Hilton expands food-donation initiative to 300 hotels

Hilton is announcing the expansion of its food-donation initiative to all of its managed hotels across the United States and Canada. The company expects to donate nearly 100 tons of food over the next year—enough to feed more than 160,000 people—while also diverting millions of pounds of food waste from landfills.

Hilton included a commitment to reduce its food waste 50 percent by 2030 as part of the company’s Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals to cut its environmental footprint in half. Working with its environmental partner, World Wildlife Fund, Hilton undertook pilots at 50 hotels around the world to better understand food waste reduction challenges and opportunities in the hospitality industry. The pilots resulted in a number of innovations in Hilton hotels, from “no-waste” catering menus to thoughtfully designed buffet presentations.

Hilton also participated in the development of the Hotel Kitchen toolkit, a free tool developed by WWF and the American Hotel & Lodging Association with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, which provides hotels with techniques to reduce food waste. Hilton has implemented the Hotel Kitchen toolkit and its associated trainings at all of its managed hotels in the Americas, while also making the toolkit available to its franchised properties.

Now, Hilton is expanding its food-waste initiative by encouraging its 300 managed hotels in the U.S. and Canada to partner with local food-rescue organizations to feed the hungry in their immediate communities. Each hotel will set a food-waste diversion and donation goal for 2020 and report their progress so top performers can be recognized each month. Hotel teams will be able to select organizations to work with from a directory of food donation and diversion partners from across the country, as well as connect with one another to share best practices.

Hilton’s food-donation program initially is focused on the U.S. and Canada because food donors in those countries are legally protected from liability under Good Samaritan laws, but the company’s goal is to expand these efforts globally. Donation efforts already are being driven at many of Hilton’s hotels around the world, including partnerships with groups like Scholars of Sustenance in Thailand and Indonesia, Oz Harvest and Addi Road Food Pantry in Australia, the Egyptian Food Bank, Equoevento in Italy and Al Rescate, the first food-rescue program created specifically for the hospitality industry in Mexico.

Hilton measures its food-waste progress using the company’s cloud-based corporate responsibility-management system, LightStay. All properties are required to use LightStay to measure their environmental and social impact. So far this year, Hilton hotels in the Americas have diverted more than 6 million pounds of food waste from landfills, an equivalent of more than 11,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.