Hilton today said it has become the world’s first hotel group to commit to serving more climate-friendly foods to help reduce food-related greenhouse gas emissions.
The company has signed onto the ‘Cool Food Pledge’, which helps dining facilities – such as hotels, hospitals and company cafeterias – track the climate impact of the food they serve, develop plans to sell dishes with smaller climate footprints, and promote their achievements as leaders in a growing movement.
The aim is to collectively slash food-related greenhouse gas emissions from signatories by 25% by 2030.
Hilton shared details during the Sustainable Brands conference in the US this week and confirmed that it will initially roll out the effort in the 80 hotels it manages in the UK and Ireland, Germany, Belgium and Netherlands.
Working closely with World Resources Institute, which serves as secretariat of the Cool Food Pledge, Hilton will further its strategy for changing its food offerings.
Already, Hilton chefs have lowered the climate impact of one of their most-ordered items: the burger.
The Blended Burger swaps 30% of beef – a highly resource-intensive food – for “flavour-boosting” mushrooms.
Over 500 hotels in 100 countries are already offering reduced-meat options, such as the Blended Burger.
The company is looking at how it can expand such offerings as well as continue to increase plant-based and vegetarian menu items, train its team members on sustainability and food, and raise awareness among its guests.
“Last year, Hilton made a bold commitment to cut our environmental impact in half and double our investment in social impact by 2030,” said Daniella Foster, senior director corporate responsibility at Hilton. “The Cool Food Pledge is a great opportunity to join forces to set off a game-changing movement – for businesses, consumers, and the precious resources that make the world a great place to live and travel.”
Globally, producing animal-based foods accounts for two-thirds of agricultural GHG emissions and more than three-quarters of agricultural land use, while plant-based foods generally have lower environmental impacts.
Beef uses 20 times more land per gram of protein and generates 20 times more greenhouse gas emissions than beans, for example.
In addition to Hilton, signatories to the Cool Food Pledge include Morgan Stanley, WeWork, Genentech, Max Burgers, Monde Nissin, UCSF Health, UCSD Health, UCLA Health, UC Davis Health, Overlook, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Together, they serve more than 100 million meals annually.