Nils-Arne Schroeder, right, regional general manager of Hilton in Indonesia and Timor Leste, poses for a photo with Bye Bye Plastic Bags co-founder Isabel Wijsen and staff of Mountain Mamas in front of the new production facility in Wanagiri Kauh village in Tabanan district, Bali, on Thursday. (JG Photo/Nur Yasmin)

Hilton Bali Invests in Women-Run Social Enterprise

BY :NUR YASMIN

AUGUST 02, 2019

Jakarta. Three Hilton hotels in Bali have funded a production facility for Mountain Mamas, a linen bag business run by the women of Tabanan, as part of efforts to support the local community and help the environment.

Hilton Bali Resort, Conrad Bali Resort and Hilton Garden Inn Bali Ngurah Rai Airport provided Mountain Mamas with $5,000 in seed funding. 

The hotels received the funding as winners of this year's Travel With Purpose Action Grant – a seed funding program among Hilton hotels in Southeast Asia to perform impactful deeds in their surrounding communities. 

Living up to its name, Mountain Mamas empowers women, mostly farmers, to produce linen bags from reused material to reduce the use of plastic bags. The business operates under the auspices of Bye Bye Plastic Bags, a nonprofit spearheading a campaign against single-use plastic in Bali. 

"Through the production of the linen bags, Hilton is also helping to further our commitment to reducing the use of single-use plastics in Bali," said Nils-Arne Schroeder, regional general manager of Hilton in Indonesia and Timor Leste. 

Proceeds from the linen bags are directed towards Bye Bye Plastic Bags to continue its mission, while the remainder will be invested in Wanagiri Kauh village in Tabanan district to support a waste management system, school and health care facility.

A staff member of Mountain Mamas works on a linen bag in Wanagiri Kauh, Tabanan, Bali, on Thursday. (JG Photo/Nur Yasmin)
A staff member of Mountain Mamas works on a linen bag in Wanagiri Kauh, Tabanan, Bali, on Thursday. (JG Photo/Nur Yasmin)

"We have a huge role to play in doing our part for communities across the country. A little funding can go a long way, as we've witnessed through the Travel With Purpose Action Grants. Our efforts in Bali in building the facility for Mountain Mamas have been met with nothing but enthusiasm," Schroeder said.

Bye Bye Plastic Bags launched Mountain Mamas in early 2018. Its staff complement of about 40 women received sewing training and now they can produce at least 200 bags per day.

"I would like to say thank Hilton for supporting Mountain Mamas by building this facility," Isabel Wijsen, co-founder of Bye Bye Plastic Bags, said during Thursday's inauguration ceremony.

Hilton Bali partnered with local water vendor, Spring Water, last year to replace the plastic water bottles in hotel rooms with glass bottles. This will see a reduction of about 500,000 plastic bottles annually at the three Hilton hotels in Bali. The hotels have also replaced plastic straws with paper straws.

Hilton aims to halve its environmental footprint and double its social impact investment by 2030. This will make it the first major hotel group to adopt science-based targets to reduce carbon emissions and send zero soap to landfills.

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