Home News & Features BSR, Hilton Worldwide Launch Center to Help Businesses Make Sustainable Purchasing Decisions

BSR, Hilton Worldwide Launch Center to Help Businesses Make Sustainable Purchasing Decisions


SAN FRANCISCO—BSR and Hilton Worldwide launched the Center for Sustainable Procurement today to help global business procurement managers integrate sustainability into their purchasing decisions—providing a unique set of research and information that will help make sense of the increasingly available product sustainability data.

“Thanks to the important efforts of the Sustainability Consortium and a large number of industry and product-level programs, buyers now have access to more information on products’ sustainability attributes,” said Eric Olson, senior vice president, Advisory Services, BSR. “But they still lack the knowledge and guidance to use this new information alongside existing priorities like price, quality, and delivery. The Center will work to address these needs.”

Funded in full by Hilton Worldwide with day-to-day management by BSR, the Center will develop:

•    Research, case studies, and surveys on topics such as incentives for category managers, key issues for buyers to consider at the product level, the efficacy of third-party labels and certification, and more;
•    Metrics analyses that focus on integrating sustainability into existing approaches such as “total cost of ownership;”
•    Educational guidelines, webinars, and web content for companies to share with internal sourcing teams; and
•    One-on-one and collaborative consulting projects for a small group of BSR members to examine current purchasing processes, develop solutions for integrating sustainability into decisions, and share lessons collectively.

The idea for the Center originated with the procurement and supply chain work BSR supported over a two-year period with Hilton Worldwide. Within its proprietary LightStay platform, the company developed an analysis and comparison tool focused on quantifying product sustainability to help inform buying decisions. The criteria looked at nearly 100 different measures, including core lifecycle-assessment components such as inputs, manufacturing, packaging, logistics, use, and end-of-life. In total, the company collected and assessed nearly 1,700 SKUs across multiple product categories such as food and beverage, property operations, and rooms, representing more than $165 million in spend.

“Hotels purchase a range of products to support a great guest experience, and our work is focused on getting past product scoring and marketing labels to help our buyers quantify sustainability as part of overall product quality and cost,” said Bill Kornegay, senior vice president, Hilton Supply Management, Hilton Worldwide. “Taking mattresses as an example, costs notwithstanding, our buyers must make a decision regarding sustainability in the procurement process, which currently includes metrics for quality, services, delivery, and costs. We see the Center as an incredible opportunity to help us develop robust sustainability metrics to aid the buyer in making the best decision possible.”

Having worked for two decades with companies on a range of sustainability challenges and opportunities, BSR views the Center as a chance to increase the scale of its work on sustainable supply chains. “The Center for Sustainable Procurement gets to the heart of what we do at BSR: We work with companies to catalyze sustainability solutions that make a difference across multiple industries globally—and we’re doing this with very practical, easy-to-use resources,” said BSR’s Olson.

Go to BSR and Hilton Worldwide.