Originally published at stories.hilton.com. Kristin Campbell is Hilton’s Chief ESG Officer. Hilton is a Hall of Fame company.
Hilton has always operated under the belief that hospitality can be a force for good. And as the world returns to travel, Hilton is announcing enhanced environmental and social goals to further drive the company’s impact in the communities it serves around the world.
The expanded goals, which build on targets set nearly four years ago through Hilton’s ambitious environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy — “Travel with Purpose” — set updated benchmarks, including more ambitious environmental targets and new social goals to drive sustainable business operations and help create engines of opportunity in the communities Hilton serves.
Here, Hilton General Counsel and Chief ESG Officer Kristin Campbell shares her perspective on the importance of these enhanced commitments and what they mean for Hilton moving forward.
Why did Hilton decide to update its 2030 goals now?
There’s never been a more important time to reaffirm our commitments. The latest climate science from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) — described by the United Nations as “code red for humanity” — shows it is still possible to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C, but we are dangerously close to that threshold.
As one of the world’s largest hotel companies, Hilton has a critical responsibility to protect our communities and our planet, so the destinations where we operate can remain vibrant and resilient for generations of travelers to come. I’m extremely proud of the fact that we were the first in our industry to set science-based targets back in 2018. One of the key requirements with these targets is that we review and recommit to this goal every five years.
Since then, climate science and our understanding of our changing environment has evolved considerably. That’s why we’ve made the decision now to raise the bar on our ambition and evolve our carbon intensity reduction target from a 2°C to 1.5°C warming scenario by 2030. This half-degree difference increases our commitment for cutting emissions intensity from 61% to 75% across Hilton-managed hotels.
We know that addressing climate change will not happen overnight and through our work alone, but we recognize the need for urgency. By working across the entire Hilton organization and engaging our stakeholders with rigor and discipline, we can do our part to pave the way toward a net-zero future, while also driving sustainable business operations and cost savings for our owners.
Are you setting a net-zero goal as some others have?
Net zero is an extremely ambitious commitment that relies on dramatic transformational change. Most notably, it relies heavily on technology advancement and legislative changes, the transition to renewable power on the grid and divestiture of fossil fuels, and sizeable investment in renewable power infrastructure.
As we pave the way to a net-zero future, we are taking incremental steps, and our ambitious 2030 emissions targets are a strong milestone in our journey. Hilton is taking a methodical, science-based approach to fully understand what net zero means for us. Just as we have updated our existing carbon and energy goals, we will advance with robust data and discipline to ensure we fully understand such a commitment and how it would be achieved.
We also continue to support innovation that will make net zero possible. The recent opening of what is believed to be the first net-zero operations hotel in the United States — Hotel Marcel New Haven, Tapestry Collection by Hilton in New Haven, Connecticut — is an inspirational example of what is possible from the data and technologies we will continue to learn from in the years ahead. Our recent investment in Fifth Wall’s climate technology fund is another example of where we are investing to learn and be on the leading edge of innovations that will pave the way toward a net-zero future.
Read more at stories.hilton.com.