In 2020, Hilton undertook a thorough ESG materiality assessment to ensure that its Travel with Purpose programs “remained aligned with the issues that matter most to Hilton’s business and stakeholders” and focus its efforts on the areas it can have the most impact, the company says.
Here’s how it approached the complicated process, according to its 2020 ESG Report:
1. Identify potentially material aspects: Hilton used guidance from the GRI, SASB and the World Economic Forum to identify more than 200 issues that were potentially of the most interest to stakeholders. These were then consolidated into the 17 most material focus areas.
2. Seek feedback: Hilton then conduced interviews and surveys to capture feedback from nearly 1,500 internal and external stakeholders, including guests.
3. Don’t stick it in a drawer: Hilton says it uses the results of its materiality assessment to ensure that its “Travel with Purpose” strategy remains aligned with its most material issues. It also uses the assessment to stay abreast of ESG risks and inform management of those risks, and to ultimately drive long-term value for the business and its stakeholders, the company says.
In terms of enviromnmental management, stakeholders pinpointed a variety of material issues. The most important of those identified were biodiversity and destination stewardship, climate action, energy conservation, waste management and circular economy, and water stewardship.
Ultimately, the assessment helps guide the company’s steps to integrate environmental stewardship and positive social impact throughout its operations, communites and supply chain. Some of these initatives include:
- Training hotel teams to adopt techniquest o conserve resources in times of low occupancy, reaching toward a goal of halving its environmental impact;
- Increasing sourcing of renewable energy at hotesl around the world; in 2020, Hilton-managed hotels in the UK began procuring 100% renewable energy;
- Enhanced its “LightStay” corporate responsibility measurement program, which the hotels use to measure and manage their environmental impact;
- Established waste reduction standards for the Hilton meetings and events program.
Hilton says its Travel with a Purpose goals were created because the company believes that “the global community is relying on the private sector to lead the way in building resilience and inclusive growth in a complex world.”
The company’s president and chief executive office Christopher J. Nassetta says Hilton will “continue leading the way in sustainable travel for years to come.”