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Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshot

Hilton Worldwide Launches Mattress Recycling Program

Hilton Worldwide recently announced a new mattress recycling program. The program, which will be in all of its brands in the U.S., will recycle approximately 85 percent of its hotels' mattresses and box springs. Hilton is partnering with DH Hospitality to recycle the parts of the mattresses and box springs into other products which will include:
  • Steel springs: tools, automobiles, construction materials
  • Wood: tempered flooring, particle board shelving and a variety of pressed wood products
  • Cotton fibers: oil filters, mats and stuffing
  • Quilt scrap: carpet padding
"Our hotels have purchased more than 50,000 mattresses in the past two years in the U.S. alone," said Randy Gaines, vice president, engineering operations for the Americas at Hilton Worldwide. "This program presents a great opportunity for our hotels globally, offers a cost savings to owners and underscores Hilton Worldwide's commitment to further reduce our waste output."
Hilton's hotels will use LightStay, its management system that calculates and analyzes sustainability performance, to report and track the progress of its mattress donations. LightStay analyzes the performance of 200 operational practices, including paper product use, food waste, and chemical storage. Introduced in 2009, all of its hotels were required to use LightStay by December 2011. LightStay analyzes the environmental performance of a hotel is through its "meeting impact calculator" which calculates the environmental impact of any meeting or conference held in one of Hilton's hotels.

Hilton's sustainability goals

In 2009, Hilton made a five-year commitment to reduce energy use, waste and carbon emissions by 20 percent, and to reduce water use by 10 percent. One year later, in 2010, LightStay analysis showed that Hilton's properties reduced energy use by 6.6 percent, water use by 3.3 percent, carbon emissions by 7.8 percent, and water use by 19 percent. Last month, Hilton released the 2011 LightStay analysis results, which showed that it is on track to meet its goals for reducing energy, water use and carbon emissions. Since 2009, Hilton has reduced its carbon emissions by 10.9 percent, energy use by 9.7 percent, and water use by 7.5 percent. When it comes to reducing its waste, Hilton has more than met its target with a 23.3 percent reduction.

Hilton's program to reduce food waste

In October, Hilton announced a partnership with Feeding America and The Global FoodBanking Network. By collaborating with the organizations, Hilton will be able to collect surplus food from conferences and daily food and beverage operations that would otherwise be thrown away. The organizations will connect Hilton hotels with local food banks and local community agencies so food can be delivered to school feeding programs, food pantries, soup kitchens, and other community programs. During the first year of the program, Hilton will launch pilot food donation systems in New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Orlando and Kansas City in the U.S. and in Egypt internationally. This is an important program because every year "billions of pounds of food go to waste, while at the same time more than 850 million people do not have enough to eat," Jennifer Silberman, vice president of corporate responsibility for Hilton, said. "Hilton Worldwide is committed to securing food resources where we live, work and travel," Silberman added. "Partnering with Feeding America and The Global FoodBanking Network will help us collect safe, unused food from our hotels and distribute it to local people and organizations in need across the globe."
Gina-Marie Cheeseman headshotGina-Marie Cheeseman

Gina-Marie is a freelance writer and journalist armed with a degree in journalism, and a passion for social justice, including the environment and sustainability. She writes for various websites, and has made the 75+ Environmentalists to Follow list by Mashable.com.

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