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Hilton Worldwide executives gathered at the Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort on March 26 to discuss various issues surrounding sustainability.
Hilton Dubai cluster general manager Christian H Muhr welcomed the attendees, which included hoteliers at all levels.
Dubai Department of Tourism Commerce Marketing (DTCM) director of business development Shaika Ebrahim AlMutawa and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) engineer, conservation and outreach engagement Sultan Al Zaabi both presented at the summit, offering information on best practices and benchmarking opportunities.
A panel discussion comprising Hilton Worldwide senior sustainability manager, engineering operations - Europe Paulina Godfrey; Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Resort & Spa's Jacques Claudel; Hilton Abu Dhabi director of operations Christian Hoehn and Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort director of operations Boris Guerov discussed project ideas for energy and cost savings, water reduction and waste management.
The session started with an outline of Hilton's corporate sustainability mission called Travel With Purpose, looking at energy consumption, water usage, waste output and engaging team members in the initiatives.
On the topic of energy, the panelists discussed the installation of LED lighting at Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Resort, which took place from January to May. ROI is expected to be made in less than a year, and the group reports no negative feedback on the new lighting solutions from the guests.
Meanwhile, Hilton Resort & Spa in RAK has incorporated solar panels to heat the water in all of its beach villas. Claudel said the panels were inexpensive and had been easy to maintain. He added that the hotel was now looking at utilising solar panels to generate power for lighting and other electrics in the villas.
On the topic of waters savings, Hilton Abu Dhabi's Hoehn said the resort had installed low-flow shower heads and faucets in the bathrooms to restrict the water flow. He said there were no reports of guest complaints and savings had been "noticeable".
Other water-saving initiatives included the utilisation of treated pool backwash to irrigate the garden areas of Hilton Dubai Jumeirah.
On waste management, the panel discussed various creative recycling initiatives and awareness campaigns involving items such as candles, cooking oil, plants, uniforms, linens, toner, as well as the usual recyclables such as paper, cans, bottles and glass.
Managers at all three Hilton properties said they had worked to engage team members in the initiatives, through interactive games and learning activities and events, as well as recognition and incentives.
The sustainability summit continued with a presentation from Emirates Environmental Group chairman andUN Global Impact Network GCC States president Habiba Al Marashi, and broke into various workshops presented by Hilton employees on the topics of reducing carbon footprint, reducing water usage and output and reducing overall energy consumption.