Meeting with Purpose: GovTravels Goes Carbon-Neutral

Apr 1, 2024 | DTJ Online

A final touches are prepared for the 2024 NDTA-DTMO GovTravels Symposium, NDTA is pleased to announce that some important new plans have been laid for this year’s event. The conference hotel and venue, the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center Hotel, has agreed to fund the carbon offset that will enable the Symposium to be carbon-neutral for the first time—an act that feels even more apropos given this year’s meeting theme, “The Future of Government Travel: Trends in Sustainability, Innovation, and Evolving Technologies.”

Hilton partnered with ClimeCo to develop a portfolio of high-quality carbon offsets for customers hosting meetings or events at its hotels. Recognizing the responsibility to empower customers to achieve their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals through more sustainable offerings, Hilton began offering a program called Meet with Purpose. The program enables planners to first make selections for an environmentally responsible and sustainable meeting or event, and then provides a carbon offset option to deliver carbon-neutral meetings at participating Hilton properties around the world.

Using Hilton’s proprietary ESG management platform, LightStay, Hilton sales professionals calculate the carbon emissions associated with a meeting or event and then purchase carbon offsets from ClimeCo, a third-party verified and registered through the Climate Action Reserve or Verified Carbon Standard. Carbon offsets are used in a variety of ways including using compostable products to generate energy, improving local energy generation through wind and water power, and reducing Nitrous Oxide (N20) which is a significant contributor to global warming.

The Hilton Alexandria Mark Center is proud to take part in such important initiatives. In addition, the hotel participates in a host of other sustainability activities, including a robust recycling program: 

  • Kitchen Grease – The hotel recycles its cooking oil. The oil is cleaned through a 3rd party, so it is reusable. 
  • Batteries –All batteries in the hotel from door locks, remotes, etc. are recycled through its waste management program. 
  • Cardboard, White Paper, Glass/Bottles –These items are also recycled through the hotel’s waste management program. 
  • Lightbulbs –The hotel uses a machine to crush its light bulbs so they can be reused in some capacity. When the machine gallon is full, it consistently starts the process over. 
  • Laundry Recycle Water – The water used in the hotel washing machines is pushed through a recycling system so that it can be thoroughly cleaned and reused.
  • Mattresses –The hotel recycled its entire mattress inventory during the process of installing new ones.

The theme of this year’s meeting is meant to focus us forward, challenging us to consider new developments in passenger travel within the context of protecting and preserving the environment. As we prepare to welcome the GovTravels attendees, we look forward to showcasing how we can all be a part of the solution. DTJ

By Sharon LoManaging Editor, Defense Transportation Journal and The Source



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