Hilton and Whole Foods Partner with US DOE To Launch Better Buildings Challenge SWAP

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has unveiled its Better Buildings Challenge SWAP. In the launch, Hilton Worldwide and Whole Foods Market have swapped energy management teams at their San Francisco facilities.

swap homepage

As part of the SWAP, each team has been charged with identifying innovative ways to save energy in these two target facilities:

  • Hilton San Francisco Union Square, a 1.8 million sq.ft. hotel
  • Whole Foods Ocean Avenue, a 25,600 sq. ft. grocery store

For fun, a reality style web series is being made available. The series, now available here, includes behind-the-scenes footage featuring both teams.

In a press announcement, Lynn Orr, DOE Under Secretary for Science and Energy, said, “Healthy competition, along with a free exchange of ideas, has long been an essential part of energy innovation.”

“Such an exchange created by the Energy Department provided a way for these leading corporations – which are already accomplished in energy management – to rethink some of their standard practices and push each other to do even better. A fresh set of knowledgeable eyes would likely help us all to be more efficient. That approach will help us address our world’s most pressing energy challenges.”

A key objective of this Better Buildings Challenge is to help companies reduce their energy footprint across their building portfolios, sharing successful strategies with peers.

Hilton SF Exterior_HR_NY_Hilton_Midtown_0As a result of the SWAP, the Hilton Worldwide team has already begun to implement multiple recommendations, including LED lighting upgrades, door gasket replacements, and the phase-out of less efficient appliances within refrigerated containers at Hilton Union Square.

Whole Foods Market has employed multiple strategies to advance environmental stewardship across its portfolio of 370 buildings or nearly 13 million square feet and is already achieving 7% energy savings toward a 20% goal.

During the SWAP, the Hilton Worldwide team uncovered lighting fixes, refrigeration savings through doors on cases, and heat recovery improvements that could net positive energy savings at the Whole Foods Ocean Avenue store.

Tristam Coffin, sustainable facilities coordinator at Whole Foods Market, said, “While it’s easy to think you’ve covered all the bases in your own facility, there is so much more to gain when you compare strategies and lessons learned with a team from a completely different line of work. Sharing best practices doesn’t get more hands-on than this.”

Importantly, the Better Buildings Challenge is aimed at achieving the goal of doubling American energy productivity by 2030 while motivating corporate and public-sector leaders across the country to save energy through commitments and investments.

More than 285 organizations are partnering with the Energy Department to achieve 20% portfolio-wide energy savings and share successful strategies that maximize efficiency over the next decade. Across the country, partners have shared energy data for more than 32,000 properties and are reporting energy savings of 20 percent or more at 4,500 properties, and 10 percent or more at 12,000 properties.

Stay tuned to this Better Buildings Beat Blog for updates.

Images via Hilton Worldwide and the DOE


About the Author

Writer, documentary producer, and director. Meyers is a contributor to CleanTechnica, and founder of Green Streets MediaTrain, a communications connection and eLearning hub. As an independent producer, he's been involved in the development, production and distribution of television and distance learning programs for both the education industry and corporate sector. He also is an avid gardener and loves sustainable innovation.