Around this time last year, Marriott Hotels (the largest hotel group in the world) had announced their plan to eliminate the use of all plastic straws at their 6,500 worldwide locations by July 2020, as reported by sources from NPR and Treehugger. What makes Marriott's conservation contribution important is the fact that many of their hotel locations are situated near oceans and other bodies of water, which means their plastic products have a higher potential to do significant damage to our ecosystem. In recent years, plenty of companies have jumped on the conservation bandwagon ranging from Starbucks to Disney in order to make a difference in the community but to also to increase their popularity amongst younger generations who have a larger interest in the preservation of our planet. So here's the kicker, do companies actually care about protecting our environment or are they solely looking to increase their profit margins?
Hilton Hotels has also taken a stance to eliminate the use of plastic straws by the end of the year. Hilton's vice president of corporate responsibility, Maxime Verstraete, noted in a recent interview with Triple Pundit that millennials are very passionate about implementing more sustainable practices to reduce our carbon footprint and as a company it is very important to help in these efforts because "these are our future travelers." As a company it is crucial to ensure that whatever initiatives you participate in are directly benefiting your business, whether it directly boosts your brand image or increases foot traffic in your stores.
With Hilton and Marriott leading the way for hospitality companies participating in conservation initiatives, it's not far off that more and more companies will follow suit. It may or may not be in the name of profit, but it's safe to say as long as companies become involved in these initiative the environment will benefit, which on its own is a tremendous win for our society.