Hilton Worldwide announced that it will cease serving shark fin and stop accepting new orders for shark fin dishes by April 1, 2014; The ban covers all restaurants and F&B facilities operated by its 96 owned and managed properties across Asia Pacific.
In December 2012, the company first removed shark fin from menus across all restaurants and food and beverage (F&B) facilities operated by its managed properties in China and Southeast Asia, and only serving it on request. This action helped pave the way for a ban, which first took effect in Southeast Asia on September 1, 2013 and then in Greater China on February 1, 2014. Banquet bookings made in each region prior to the respective ban dates will be honored accordingly.
The final step of the ban takes effect in Japan on April 1, 2014, when shark fin dishes will no longer be served in restaurants and F&B facilities operated by Hilton Worldwide's owned and managed properties. In Japan, no banquet orders for shark fin dishes have been accepted since December 1, 2013, however banquet orders made prior to December 1, 2013 will be honored accordingly.
This puts the global hospitality company on track to ban shark fin in all restaurants and F&B facilities operated by its portfolio of 645 owned and managed hotels globally.
"We made a decisive commitment to influence consumer demand and ensure operational compliance across our portfolio of hotels by taking a measured country-by-country approach. In placing a global ban on shark fin, we take action in support of environmental conservation efforts worldwide, and progress our efforts in responsible business operations," said Martin Rinck, president, Asia Pacific, Hilton Worldwide.
As a leading global hospitality company, Hilton Worldwide encourages its hotels to increase the use of sustainable products and services where feasible, and proactively examine opportunities to improve the company's sustainability performance across its supply chains. This commitment supports the 'Living Sustainably' pillar of the company's global corporate responsibility strategy, Travel with PurposeTM.
"The demand for shark fin in Asia Pacific has been identified as a major cause of decline in global shark populations. Hilton Worldwide's ban on shark fin will go a long way in this region towards protecting valuable shark species, which are in turn crucial for maintaining the health of our marine ecosystems. Hilton Worldwide's measured and step-wise approach towards responsible sourcing is a fine example of how businesses with strong leadership can, and should, take responsibility for their impact on the environment," said Elaine Tan, CEO, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) -Singapore.
The ban on shark fin previews the company's on-going efforts to develop a Sustainable Sourcing Policy, including sustainable seafood, details of which will be released at a later date.Promote Equal Opportunity for Women
Hilton Worldwide pledged its commitment to promote equal opportunity for women by signing the CEO Statement of Support for the Women's Empowerment Principles. The Principles are the result of collaboration between the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and the United Nations Global Compact and offer guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.
The signing coincides with International Women's Day and underscores the company's commitment to support capacity-building that is sustainable into the future, in three key areas:
- Women in leadership
- Women as business partners
- Community partnerships that invest in women and girls through education, training and professional development
"In an increasingly globalized and interconnected world, utilizing all social and economic assets is crucial for success," said Christopher J. Nassetta, president and CEO, Hilton Worldwide. "As a leading global hospitality company, we acknowledge that full participation of women in our enterprise and in the larger community makes sound business sense now and in the future, and signing the UN Women's Empowerment Principles solidifies our pledge to promote equal opportunity for women."
This commitment builds on Travel with PurposeTM, Hilton Worldwide's strategy to create shared value for its business and communities around the globe. It brings together a range of existing programs and company resources around the world that connect, prepare and engage women including: Women in Leadership
Women as Business Partners
- Executive Committee Diversity Networking Program: As part of Hilton Worldwide's ongoing effort to develop a pipeline of diverse talent, the program places additional focus in promoting female leadership. Every member of our Executive Committee participates as a mentor in the program, and over 75 percent of the mentees in the program are women.
- Women's Leadership Development: A program that assists women in assessing and addressing their unique strengths and challenges, as well as navigating the frequently complex dynamics of strategic business leadership. Participants develop their skills as highly effective, visionary leaders. Program participants include women leaders from both Hotel Operations and Hilton Worldwide's corporate functions.
- Women's Team Member Resource Groups: The WTMRGs are company-initiated voluntary groups of Team Members who collaborate to advance the goals of the company, promote professional growth through networking and mentoring, provide leadership development opportunities and offer their perspectives to the company. Currently, more than 470 women participate in the WTMRGs located in our corporate offices both in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Community Partnerships That Invest In Women and Girls
- Supplier Diversity Program: Started nearly a decade ago, the program has cultivated relationships with more than 4,400 women and minority owned businesses. To date, Hilton Worldwide has invested more than US$500 million in Women and Minority Business Enterprises. The company will continue to look for opportunities with women-owned businesses by working with WEConnect International, an organization that helps build sustainable communities by empowering women business owners to succeed in local and global markets. Hilton Worldwide hotels will gain access to networks of women business owners across the globe, and through fair competition, support their growth potential.
- Entrepreneurship Skills Training: Since last year, Hilton Worldwide has invested in an entrepreneurship skills training program for rural women in China who run small businesses, or plan to start one. This month, we see the first batch of 90 participants graduate from the Beijing-based Practical Skills Training Center for Rural Women. These 90 women have the aptitude and drive to impact and improve their own communities of more than 1,100 people.
- Room to Read: Since 2012, Hilton Worldwide has partnered with the organization to fund the education of more than 550 girls and build dozens of school libraries and schools in Asia, which in turn impacted more than 35,000 children and their families.
- Protection of Human Rights: In 2011, Hilton Worldwide became the second U.S.-based hotel company to sign the ECPAT Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct, which focuses on the protection of children from sexual exploitation in the travel and tourism industries. Last year, the company launched a partnership with Vital Voices to support a global network of women-led NGOs working to stop child trafficking.
- Strategic Collaboration: Hilton Worldwide is also partnering with Diageo Asia Pacific to present the inaugural 'Women in Hospitality and Tourism in Asia' conference on March 7, 2014, at the Hilton Singapore. The conference will be attended by nearly 200 sector experts, including industry executives, policy influencers and civil society organizations, who will share their knowledge and celebrate opportunities for women in hospitality and tourism in Asia.