Global hospitality group, Hilton has taken the environmentally responsible decision to remove plastic straws from its 650 managed properties by the
end of 2018.
The decision comes ahead of the publication of the EU’s draft directive on single use plastics, and according to Hilton, it will make the group the first global
hotel operator to remove plastic straws from all managed hotels around the
world by the end of this year.
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The aim is to remove five million plastic straws and 20 million plastic water bottles from meetings and events at Hilton's Europe, Middle East and Africa hotels annually. Hilton says in a statement that when laid end to end, the straws saved each year in the region would exceed the length of the River Seine.
According to the group, the decision to remove plastic straws and bottles forms part of Hilton’s target to "halve its environmental footprint and double social impact investment by 2030".
also says its goal is to double its social impact investments and cut its
global environmental impact in half by 2030, with the help of science-based
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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," says the hospitality group.
Simon Vincent, Executive Vice President and President,
EMEA, Hilton says that the company has "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,” says Vincent.
A sculpture at the Hilton
London Tower Bridge depicting monuments dominating the global skyline – the
Eiffel Tower, Burj Khalifa, the Gherkin and the Shard. The sculpture is made
out of 10 000 Hilton straws, recycled from its UK hotels. (Photo: Supplied by Hilton)
Hilton says that it will remove plastic straws and offer a paper or
biodegradable alternative upon request – this will be implemented globally across its hotels by the end of 2018. Meanwhile, as part of its global Meet with Purpose programme to offer socially and environmentally responsible meetings, it will remove plastic water bottles from meetings and events in hotels across the EMEA
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"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," says Hilton.
Travel with purpose
As part of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose corporate responsibility strategy to further the United Nation’s 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, the company will also double the amount it spends with
local and minority-owned suppliers, and double its investment in programmes to
help women and youth around the world.
“For nearly 100 years, Hilton has been driven by our
mission to have a positive impact on the communities surrounding our hotels,”
says 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 travellers work, relax,
learn and explore are vibrant and resilient for generations of adventurers yet
Hilton’s new 2030 goals include the following social
and environmental targets:
Environmental Impact in Half to Help Protect the Planet
- 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
- Sustainably source meat, poultry, produce,
seafood and cotton
- Expand existing soap recycling programme to all
hotels and send zero soap to landfill
Social Investment and Drive Positive Change in Communities
the amount spent with local, small and minority-owned suppliers
- Double investment in opportunity programmes for
women and youth, including partnering with local organisations and schools
- Contribute 10 million volunteer hours through
Team Member initiatives
- Double monetary support for natural disaster
Human Rights capabilities in Hilton’s value chain to eradicate forced
labour and trafficking