HOLLYWOOD, FL—With the motto, “Save the Planet,” part of its DNA since it began nearly 50 years ago, there’s no doubt that Hard Rock International strives to make a positive impact.
The global hotel brand has partnered with Clean the World, an organization that recycles hotel hygiene products, to offer a unique experience to meetings, incentives, conferencing, exhibitions (MICE) groups.
“As Hard Rock is committed to corporate social responsibility, we wanted to offer our MICE customers the opportunity to engage in a one-of-a-kind meetings experience that would encourage team building, while also giving back to the community, reducing waste and helping those in need,” said Danielle Babilino, SVP, global sales & marketing for Hard Rock International.
In 2018, Clean the World partnered with a few Hard Rock hotels to recycle their soap through the organization’s Hospitality Recycling Program.
“We reached out to Andrea Melotti, VP of hotel operations for Hard Rock International, who had a previous relationship with Clean the World and loved the program, to expand our combined efforts,” said Bruce Matthews, VP of business development at Clean the World.
“Andrea worked hard to implement our program at a number of properties, and it’s thanks to Andrea as well as Danielle Babilino and Gina Morales’ hard work that we now have an extensive relationship including soap recycling and the use of our Hygiene Kit Build Events as community give-backs and team-building opportunities.”
Clean the World currently works with more than 8,000 hotels and hospitality partners to take their used soap and plastic amenity bottles and recycle them, providing brand new hygiene supplies to those in need via the Clean the World Foundation, a member of the United Nations Global WASH Cluster.
“Since corporate social responsibility is top of mind today—both from an individual as well as corporate perspective—it is a perfect means to pay it forward through a team-building activity that is relatively low cost while offering high reward,” said Babilino.
With this partnership, Hard Rock International aims to help reduce hygiene-related illnesses. Babilino noted the team also wants to continue their efforts to sustainably discard waste from its hotels.
“So often, the in-room amenities such as soaps, shampoos and lotions are partially used and, ultimately, they go to waste. While our hotels can donate these products, we decided that we can also give back by partnering with Clean the World through their hygiene kit building activity for the MICE community that allows for interpersonal interaction toward a common cause,” said Babilino.
Clean the World reaches out to each Hard Rock hotel through an introduction from Melotti. Then, the organization introduces the program and discuss how, together, they can help drive the companywide “Save the Planet” initiative by recycling soap to make an impact on the environment and communities around the world.
“After joining the program, hotels will receive a Clean the World Welcome Kit, recycling bins and access to our Customer Portal, enabling them to see their location’s impact, print prepaid shipping labels, and even order new bins,” saidMatthews. “Additionally, we offer online webinars for the GM and housekeeping teams to ensure they understand how ‘soap saves lives,’ and with their help, we turn ‘trash into treasure.’”
In addition, Matthews and his team worked with Babilino and Morales at the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach on a Hygiene Kit Build, and filmed the event to showcase the impact on the local community. “Hard Rock is now promoting this as a companywide initiative—to provide basic hygiene items to those in need in their local communities through staff team-building and corporate events,” said Matthews.
“Since this is a program that is already in place with Clean the World, it is a relatively easy activation,” said Babilino. “Our sales and convention services teams simply need to understand if a meeting planner wishes to include a give-back activity as part of their overall agenda. If this should be the case, we will make the necessary introductions and then Clean the World will finalize the coordination with our meeting planners.”
Matthews wants hoteliers to know this initiative can make a difference. Clean the World’s Hospitality Recycling Program is utilized as a key part of sustainability and corporate responsibility programs, and the on-boarding process is simple.
“Our service is available in North America, the Dominican Republic, Europe and Asia, and over the next few years, will be available in many more countries,” said Matthews. “In the 10 years since we started, we have distributed more than five million hygiene kits in the United States, distributed more than 50 million bars of soap to 127 countries, and diverted more than 20 million pounds of waste from landfills—all from something as simple as sending us your soap.”