Going green takes energy – renewable energy to be exact. As part of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose program and its commitment to corporate responsibility, the company launched a Renewable Energy Supply Program in November of last year. This program requires energy supply companies to include a renewable energy plan in their bids to do business with Hilton properties, helping hotels to increase their awareness of alternative energy options.
According to Corey Brown, Sr. Manager of Energy Procurement and Strategy for Hilton Supply Management, energy choices are crucial to environmental sustainability. “Hotels are huge energy consumers, and energy is almost always one of the top four line items for properties. This program has the potential to help Hilton make a big impact by encouraging the use of renewable energy,” said Corey. And he is just the man to help owners and management companies become aware of more sustainable energy options.
Corey’s primary responsibilities within his role include negotiating energy contracts for all managed estates within Hilton’s energy program and to work with cross-functional teams, like engineering, sustainability and anyone launching energy-efficient projects. He makes sure that both internal teams and the properties Hilton serves have the right automation and understanding of energy usage, consumption and efficiency within day-to-day operations. For now, the energy program is only available to properties under the Hilton flag, but Corey is focusing on building a strong foundation that will hopefully be replicated at other properties and be made available within the HSM GPO.
The recently launched Renewable Energy Supply Program is setting up a framework for increasing awareness and encouraging properties to consider greener energy options. By requiring suppliers to include a renewable energy plan in their RFPs, Hilton is letting them know that the company takes renewable energy seriously and is offering properties an opportunity to consider the overall impact that the energy they use can have on the environment. Since the program launched, three Hilton hotels have opted to incorporate renewable energy at their properties, resulting in a carbon dioxide reduction of 6,907 metric tons over the next two years. At one hotel alone, the reduction equals 18 fewer railcars of coal. In some cases, the renewable energy options even come at a lower cost than traditional power options. The hope is that these success stories will spread and inspire other hotels to consider renewable energy options.
Corey admits that making changes in the way we power our hotels can be a heavy lift, but he also believes that if we’re going to make big environmental changes, we’ve got to do it with energy. He added, “Hilton wants to help make the world a better place, and the energy department is helping to do that through education. My role is to be an advocate, to help hotels handle their energy supply and to find solutions to meet their needs. If we can present them with a solution that makes sense, is efficient and the price is right – then why not?” In addition to the Renewable Energy Supply Program, Corey and his team are continuously innovating simple solutions for properties to increase efficiencies and lower their energy footprint.