A pilot program targeting food waste reductions at 50 Hilton hotels worldwide has just expanded in North America. Hilton is urging its 300 managed hotels in the US and Canada to form partnerships with local food rescue organizations, feeding the hungry and diverting waste at the same time.

“Most food waste ends up in landfills, where it produces nearly 10% of the global greenhouse gas emissions that contribute significantly to climate change,” according to Hilton.

Initially the food donation program came out of Hilton’s goal to cut its environmental footprint in half by 2030, which included a commitment to reduce food waste by 50% during that same timeframe. The company worked with World Wildlife Fund on pilot projects to better understand challenges around tackling food waste.

“The pilots resulted in a number of innovations in Hilton hotels, from ‘no-waste’ catering menus to thoughtfully designed buffet presentations,” the company said. In addition, Hilton participated in developing the WWF and American Hotel & Lodging Association’s Hotel Kitchen toolkit with techniques to reduce food waste. Hilton implemented the toolkit at all managed hotels in the Americas, and made it available to franchised properties.

Currently existing food donation partnerships include Hilton San Francisco Union Square working with the organization Food Runners to provide nearly 2.5 tons of food annually. Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas donated nearly a ton of food in the past year to Three Square, and New York Hilton Midtown donates to the Rethink Food Program, which picks it up and repurposes it into meals for under-served New Yorkers.

With additional local donation initiatives in place throughout North America, Hilton expects the managed hotels will donate nearly 100 tons of food and divert millions of pounds of food waste from landfills over the next year.

“Hilton’s food donation program is initially focused on the US and Canada because food donors in those countries are legally protected from liability under Good Samaritan laws,” according to the company. However, Hilton says it plans to expand these efforts globally in the future.

Source: Environment + Energy Leader