Pillow-Vac® pillow renovating contributes to sustainability leadership efforts of Hilton Concord

Harris Pillow Supply: Pillow-Vac case study Facility/location: Hilton Concord, Concord, CA

This information originated in American English.

April 18, 2012

CONCORD, Calif. - Hilton Concord, located in the suburban community of Concord in the East Bay of San Francisco, is implementing a significant array of approximately 16 integrated sustainability initiatives designed to drastically reduce the environmental footprint of the hotel while achieving increased net cash flow from operating cost reductions and creating added asset value. The hotel is owned and operated by Interstate Hotels & Resorts. "Investing in these initiatives will not only contribute to the bottom line, but will also position Hilton Concord as a leader in the market committed to environmentally-friendly practices," said Ted Knighton, Interstate's chief operating officer.

The first phase of the initiative has been completed producing impressive initial results in sustainability market leadership and economic benefits as it continues its benchmarking procedures.

One of the initiatives is the renovation of guest pillows with the Pillow-Vac®, manufactured by South Carolina-based Harris Pillow Supply.

"Sustainability has become increasingly important not only to our guests but throughout our entire organization," said Jack Hlavac, general manager, Hilton Concord, who leads the sustainability mission. "With our commitment to sustainability, we banned landfill disposal and trucking as an option, which generates CO2. As our 329 guest rooms use 2,421 pillows, the last link to complete the initiative was the Pillow-Vac, found through Hotel Sustainability Solutions." 


The Pillow-Vac renovates pillows, eliminating deposits of old pillows in landfills while
saving the hotel disposal costs and nearly 75% of the pillow replacement cost


Hotel Sustainability Solutions, Inc. (HSSI), a consulting firm providing comprehensive expertise and management of integrated systems, technologies and products for the hospitality industry is a California-based company offering sustainability solutions throughout the USA. Chuck Smith, CEO, said, "Of the targeted sustainability initiatives to be implemented, including products, systems and technologies, the Pillow-Vac provides our clients with the fastest ROI. It delivers an excellent technology and customer support system. It has been a perfect fit in achieving our sustainability objectives at Hilton Concord."

How the Pillow-Vac works for Hilton ConcordOver time, pillows tend to become flat and lose their bounce, regardless of the filling. Feathers disintegrate, leaving dust. Most people who have allergies tend to think it is the feathers in the pillow that irritates them, but actually it is this dust.

The Pillow-Vac, with a small 2' x 4' size, is designed specifically for pillow renovating. It uses an ozone-emitting germicidal light to kill bacteria, sanitize and deodorize the filling. The old pillow is cut open and emptied into a tumble chamber which has rotating brushes that expose everything to germicidal lights while breaking up clumps that have formed. It fluffs up the down clusters, and sifts out the dust that has been trapped in the pillow. If it's a feather and/or down pillow more new filling is added to bring it back to the density of a new pillow. At the end of the cycle all the filling is blown back into a new, 100% cotton feather- and downproof ticking. The entire process takes an average of three-to-four minutes per pillow.

Savings resulting from the Pillow-VacThe Pillow-Vac restoration process, which only takes a few minutes per pillow, basically makes a new pillow with the new ticking and renovated filling at a much lower cost than buying new pillows. Hilton Concord's cost to purchase new pillows is $18.00 to $24.50, depending upon the size and style. The overall average cost of a new pillow is $20.70. The average cost of renovating a pillow with the Pillow-Vac is $8.56, providing an average net savings of $12.14 per pillow. This includes labor, energy and other associated costs associated with the operation of the Pillow-Vac.

"Based on the projected number of renovated pillows per year, the annual savings from the Pillow-Vac is estimated to be $15,842. The ROI will result in approximately three months," said Smith.

The Green Effect of Pillow-VacConsider the number of pillows required by Hilton Concord. Imagine over 2,400 pillows being placed in a landfill every couple of years and the associated replacement and disposal costs. The Pillow-Vac extends the life of an average pillow indefinitely, reducing a significant effect on area landfills. The ozone-emitting germicidal light, used to kill bacteria, sanitize and deodorize the filling, actually replenishes ozone in our atmosphere. Hilton Concord's concern of the environment by utilizing the Pillow-Vac has a significant impact on their bottom line and their community's environment.

Some hotels and motels mistakenly try to wash their pillows, which will work for most synthetics, but not those filled with feathers or down. Machine washing down pillows destroys the integrity of down, and often will release countless feathers and down in to the washing machine. The end result of this ill-fated attempt includes wasted water, wasted energy to heat the water, and the addition of needless detergents in to the water drainage system. The Pillow-Vac contributes to their initiatives with the elimination of hot water use for pillow cleaning.

Harris Pillow Supply manufactures the Pillow-Vac and a complete line of pillows for the hotel and lodging markets worldwide, including a variety of down, synthetic blends and hypoallergenic pillows. Harris Pillow Supply is a family-owned business that has served the hotel and lodging industry since 1958. For more information on the Pillow-Vac or pillows by Harris visit www.harrispillow.com or email sales@harrispillow.com or call (800) 845-8240.

Matthew Hohenstreet
Hilton Concord
+1 925 349 2609

Charles A. Smith
Hotel Sustainability Solutions, Inc.
+1 412 445 4237

About Hilton Concord
Hilton  Concord (www.concord.hilton.com)  is  owned  and  operated  by  Interstate  Hotels  & Resorts (www.interstatehotels.com), which has made a significant commitment to achieving a sustainability platform throughout their portfolio. For more information about the hotel, visit  www.hiltonconcord.com, or call Jack Hlavac, general manager, or Manivone Khangsengsing, director of housekeeping, at 925-827-2000.

Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Inc., (www.interstatehotels.com) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of a 50/50 joint venture between subsidiaries of Thayer Lodging and Jin Jiang, is a leading U.S.-based global hotel management company, operating branded full- and select-service hotels and resorts, conference centers and independent hotels worldwide. Interstate and its affiliates manage and/or have ownership interests in nearly 400 hotels with more than 70,000 rooms in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. The Company has ownership in 58 of those hotels, including six wholly owned hotels.

Hotel Sustainability Solutions, Inc. is a leading hospitality sustainability company focusing on large and medium properties including conference/convention hotels & resorts. For more information  contact  Charles  A.  Smith,  CEO,  at  casstonebridge@aol.com or  call 412-445-4237.

About Hilton Hotels & Resorts

For nearly a century, Hilton Hotels & Resorts has been proudly welcoming the world's travelers. With more than 575 hotels across six continents, Hilton Hotels & Resorts provides the foundation for memorable travel experiences and values every guest who walks through its doors. As the flagship brand of Hilton, Hilton Hotels & Resorts continues to set the standard for hospitality, providing new product innovations and services to meet guests' evolving needs. Hilton Hotels & Resorts is a part of the award-winning Hilton Honors program. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose nearly any combination of Points and money to book a stay, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, free standard Wi-Fi, and digital amenities like digital check-in with room selection and Digital Key (select locations), available exclusively through the industry-leading Hilton Honors app. Begin your journey at www.hilton.com and learn more about the brand by visiting news.hilton.com or following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

About Hilton

Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 5,300 properties with more than 856,000 rooms, in 105 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company's portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with money, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, and free standard Wi-Fi. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.