Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc.: Company’s CSR Initiatives

Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc.: Company’s CSR Initiatives

Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc. is a leading hospitality company. It has a footprint spanning six contents and across 104 countries, which gives it global viability (Hilton, n.d). The company operates in two segments, including ownership, and management and franchise of hotels and resorts. Under ownership, the hotel operates under a management agreement with third parties through either direct ownership or leasing of hotels and their associated personal property. It also leases its brands under management and franchising to franchisees. As of December 2016, Hilton Worldwide managed, hired, managed and franchised about 4,800 hotels and resorts. In total, it had about 796,440 rooms across its territories (Reuter, n.d). In a 2018-ranking of hotels, Hilton Worldwide fell from its previous position 766 to position 775 in Forbes’ “World’s Largest Hotels 2018” (Touryalai, 2018). At the top of the list in 2018 was Marriott International. Apart from Marriott, other key competitors of Hilton Worldwide include Accor S.A., and among others, Wyndham Worldwide Corporation. The company’s mission is to the first choice for its global customers(guests), owners, and team members (Hilton Worldwide, 2013). The company’s values include Hospitality(where it seeks to provide about exceptional guest experiences), Integrity(which entails doing what is right at all times). Leadership(where it claims leadership with its industry and community), Teamwork(with a been interest on handling tasks and issues as a team), and Ownership(where it remains accountable for its actions and decisions) (Hilton Worldwide, 2013). There is no doubt that Hilton Worldwide is a crucial player in the hospital industry and particularly in the hotel’s segment.

Company’s Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility(CSR) is an obligation that every company has to ensure that its decision makers take actions that protect and improve the welfare of society as a whole alongside company interests. According to Singal and Rhou(2017), CSR is even more important for hospitality industry players due to the industry’s large footprint in terms of employment and consumption of natural resources. That is why at Hilton Worldwide, CSR is at the core of its corporate strategy and informs its daily operations. The company’s CSR strategy is focused on achieving efficiency and sustainability in four areas that include employees, impact on the local community, the environment, and responsible sourcing.

At the moment, three major CSR initiatives define the more significant purpose Hilton Worldwide has toward society and the environment at large. The first initiative is focused on achieving energy efficiency through energy management. The initiative is led by a team of employees known as “intrapreneurs.” The management of the company believes employees are at the forefront of finding creative and innovative solutions to challenges in their communities. That is why the company engages employees to swap energy management team with Whole Foods to get a fresh perspective on conserving natural resources (Clean the World, 2016). Through this initiative, the company is making simple upgrades with big impacts. For example, by installing LED lamps and phasing out of all inefficient appliances, the company expects to maximize environmental and financial efficiency associated with energy use. The second initiative regards recycling efforts in partnership with Clean the World, and a non-governmental organization focused on environmental sustainability. Through the Partnership, the company repurposes soap and hygiene amenities after guest stay, as these are used to support other people struggling with hygiene-related illnesses around the world as well as homeless families (Clean the World, 2016). Finally, in 2011, the company launched a sustainability campaign dubbed ” Travel with Purpose” through which it maintains sustainable methods within its corporate structure as is discussed in detail in the next section.

“Travel with Purpose” CSR Initiative

“Travel with Purpose” is a program that was launched by Hilton Worldwide in 2011 as the guiding principle behind all other CSR initiatives undertaken by the company. It is based on the notion that CS is a broad concept beyond environmental sustainability and requires collective effort to undertake. The company acknowledges the demand put on it by its guests to be a sustainable business for continued engagement, and so its purposes also to bring the guests on board under the program. In this regard, Hilton Worldwide hopes to create an all-around sustainable brand that resonates with the market demands. The company focuses on four areas under its “Travel with Purpose” program, seeking to create opportunities, create stronger communities, celebrate cultures, and encourage sustainable living (Hilton Worldwide, 2011).

