MeetGreen partners with many socially-minded organizations as part of our work organizing and greening conferences and because of the training services we provide. We’ve been fortunate to have a long-standing relationship with Clean the World whose work along with others in the industry is helping save lives throughout the world. “Hand washing with soap significantly reduces the impact of two fatal diseases: acute respiratory infection and diarrheal disease. Those are two of the top killers of children under 5 years old. To help save those lives, recycled soap is the primary ingredient in Clean the World’s global hygiene revolution…. Clean the World accomplishes its mission by collecting, recycling and distributing discarded soap and plastic amenity bottles from participating hospitality partners. We recycle guest room hygiene items…and distribute them for humanitarian purposes with partnering non-profit organizations. The items are distributed domestically, and to children and families in communities around the world.” – Clean the World
At MeetGreen, we applaud not only the humanitarian benefits that Clean the World and partners provide, we also appreciate the reduction in landfilled bars of soap (among other usable amenities), of which more than 2 million are thrown away daily. This is what Debi Kinney, Vice President, CSR and Hotel Business Development, had to say about the landscape Clean the World is working – and thriving – in.
Have hotel amenity donations, recovery and distribution changed dramatically in the past five years?
Awareness about our soap recycling/repurposing program has grown dramatically over the last five years. We are now recycling approximately 5,000 hotels, around the globe, which equates to about 1 million rooms we are recycling every day.
What changes do you anticipate in the next five years? Are there any trends that concern you?
I anticipate continued growth for Clean the World. I know we will be offering different product lines, all of which will stay true to our mission, but that will help us help more people, diversify our offerings to create long-term partnerships and increase our client base to drive the mission forward.
Which stakeholders are the driving force in Clean the World’s success?
I divide our key stakeholders into four main groups:
Our team. In no other organization have I encountered a team that is so mission focused or so impact driven as the one representing Clean the World.
Our Board of Directors. They help us find and vet new strategic pathways, they are thought leaders and they push our mission forward through policy and practice.
All of our hotel partners, but specifically our flag partners. Groups like Hilton Worldwide, Las Vegas Sands, Caesars Entertainment, and IHG (just to name a few) have moved the needle for our mission. They have made our program a standard in their properties and have led the way programmatically, regionally or in some other substantial, impactful way that represents the partnership and the mission.
We are incredibly blessed to have a phenomenal relationship with Guest Supply, who impacts our mission with a global partnership via their distribution centers, financial support, in-kind donations and marketplace presence.
What is the biggest obstacle still to be overcome?
Making our hotel recycling program a standard across all hotels. Our program is not just about recycling – it is about sustainability and the life changing, life-saving element that our soap brings to so many in need. Since launching in 2009, Clean the World has helped to contribute to a 35% reduction in hygiene-related illnesses, and that is based on approximately 5,000 hotel partners we work with. If we were able to work with every hotel, imagine the incredible impact! We could eradicate hygiene-related illnesses across the globe.
How can we, as a community and individuals, get involved to make a difference?
Source and stay in hotels who participate in our programs. By supporting those properties, Clean the World will receive more product to repurpose and recycle for distribution amongst underprivileged and at risk communities.
Debi Kinney is the Vice President of Business Development at Clean the World, a social enterprise that offers sustainable, socially impactful programs to a global marketplace. Clean the World’s mission is to prevent millions of deaths caused by acute respiratory infection and diarrheal disease, while simultaneously diverting millions of pounds of landfill waste. Kinney is responsible for continuing to grow the Clean the World brand regionally, nationally and internationally through programming, partnerships and outreach efforts that reflect the mission of Clean the World.
Kinney brings twenty years of experience in hospitality sales and management to her role at Clean the World. Her top sales performance as well as strategic planning talents have led to increased revenue, efficiencies and effectiveness for the organization.
Kinney is frequently asked to speak at industry forums, including emceeing Convene for Green 2016, IMEX, Las Vegas Hospitality Association, among others, regarding key hospitality industry issues such as sustainability, corporate responsibility, sponsorship, and strategic event planning.
Among Kinney’s recognitions are being named one of Las Vegas’ 40 Under 40 in March 2014, and in in 2009 she was recognized for her work at Caesars Palace in an international rating as one of the top 20 Convention Services Managers of the year. Her current community service includes a seat on the Board of Directors for Impact NV, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening and accelerating the implementation of sustainable community initiatives in Southern Nevada through strategic collaborations of public-private partnerships.
Kinney graduated from the University of California at Santa Barbara with a Bachelors degree in Communication and a History minor. In 2000 she completed The George Washington University Event Management Certificate program, hosted at the University of San Diego.