In a move designed to further enhance its sustainability program, Hilton Worldwide has launched a major environmental initiative at its three hotels in South Africa.

The company will introduce more than 17,000 energy-saving lights, including new replacement Philips LED globes, over the next three months at Hilton Sandton, Hilton Durban and Hilton Cape Town.  The move to the new lighting globes is expected to result in a drop of energy consumption of more than 2,600,000kwh annually and a reduction of CO2 emissions by a significant 2,700 tons per year.

‘The demand for energy in South Africa is a major concern and one of the main reasons we decided to launch this initiative here,’ said Vinesh Hurrychurn, director of engineering operations, Hilton Worldwide, Middle East & Africa.

Hilton Worldwide has partnered in this project with Eskom, the main electricity generator and distributor in South Africa and Philips, the country’s biggest supplier of new generation lighting globes. Commenting on the project, Andrew Etzinger, Senior General Manager, Integrated Demand Management, Eskom, said: ‘This is one of the biggest corporate sustainability scheme’s Eskom has been involved with and is an excellent example of the difference a major corporation can make to the environment.’

Jeroen Jannssen, General Manager of Philips Lighting, South Africa added: ‘Installing our LED energy-saving lights is one of the simplest and most cost-effective ways companies can conserve significant amounts of energy.  Hilton Worldwide understands this and I’m delighted we will be able to help them deliver significant environmental benefits as well as real year-on-year energy reductions.’

Plans are underway to roll out the program across Hilton Worldwide’s properties throughout the Middle East and Africa over the course of next year.  Hurrychurn said: ‘The South Africa initiative was our test bed and is already proving successful. ‘

Globally, Hilton Worldwide has become the first major multi-brand company in the hospitality industry to make sustainability measurement a brand standard. In 2009, the company implemented LightStay, a sustainability tracking system developed to improve hotel performance and drive economic returns while decreasing the company’s overall impact on the environment. Since the introduction of LightStay, Hilton Worldwide saved more than $74 million in utility costs as a result of the following reductions:

·         6.6 percent reduction of energy use

·         7.8 percent reduction of carbon input

·         19 percent reduction of waste output

·         3.8 percent reduction of water use

LightStay measures energy, water use, waste and carbon output at hotels globally. In addition, and in its function as a measurement system, it provides a ‘meeting impact calculator’ feature that calculates the environmental impact of any meeting or conference held at a hotel, giving visiting corporate organizations an opportunity to measure their footprint. To date, Hilton Worldwide’s efforts are equivalent to the removal of more than 50,000 cars from the road, water savings that could fill more than 1,000 swimming pools and energy conservation that could provide power to nearly 20,000 homes a year.

In addition, Hilton Worldwide recently earned the internationally recognized quality and environmental certifications, ISO 9001 for quality management systems and ISO 14001 for its environmental management systems. Hilton Worldwide is the first multi-national organization to certify its entire system globally – more than 3,750 properties in 85 countries – achieving one of the largest ever volume certifications of commercial buildings.