Concerning creating opportunities, Hilton Worldwide strives to be the employer of choice, foster diversity and inclusion, and provide development and career pathway opportunities to its workforce. Besides, the company also supports educational and life-skill training programs for the youth. It seeks to strengthen communities through the provision of basic needs and disaster relief, contributing to the local economies, and supporting human rights (Clean the World, 2016). One way the company provides to the local economies is by creating job opportunities for the local community, especially the youth, and this it says depends on its footprint as well as staffing models of its different brands (Hilton Worldwide, 2011). On its third goal, which concerns celebrating cultures, the company aims to facilitate commerce using tourism and travel through which it provides cultural experience and preserves cultural heritage. Finally, the company encourages sustainable living under “Travel with Purpose” by focusing on managing efficiency and performance of natural resources and putting money into restoration and awareness programs. Whether the program is effective and in line with the mission and values of the company is subject to an evaluation that follows.

Personal Evaluation of “Travel with Purpose”

Travel with Purpose is a definitive CSR initiative as it is not only anchored on the mission and values professed by Hilton Worldwide but is equally effective in pursuing those values. The company values are best passed down the generation of employees through workforce training opportunities, and that is exactly what Hilton does with its “creating opportunities” goal under “Travel with Purpose” CSR program. According to the company report, 93% of its workforce is aware of its values, and it has created 2500 learning programs at Hilton Worldwide University to reinforce the values (Hilton Worldwide, 2011). As of 2011, the company spent $128.2 million on Minority-Owned Business and Women-Owned Business Suppliers as part of its initiative to create opportunities for all. In terms of strengthening communities, Hilton Worldwide gave out $125 million cash in 2011 in-kind contributions as part of its efforts to contribute to charitable causes that help in providing basic needs and disaster relief (Hilton Worldwide, 2011). Moreover, the company has in the past created job opportunities and continues to do so to date. Between 2008 and 2011 alone, the company created 52,000 new jobs by opening new properties across the globe.

It is only opportunities and stronger communities that show the impact of “Travel with Purpose.” Other areas where the program seems to have an impact on include pursuit of the goals t celebrate culture and ensure sustainable living. Hilton HHonors® has provided 4500 field trips that are part of the celebration of cultures through travel and tourism (Hilton Worldwide, 2011). Besides the field trips, the company has also spent millions of dollars, 2 million to be specific, on its Hampton Save-A-Landmark program launched in 2000 to facilitate research on and preserve roadside landmarks. Finally, Hilton also achieves sustainable lining through its ” Travel with Purpose” based on figures on its carbon footprint, waste, and energy efficiency output. For example, it has managed to reduce its outputs for carbon, waste, and energy use by 10.9%, 23.3%, and 9.7% respectively (Hilton Worldwide, 2011). In summary, “Travel with Purpose” was a well-thought CSR program that indeed acts as the guiding principle for all other CSR initiatives and programs at Hilton Worldwide.


Clean the World. (2016). Hilton Sets the Bar for CSR in the Hospitality Industry. Cleantheworld.org. Retrieved 8 Feb 2019, from https://cleantheworld.org/blog/hilton-worldwide-sets-bar-csr-hospitality-industry/


Hilton Worldwide. (2011). Travel with Purpose: Corporate Social Responsibility Report Executive Summary. Hilton.com. Retrieved 8 Feb 2019, from https://cr.hilton.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Hilton_CRReport_2014_15.pdf


Hilton Worldwide. (2013). Vision, Mission, and Values. YouTube.com. Retrieved 8 Feb 2019, from https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LKgGdnz0658


Reuters. Hilton Worldwide Holdings, Inc.(HTL.N). Reuters.com. Retrieved 8 Feb 2019, from https://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/company-profile/HLT.N


Singal, M. & Rhou, Y. (2017). Corporate Social Responsibility in the Hospitality Sector. Boston Hospitality Review. Retrieved 8 Feb 2019, from http://www.bu.edu/bhr/2017/01/27/hospitalitycsr/


Touryalai, H. (2018). World’s Largest Hotels 2018: Marriott Dominates, Hyatt & Accor Rise. Forbes.com. Retrieved 8 Feb 2019, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/halahtouryalai/2018/06/06/worlds-biggest-hotels-2018/#50e0a59847c7

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