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Hilton’s Impactful Fight Against Food Waste in the UAE

Hilton's Impactful Fight Against Food Waste in the UAE"

Explore Hilton’s UAE initiatives to combat food waste, champion sustainability, and make a positive impact.

As Dubai prepares to welcome the world for the Conference of Parties, or COP28, in Dubai, Hilton teams are gearing up to welcome delegations, host organizations supporting discussions, and participate in formal conversations representing the broader hospitality industry. With a focus on driving responsible travel and tourism globally, team members at Hilton’s 35 properties in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are working to bring Travel with Purpose, Hilton’s strategy to advance responsible travel and tourism globally, to life throughout COP28 and beyond.

This article will explore Hilton’s significant efforts in reducing food waste through its ‘Green Breakfast’ initiative and other sustainable practices in the UAE. We will delve into the alarming statistics regarding food waste, Hilton’s commitment to sustainability, unique initiatives by Hilton properties, and its philanthropic endeavours.

The Alarming Statistics

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Food Waste Index Report 2021 highlights an alarming issue: an estimated 17 per cent of total global food production goes to waste, of which 5 per cent comes from the food service industry. Furthermore, estimates suggest that 8–10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food not consumed.

Hilton's Impactful Fight Against Food Waste in the UAE"

Hilton’s Commitment to Sustainability

Hilton, as a company founded on the belief that hospitality has the power to be a force for good, is committed to reducing waste across its global operations. This commitment is manifested through implementing a food waste reduction program in every kitchen and active steps globally and within the UAE to reduce food waste across its portfolio of brands.

‘Green Breakfast’ Initiative

Hilton’s ‘Green Breakfast’ initiative, implemented in 13 UAE-based hotels, aims to reduce food waste by 50 per cent across breakfast operations in three months. This initiative aligns with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 12.3, which focuses on responsible consumption and production.

Sustainable Gastronomy

Hilton properties across the UAE are actively working to measure, mitigate, and minimize food waste to further its sustainability goals. They do this by focusing on composting, local sourcing, sustainable gastronomy, and food donations.

Championing Local Sourcing

Hilton’s partnership with UAE-based agritech platform Fresh on Table is dedicated to championing local farms. Hilton expects to source over 700 tonnes of local produce annually in the UAE, reducing its carbon impact, supporting the community, and providing guests with fresh, delicious food.

Unique Initiatives by Hilton Properties

Each Hilton property, in alignment with the overarching Travel with Purpose strategy, also chooses unique ways to positively impact their communities and reduce food waste at their properties. Some UAE hotels have successfully received the ‘Dubai Sustainable Tourism Stamp,’ a sustainable initiative that seeks to recognize hotels adhering to Dubai’s Department of Economy and Tourism (DET) sustainability requirements, while others are working towards receiving the same.

In Dubai, Conrad Dubai, one of the three Green Ramadan pilot hotels, works with sustainability start-up The Waste Lab to convert food scraps into organic fertilizers. The hotel also plants 350 Ghaf trees on the property – one for each Team Member – to contribute to the region’s biodiversity. DoubleTree by Hilton – Business Bay is giving new life to coffee grounds by turning them into fertilizers to grow mushrooms in partnership with mushroom farm Bean and Beyond Farm. Hilton Garden Inn Dubai Mall of the Emirates holds a LEED Platinum Certificate earned through several initiatives, including water recycling systems and the integration of solar thermal panels.

Abu Dhabi-based hotels are leading the way in hotel farming. The Chef’s Garden at Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island boasts guava trees and an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables, including mango, fig, chikoo, and pomegranate. Meanwhile, at Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers, the hotel tends to its zero-waste hydroponic farm, which generates 10 kilograms of local produce daily for 12 restaurants. In addition, beehives will soon be housed at Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island to support the island’s ecosystem and provide guests with fresh local honey.

Moving to the Northern Emirates, in Fujairah, DoubleTree by Hilton Fujairah City has created a Sustainability Garden using repurposed wood and plastic bottles for tree planting. It integrates an aquaponics system to conserve water. In addition, in Ras Al Khaimah – the pearl of the Emirates – Hilton Ras Al Khaimah Beach Resort features an organic garden that grows various homegrown fruits and vegetables. From tomatoes and eggplants to chillies and capsicums, the garden offers produce as the foundation for the resort’s Farm to Table concept.

In Sharjah, DoubleTree by Hilton Sharjah Waterfront Hotel & Residences has put in place management systems to save energy and electricity. Water-saver aerators are also installed across the hotel to reduce consumption and ensure a sustainable and comfortable stay.

Hilton's Impactful Fight Against Food Waste in the UAE"

Hilton’s Philanthropic Commitment

In support of Hilton’s efforts to create engines of opportunity in the communities where it operates, Hilton Global Foundation (HGF) – Hilton’s primary philanthropic arm – announced a commitment to grant USD 250,000 to the SEDRA Foundation as part of its global funding towards organizations that are making a tangible impact in their communities. Through this partnership, Hilton aims to offer training to support young people with disabilities. As a result, three team members have joined Conrad Abu Dhabi Etihad Towers.

Conclusion

Hilton’s commitment to reducing food waste in the UAE is a shining example of how the hospitality industry can lead the way in sustainability. From innovative initiatives like the ‘Green Breakfast’ to sustainable farming and philanthropic endeavours, Hilton significantly impacts the environment and its communities. As COP28 approaches, Hilton’s actions inspire the broader hospitality industry to step up and embrace responsible travel with purpose.

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