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16 May 2012 | Adam Leach
Hotel chain Hilton Worldwide is to launch a centre of excellence to help buyers integrate sustainability into purchasing decisions.
The Center for Sustainable Procurement will be funded by Hilton and managed by sustainability organisation BSR - a network of 300 companies working to improve sustainability in business. The centre will develop research on topics such as how to give managers incentives to adopt sustainability. It will also work on developing metrics around total cost of ownership and provide guidelines, webinars and web content for companies to share among purchasers.
Eric Olson, senior vice president, advisory services at BSR, said while buyers had access to more information than ever before, more could be done: “They still lack the knowledge and guidance to use this new information alongside existing priorities like price, quality and delivery. The centre will work to address these needs,” he said.
The idea followed the work BSR carried out with Hilton on developing a tool to quantify product sustainability so that it could be factored into buying decisions. The tool measured 100 different aspects, including packaging, inputs, logistics and the impact of the product’s disposal. Hilton used the tool to assess the sustainability of products and assets representing $165 million (£103 million).
Bill Kornegay, senior vice president, Hilton supply management at the hotel group, said in a statement: “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 centre as an incredible opportunity to help us develop robust sustainability metrics to aid the buyer in making the best decision possible.”