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Hilton, BSR Launch Sustainable Procurement Center

Hilton Worldwide and sustainability consultants BSR have launched a three-year initiative to help procurement professionals make more informed purchasing decisions based on the best available sustainability data and information.

The Center for Sustainable Procurement, or CSP, will publish research and work with companies to integrate sustainability data into the procurement process at the product category level. The initiative will be funded by Hilton Worldwide and managed by BSR.

Buyers now have access to more information on products’ sustainability attributes, but they still lack the knowledge and guidance to use this information alongside existing priorities such as price, quality and delivery, said Eric Olson, senior vice president of advisory services at BSR.

The CSP aims to move beyond product scoring and marketing labels and instead help buyers quantify sustainability as part of overall product quality and cost, said Bill Kornegay, senior vice president of Hilton Supply Management, a division of Hilton Worldwide.

The CSP will research case studies and conduct surveys on topics that include incentives for category managers, key issues for buyers to consider at the product level, the efficiency of third-party labels and certification. The center will produce education guidelines, webinars and web content for companies to share with internal sourcing teams.

The center is offering the one-on-one consulting projects, which will  examine purchasing processes and develop solutions on how to incorporate sustainability into those decisions, to a small group of BSR members. CSP also intends to conduct metric analyses that focus on integrating sustainability into existing approaches.

The idea for CSP arose from BSR’s two-year effort to develop an analysis and comparison tool known as LightStay, which focused on quantifying product sustainability to help Hilton with its buying decisions.

The criteria examined nearly 100 different measures, including core lifecycle-assessment components such as manufacturing, packaging, logistics and end-of-life. BSR collected and assessed nearly 1,700 SKUs across multiple product categories including food and beverage, property operations and rooms, which represented more than $165 million. The sustainability measurement system has saved Hilton Wolrdwide and its portfolio of 10 hotel brands more than $74 million as of October 2011.

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