Home Publisher's Point of View Hilton Passing Tops Busy Week of Industry Announcements

Hilton Passing Tops Busy Week of Industry Announcements

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Glenn Hasek

This past week was a big news week with five announcements to note.

First, Hilton announced the passing of Barron Hilton, a legend in our industry who led the Hilton company from 1966 to 1996. During his leadership, he transformed the company and generated an average annual rate of return to shareholders of 15 percent with dividends. More importantly, with his business acumen, he helped grow his father’s 1979 bequest of $160 million in Hilton stock into an endowment of more than $2.9 billion to support the philanthropic work of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. In 2007, Hilton announced that, like his father, he would leave 97 percent of his wealth to the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. This planned gift is projected to increase the foundation’s endowment from $2.9 billion to $6.3 billion and will make Barron Hilton the organization’s most significant donor.

Second, New York State’s Sen. Todd Kaminsky (D-Long Island) announced a bill at a Wednesday news conference at the W Hotel in Manhattan that would ban lodging establishments from providing mini plastic bottles of toiletries. The proposed law has the potential to remove 27 million of the bottles from the waste stream each year.

Also this past week, Accor officially announced the latest addition to its economy segment: greet. According to Accor, greet is a community-based, responsible and non-standardized brand, that is in keeping with current trends and seeks to serve travelers who are looking to add meaning to their purchases and are aware of their impact on the planet. Each hotel owner is free to express himself while staying true to the three ways of being greet: by salvaging objects sourced via second-hand networks or from eco-responsible suppliers; by upcycling unusual decorative items, and by revisiting these objects to repurpose them and give them a second lease of life. With one greet already open in France, Accor hopes to open 300 greet hotels throughout Europe by 2030.

The Kansas City Business Journal reported that the proposed $1.8 billion renovation of the Brookridge golf and fitness club in Overland Park, Kansas, will be the first project nationally to create a partnership aimed at successfully getting both LEED and LEED Zero Energy certifications. The project is slated to include 550 hotel rooms.

Finally, Amazon and Global Optimism announced The Climate Pledge, a commitment to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early. Amazon is the first signatory of this pledge. The Climate Pledge calls on signatories to be net zero carbon across their businesses by 2040—a decade ahead of the Paris Accord’s goal of 2050. Amazon has raised the bar higher for all companies. Amazon has pledged to reach 80 percent renewable energy by 2024 and 100 percent renewable energy by 2030 on its path to net zero carbon by 2040. Amazon announced the order of 100,000 electric delivery vehicles from Rivian, the largest order ever of electric delivery vehicles, with vans starting to deliver packages to customers in 2021. Amazon plans to have 10,000 of the new electric vehicles on the road as early as 2022 and all 100,000 vehicles on the road by 2030—saving 4 million metric tons of carbon per year by 2030.

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