Lodging’s 2010 Innovators: Christopher Corpuel, Vice President, Sustainability, Hilton Worldwide

If a hotel wants to eliminate energy waste, it first has to know how much energy it is wasting. Sounds simple enough, but for most hotels, calculating their energy usage and where they can more efficient is an inexact science. At Hilton properties, that process recently became easier to calculate with the unveiling of “LightStay” the company’s proprietary system developed to analyze environmental impact.

“The purpose of LightStay is to quantify the measures of sustainability to help our owners, stakeholders, and guests understand these measures in a way that can not only drive hotel performance, but also delivery a great guest experience,” says Christopher Corpuel, Hilton’s vice president of sustainability. “Ultimately, what it is about is how we can quantify and then integrate it into great guest experiences.”

Hilton properties enroll in the program and input their date in a systematic process. The data is aggregated into dashboards and reports, allowing the hotel to continuously evaluate and improve performance.


In the first full year of findings, Hilton says that results show that the 1,300 properties using the system so far conserved enough energy to power 5,700 homes for a year. They also saved enough water to fill 650 Olympic-sized swimming pools, and reduced carbon output equivalent to taking 34,865 cars off the road. Reductions in water and energy use also translated into an estimated savings of $29 million in utility costs in 2009.

Corpuel says that efficiency has always been important. “Utilities are one of a hotels largest spend items,” he says.

Corpuel says the LightStay has been in the works for over the last several years. “We collectively got together and started to think about how we could really elevate efficiency to the next level and really aggregate it into one central platform,” he says. “We put together this common system that can be used all across the world to maximize performance.”

LightStay is now a global brand standard for all Hilton brands and hotels. Corpuel says that by the end of next year, all hotels within the system will be required to measure performance.

And, Corpuel says quantifying energy usage is vital. “The easy answer is if I reduce my energy and water usage than I’m reducing my costs,” he says. “But there’s also revenue opportunities such as with group travelers where it can become a buy decision—our ability to quantify and report what we’re doing. There are also risk issues, primarily legislative risks, where there are mandates for building codes or to take advantage of rebates.

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  1. Hilton Doubletree Helps Employee Become Green-er
    Rob started his career with Hilton as a bartender back in October 2002. As a retired Chemical and Environmental Engineer, he takes a great interest in environmental issues as they relate to the economy, climate change, and the impact on the environment as he was a consultant to numerous companies on these issues in the past. Over the past seven years, he has driven a Toyota Prius gas-electric hybrid the 11 miles to work from his home, and averaging 48 mpg; so it has been a real saver both economically and environmentally. He recently purchased a 2013 Toyota Prius Plug-In vehicle which has a larger battery pack. When charged from a 110 V outlet for 2.5 hours at home for a cost of 25 cents, Rob is able to drive the 11 miles to the Doubletree for work with no gas and no emissions. At work, he has been able to recharge the battery and return home without burning any gas and zero emissions. Combined with normal driving around town and freeway speeds, his actual consumption since buying the car was 120 MPGe! With more electric, plug-ins, and hybrid plug-in cars coming to the market, it is encouraging to see the Hilton Corporation supporting environmental initiatives in these new areas.

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