5,750 tonnes have been offset on behalf of meetings and events clients since July 2010
Since 1 July 2010, Hilton Worldwide has successfully offset 5,750 tonnes of carbon emissions generated from all meetings and events held in each of the 12 hotels it operates in Australia and New Zealand, at no additional cost to customers. This is equivalent to over 700 average Australian households’ annual emissions.
The carbon-offset program offsets carbon emissions generated from the meeting rooms themselves, as well as all the food consumed by meeting and conference delegates during their events.
In Australia and New Zealand, Hilton Worldwide has been working with Climate Friendly as its carbon offset provider for the initiative. Climate Friendly is the Number One carbon offset provider in Australia as ranked by the respected carbon offset industry research publication, Carbon Offset Watch.
Carbon offsets purchased on behalf of Hilton Worldwide through Climate Friendly currently contribute to an innovative Tasmanian native forest project protecting native forests against logging.
At the same time the offset program preserves the natural habitat of endangered species, a wind farm in the Chinese region of Xinjiang Uyghur, and 36MW of renewable energy for a wind farm in India, located in the districts of Erode and Dindigull in the state of Tamil Nadu. The wind farm converts the kinetic energy of wind into electricity, which otherwise would have been generated by fossil-fuelled power plants.
“eMeeting and conference organisers both in Australia and globally are increasingly concerned about the environmental impact of their events and conferences,” said Ashley Spencer, vice president – Operations, Australasia for Hilton Worldwide. “Conference and event organisers can now feel confident that they are making a sustainable choice when they hold their next conference or event at one of Hilton Worldwide’s hotels in Australia and New Zealand. Moreover, we are absorbing the cost of the carbon offset program, so there will be no increased cost to meeting or conference organisers.”
This latest sustainability initiative is yet another step in Hilton Worldwide’s continuing strategy to reduce its energy consumption by 20 percent, carbon dioxide emissions by 20 percent, waste output by 20 percent and water consumption by 10 percent globally by 2014.
In April 2010, Hilton Worldwide unveiled ‘LightStay’, a proprietary system which calculates and analyses the sustainability impact of each hotel’s operations. Since its launch, the company continues to improve its sustainability and economic performance and has saved more than $74 million in utility costs as a result of the following reductions: 6.6 percent reduction of energy use; 7.8 percent reduction of carbon output; 19 percent reduction of waste output; and 3.8 percent reduction of water use.
Additionally, Hilton Worldwide and its portfolio of 10 hotel brands earned ISO 9001 certification for Quality Management Systems and ISO 14001 certification for Environmental Management Systems. With these certifications, Hilton Worldwide is one of the first multi-national organizations to certify its entire system globally – more than 3,800 properties in 88 countries – achieving one of the largest ever volume certifications of commercial buildings.
“We are delighted to be partnering with Hilton Worldwide on this industry-leading environmental initiative. We think it will change the hotel industry’s approach to the meetings and events sector and lead to more sustainable practices for meetings and conferences in Australia and New Zealand,” said Climate Friendly’s CEO, Freddy Sharpe.
Spencer added, “This project is consistent with Hilton Worldwide’s commitment to operating our hotels in a sustainable manner. We are committed to the advancement of renewable energy as a source of power, not only to reduce our carbon footprint, but also to develop a viable commercial infrastructure for powering our buildings.”
In addition, in the United States Hilton Worldwide is among the U.S. government’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’ s Top 10 purchases of green power – enough to meet 94 percent of its electricity use in the United States. Additionally, the company qualified for EPA’s Green Power Leadership Club in 2011 and 2012 by buying 10 times the minimum purchase requirement.