"Assume your full share of responsibility for the world in which you live."
— Conrad Hilton
Our approach to corporate responsibility is built on our founder Conrad Hilton’s fundamental belief that travel and tourism are powerful engines of progress. This belief, combined with the scale and reach of our industry, means that Hilton Worldwide and its peers possess significant potential to affect positive change for our society and planet. To appreciate the true magnitude of this potential, consider the following travel and tourism industry statistics:
As we transform this potential into action, our goal is to create shared value for our business, and the communities in which we live, work and travel.
The basic principles of responsibility and sustainability have long been an inherent part of how we operate and are reflected in our values. During the past five years, we have taken an increasingly strategic, formalized approach to responsibility and sustainability to deliver value to our business and maximize our societal impact.
This effort began in 2009 when we introduced our five-year goals to reduce our consumption of energy, carbon emissions, waste output and water use. In 2010, we unveiled LightStay™, a proprietary system to measure and analyze our sustainability performance. In 2011, we unveiled Travel with Purpose™ — our global corporate responsibility commitment. Travel with Purpose strives to advance Hilton Worldwide’s business goals while improving life for those who live, work and travel in our operating communities.
We developed Travel with Purpose by identifying core issues that impact our company and stakeholders and that we can affect through the application of our hospitality expertise and resources. As a global company, the primary issues we identified were continued investments in our people to deliver great guest experiences, community sustainability, freedom to travel and the improvement of our use of natural resources.
Creating value for our business and communities is core to how Hilton Worldwide operates as a global hospitality company. When our Team Members are happy, our guests receive excellent service; when the needs of communities are taken into account, the construction of new hotels goes more smoothly and when our sustainability impacts are actively managed, we experience material cost savings.
We believe there are endless opportunities for Hilton Worldwide to generate economic value for our business, our customers and our owners while simultaneously producing value for society by addressing the social, economic and sustainability issues that impact us all.
A distinctive attribute of our approach is its focus on fully integrating corporate responsibility strategy into our business operations. As we execute this strategy, we have the opportunity to deliver business value by increasing profitability through cost savings, mitigating certain risks, strengthening team member engagement and driving customer preferences. In the process, we create the shared value upon which Travel with Purpose was conceived and that will drive its ultimate success.
Another key consideration in the development of Travel with Purpose was the ability to develop a strategy that would be meaningful throughout our global enterprise while providing the flexibility for hotels to address their most relevant local needs. This flexibility is especially critical for an organization such as ours in which the vast majority of our properties are owned independently. Consequently, we employ a variety of strategies such as implementing new brand standards, offering flexibility and providing tools and resources to make achieving shared value as turnkey as possible for our hotels.
As an example, our global partnership with the International Youth Foundation is established at the enterprise level to provide subject matter expertise and program design, but many of the partnership’s initiatives are executed at the local level through hotel internships, mentoring programs and relationships with local universities. By taking this global-local approach, we ensure that Travel with Purpose is positioned to achieve its maximum impact across our business and around the world.