Hilton Colombo Residences champions soap recycling in Sri Lanka for sustainable waste management

Wednesday, 21 August 2019 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

From left: DIVERSEY Territory Manager Dayal Kithsiri,  SERVE Executive Director Sanjeeva de Mel, DIVERSEY Senior Territory Manager Farlington Peerez, Hilton Colombo Residences General Manager Linda Giebing, Hilton Colombo Residences Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Sameera Ranasinghe and Hilton Colombo Residences Marketing and Public Relations Manager Minoli Senanayake 

Hilton Colombo Residences has announced the launch of its new soap recycling initiative ‘Soap for Hope’. Under this project, Hilton Colombo Residences will partner with sister hotels Hilton Colombo, Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi and Conrad Maldives Rangali Island to collect partially-used bars of soap from them for recycling,

Hilton Colombo Residences General Manager Linda Giebing

following which the hotel will be responsible for the sanitation and production of new bars of soap.

Hilton Colombo Residences joins over 4,400 Hilton hotels in the world in their commitment to soap-recycling. This meaningful initiative will have a dual impact: provide a sustainable way of discarding partially used bars of soap and improve sanitation standards in communities across Sri Lanka.

Hilton Colombo Residences will be partnering with SERVE, a local NGO based in Moratuwa whose work extends to empowering children and women low-income communities in Sri Lanka. At present, the NGO works with over 2,000 women and over 3,500 children and will take on distributing it households who are in need with a training on sanitation and hygiene. Their underlying philosophy is working towards eradicating the cycle of poverty by providing marginalised communities with the opportunity to thrive with skills-based training and education. 

“Hilton Colombo Residences is committed to positively impacting the environment and society. In celebration of Hilton’s 100th anniversary this year we launched a ‘No Plastic Bags’ campaign to drive awareness about the detrimental impact of single-use plastic. This is the next step of our journey,” said Hilton Colombo Residences General Manager Linda Giebing. 

“We have partnered with Hilton Colombo and two of our hotels in the Maldives who will be sending us used soap that would otherwise end up in landfills and it is just amazing to see the impact we can make to help various communities improve on their sanitation standards whilst caring for the environment. We will be channelling the brand new soap through SERVE who work with over a three thousand children to educate them on the necessity of health and sanitation,” added Giebing.

Speaking on the partnership, SERVE Executive Director Sanjeeva de Mel said, “SERVE has a history of 20 years in Sri Lanka operating in ten districts both in urban and rural communities. We work to empower over 2,000 women and over 3,500 children in low-income groups in the country. By joining hands with Hilton on this project we are happy to address health and sanitation in these communities. We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with a hospitality company that has taken the lead on this project to better the environment and society in Sri Lanka.”

The World Health Organisation estimates that two million partially-used bars of soap are sent to landfills daily. Through this initiative, Hilton Colombo Residences is taking a proactive approach to recycle partially used soap in their guest rooms. 

In May 2018 Hilton surveyed travellers to ask how impactful a hotel chain’s efforts to conserve the environment and society affected their booking pattern. In doing so, they discovered that most guests considered this to be the most critical factor in making their bookings. This led to the company redefining its sustainability goals for 2030 in alignment with the 2030development goals of the United Nations. Hilton commits to cutting down environmental footprint by half and doubling social impact investment for the same timeframe.

                         Pix by Upul Abayasekara