DOUBLETREE BY HILTON KRAKOW HOTEL & CONVENTION CENTER under the 'Wide open to sustainable meetings’ program
We recommend this interview with Sales and Marketing Director Łukasz Sewiołło, who talks in detail about the solutions adopted at the DOUBLETREE BY HILTON KRAKOW HOTEL & CONVENTION CENTER and HAMPTON BY HILTON KRAKOW. Łukasz Sewiołło also explains the Carbon Neutral Meetings program and presents the initiatives taken by the Hilton chain to encourage change.
We have made a variety of changes concerning how the facility is operated, starting with replacing regular light bulbs with LEDs. Also, we installed timer light switches in rest and refreshment rooms. In order to conserve water, we have regulators in toilet flush systems and aerators to reduce water consumption, and we have a rainwater tank. We have a trash compactor to reduce the frequency of waste collection, we segregate and donate waste paper, we have installed an environmental cooling unit, and we reduce heat loss by insulating pipes and the water system. We no longer use disposable packaging for cosmetics in our rooms, and use reusable containers instead. We use the services of local suppliers and producers who hold sustainability certificates (such as Quality Assurance for Food Products or Marine Stewardship Council). We also get our employees involved in measures such as regular clean-up of the areas in the vicinity of the hotel or planting trees, and we support for a childcare facility in Krakow. We make sure that many such actions are taken and, honestly, this makes us very proud.
We also participate in the Carbon Neutral Meetings program. For each meeting, we are able to prepare an individual report with detailed information on the expected carbon dioxide emissions, and the energy, water and waste generated by the meeting or event. We use it to calculate the carbon dioxide emission offsetting which can serve to support the implementation of CO2 reduction projects carried out by ClimeCo.
Can you tell our readers a little about what the program is about? Do customers often use this option?
Certainly. As part of the Hilton Group, we closely monitor the consumption of power, water, and gas, and the waste we generate. To this end, we use special tools with a level of precision enabling sales specialists who use our resource management platform to calculate the amount of carbon dioxide generated as a result of the planned meeting or event. Then, they purchase the emission offsetting from ClimeCo. The funds this generates are used to develop green initiatives, such as the Liucheng Biomass Power Project (whereby biomass residues from mulberry leaf and sugarcane leaf discarded by local farmers are used to generate power) or the Gunder Hydro Power Project (aid for a 28.22 MW hydropower plant which utilizes the power of a water creek to produce electricity). In other words, these constitute investments in wind farms or industrial installations to reduce harmful substances, such as the one at the Ascend Performance Materials factory, where significant amounts of nitrous oxide are eliminated. We are very happy to see that our customers are eager to support such initiatives.
Do customers expect the company to apply sustainable solutions or hold certificates?
We have noticed an expectation that sustainable and eco-friendly solutions should be used, especially in the case of northern European companies.
What trends with regard to organizing meetings have you observed recently?
Eco trends are definitely noticeable. Organizers are happy to stop using plastic packaging, for instance it has now become standard to serve water in pitchers instead of bottles. Also, the Carbon Neutral Meetings I have already mentioned are really appreciated by organizers. There is also a clear emphasis placed on green transportation – companies do not enquire about parking spots. Instead, they want to know how to attend using public transportation.
Where do you look for knowledge and inspiration for organizing sustainable meetings?
One source is the Hilton Hotel chain and its Travel With Purpose program. The main premise of the program is that people need a good reason to want to travel and come to our hotel. Nature and the natural environment are certainly among these reasons, and this is why we do our utmost to help them to continue to flourish. Under the program, we undertook to make a number of changes by 2030, to get measurable results. I have already mentioned our resource management platform – we monitor this closely, because we made a promise to reduce consumption of utilities and generation of waste in the next seven years. These are not only empty promises. The chain continually tracks our progress in this regard, and we have no absolutely no doubt that we will keep this promise.
Another source is the MICE meetings and sharing experiences with our partners. If a solution has already proven to be working, we often find that we can also use it to facilitate our green operations.
The work of the CARE Committee plays an important role in our work culture. The Committee is composed of hotel employees with the mission of putting into effect the principles of sustainability at work and in local communities. They seek initiatives in which we can get involved, establish relations with foundations, organize fundraising, and, most importantly, inspire us all to be eco-friendly.