Women in CSR: Jennifer Silberman, Hilton Worldwide

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Women in CSR: Jennifer Silberman, Hilton Worldwide

Triple Pundit - Women in CSR Series
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Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 4:50pm

TriplePundit: Briefly describe your role and responsibilities, and how many years you have been in the business.

Jennifer Silberman: As Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at Hilton Worldwide, I am responsible for overseeing the development, integration and communication of Hilton Worldwide’s corporate responsibility strategy around the world. I joined the company in 2010, after eight years at APCO Worldwide, where I was Vice President in the corporate responsibility practice, counseling Fortune 500 companies and global foundations on strategy and program design, business integration, stakeholder engagement and results-oriented philanthropy. I have more than 20 years of experience working in the U.S., Latin America, and Africa in the areas of economic development, sustainability, human rights, women’s empowerment and youth opportunity.

3p: How has the sustainability program evolved at your company?

JS: Sustainability has deep roots at Hilton Worldwide. Our namesake and founder, Conrad Hilton, always believed that one “should assume your fair share of responsibility for the world in which you live.” In 2009, we formalized this conviction with the creation of five-year sustainability goals to reduce our energy use and our carbon, waste, and water outputs across the full range of our hotel operations. We created tools to manage and assess our performance against these goals, officially launching LightStay™ – our proprietary sustainability measurement tool – in 2010. Then gradually, we began to integrate sustainability into our entire business by making it a brand standard across our global portfolio of hotels.

In 2011, we combined our global social and economic goals and indicators into our corporate responsibility platform, Travel with Purpose™. Today, our commitment focuses on creating shared value for our business and for the communities where we live, work, and travel. Travel with Purpose ensures that across the full range of our more than 4,000 properties, in 90 countries around the world, we continue to create opportunities for youth to succeed, to strengthen our communities by supporting local suppliers and human rights, to celebrate the cultures and diversity that thrive around us, and to live sustainably in order to have a positive influence on tomorrow.

3p: Tell us about someone (mentor, sponsor, friend, hero) who affected your sustainability journey, and how.

JS: The first person who comes to mind is Lee Weinstein, formerly of Nike, and my former client at APCO. He put such trust in me that it opened up opportunities to test my own knowledge and strategic thinking. In doing so I learned just how much I love this line of work – leveraging the power of global commerce to influence a sustainable, responsible future. Lee gave me the exposure and confidence to learn by enormous strides just by working with such a powerful brand. I was able to see not only how much a global company can positively influence society, but also how much positive impact I could have on the company itself. After working with Lee I not only had the skills, but also the drive, to ensure that more companies leveraged their own potential for social impact.

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Keywords: Business & Trade | Business & Trade | Corporate Responsiblity | Energy | Environment & Climate Change | Ethical Production & Consumption | Hilton | Hilton Worldwide | sustainability