HILTON PLANS TO get its hands dirty in the effort to be sustainable … or rather, it plans to make millions of other hands clean. Several of the company’s major brands plan to recycle 1 million bars of soap left behind by guests.
In the company’s Clean the World Challenge in partnership with the Clean the World Foundation, employees at Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton by Hilton properties, along with the All Suites brands Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites and Home2 Suites will collect bars of soap left behind by guests to be recycled into bars of new soap in time for Global Handwashing Day on October 15. Clean the World will distribute the soap to communities in need.
The program is part of Hilton’s Travel with a Purpose corporate responsibility strategy to advance sustainable travel globally.
“Our hotels were among the first in the industry to participate in soap recycling and have remained leaders in the global hygiene revolution, making the world a more hospitable place by empowering our Team Members and guests to eradicate preventable hygiene-related illnesses,” said Bill Duncan, Hilton’s global head for All Suites and Focused Services.
As part of the Travel with a Purpose doctrine, Hilton intends to cut its environmental footprint in half by 2030. That includes a commitment to send no soap to landfills. To date, the company has contributed to the distribution of more than 7.6 million bars of recycled soap by Clean the World, diverting more than 2 million pounds of soap and amenity bottles from landfills.
“As many as 2.3 billion people around the world lack basic sanitation and more than 3,500 children die from preventable hygiene-related illnesses every day,” said Shawn Seipler, Clean the World founder and chief executive officer. “This challenge will make a meaningful difference for countless people in need.”
Seipler founded Clean the World was founded in 2009 in his one-car garage in Orlando, Florida, according to the foundation’s press kit. “As a vice president for a technology company, Seipler spent about 150 nights a year in hotel rooms,” the foundation said. “He began to wonder what happened to all those little bars of soap after he checked out of a hotel. He found out they were simply thrown away.”
Over the last decade, Clean the World has contributed toward a 60 percent reduction in the death rate of children under the age of five dying due to hygiene-related illnesses, according to the organization. Hilton has worked with Clean the World since its launch.
Last year the Homewood Suites in Mayfaire, North Carolina, discarded portions of the 500 pounds of toiletries with which it stocks its rooms each month to Clean the World.
“Clean the World sends us totes,” said Homewood Suites’ Director of Sales Joanie DeSantis at the time. “We fill the totes and send them back.”
DeSantis said much of the bathroom supplies the hotel provides would otherwise go to waste, especially in busy times like spring break.
“When we do have more people coming in for more of a transient stay to the beach for the weekend, we will see more people utilizing it and then it being left behind,” DeSantis said.