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In 2013 the Hilton Chicago became the first hotel in Illinois to be recognized for the Governor’s Sustainability Award as well as the Illinois Hotel and Lodging Association’s Good Earthkeeping Hotel for 2013.  The following details all the Hilton Chicago’s efforts this year that resulted in us winning these 2 prestigious awards.

The hotel currently has 1,544 guest rooms and 235,000 square feet of meeting space.  This includes 3 ballrooms and 119,000 square feet of exhibition space making it one of the largest hotels in Illinois.  Managing consumption in an 85-year old building requires commitment, creative thinking and a great amount of resources.  Because of this commitment, the HIlton Chicago continuously challenges and improves its sustainable practices and social responsibility, with respect to client demands, the integrity of its management and its rich Chicago history.

View our journey of becoming a Grand & Green Hotel.

Hilton Hotels Worldwide requires all hotels, whether owned, managed or franchised, to measure sustainability performance by using the LightStay tool.  Through LightStay, Hilton Worldwide is able to calculate and analyze the company’s aggregate sustainability performance across more than 200 indicators. It measures multiple utility and operational metrics such as energy, water, carbon, paper product usage, waste, chemical storage, air quality and transportation.  Learn More



Hilton Chicago’s efforts have produced the following results:


  • 2012 – 122 tons
  • 2013  – 195 tons
  • YTD 2014  pacing 33% ahead of 2013


  • 2013 – 44 tons of commingled recyclables, 82 tons of cardboard, 46 tons of glass, 10 tons of paper.  According to our Sustainability Report from our waste vendor, in 2013 Hilton Chicago is responsible for:
    • 2,159 trees saved
    • 3,001 gallons of gasoline saved
    • 875,341 gallons of water saved
    • 536,130 kw hours of electricity saved
    • 1,382 cubed yards of landfill space saved
    • 60,647 gallons of oil saved

Green Cost Savings

  • Melink Intelli-Hood System:  In its first year, the new ventilation control system saved the hotel $33,522 in energy costs.
  •  Onity Sensor System: In its first year than estimated sensor system saved the hotel $98,145.00 in heating and cooling costs through its improved central control system.
  • Cooling Towers: The savings due to reduction in fan motor horsepower reduction, VFDs, and improved chiller efficiency are roughly 432,000 kWh per year, an estimated savings of $37,000 including demand charges. Improved drift management is roughly 730,000 gallons per year, about $4,380 per year. Also, if the kitchen equipment uses 10 gpm continuously through the cooling season, roughly 1,500,000 gallons per year reduction at a savings of $9,000 per year.    Overall there may be an estimated $56,000 in annual cost savings from the project from water and electricity use reductions.
  • Kohler automated faucets and low flow toilets: The plumbing upgrade is expected to save an estimated 500,000 gallons of water per year equivalent to an annual savings of  $3550.00
  • Cool Roof Pilot:  Although this roof allows us to reduce the internal temperature of our building as a result of deflecting direct sunlight, we do not anticipate being  able to ascertain financial benefit until the remaining 2 phases of this project are complete.
  • Recycling Program:  Our waste and Recycling hauler, Republic Services, has estimated that the recycling program saved the hotel $15,309 in reduced pick up charges.


Our Urban Farm

Hilton Chicago is partnering in our community with Windy City Harvest, a local enterprise providing education and training in sustainable horticulture and urban agriculture.  Chef Mario Garcia is working with Windy City Harvest to cultivate farm land that will produce a variety of items to be featured in his creations.

StayGreen Elite

Hilton Chicago has achieved StayGreen Elite status by the Illinois Hotel & Lodging Association.

The StayGreen Program was launched by IHLA in 2008 to recognize its hotel members that proactively use eco-friendly products and services to reduce their impact on the environment. IHLA StayGreen Hotels can achieve recognition for saving energy, recycling & minimizing waste, and using eco-friendly products.

To become a recognized StayGreen Hotel, IHLA members must complete the StayGreen Program Verification Questionnaire and receive a certain score based on a 100 point scale. Properties that score in the highest percentile are recognized as StayGreen Elite Hotels.