be available to full-time employees with six months of service or greater. It will provide one-on-one advising and test preparation support, free of charge for employees, as well as covers the cost of taking the GED tests.