Hotel CSR: Social Causes and 'Doing Good' Will Remain Integral in Hospitality
By Leora Halpern Lanz President, LHL Communications | May 17, 2015
Co-authored by Bryce Rackham, Student, Boston University School of Hospitality Administration
With the powerful travel influence of the millennial generation as well as the ever-growing needs of today's geo-traveler, the popularity of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasingly important in the arena of hospitality. While various luxury brands and independent resorts have, over the last few years, implemented their own elementary degree of CSR programs (in which employees can partake or even the guest), today we are witnessing hospitality assets implementing interesting programs to further elevate their CSR practices into services or amenities. Hotels and brands need not spend considerable investments to implement wellness and sustainable practices into everyday operations.
Like any business, hotels must hear their customers and listen to their desires and needs. Whether passions lean toward corporate citizenship, healthy living or supporting those who need assistance, it is in our human nature to do good for others. Shared here are brief examples of how hotels are elevating their corporate social responsibility initiatives to new heights while educating us on the distinction between "wellness" and "sustainability."
In terms of the hospitality industry, wellness can be defined as any amenity or service that allows the guest to be in a state of good physical and mental health; sustainability can be defined as any initiative that uses water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment.
According to Kathy Conroy, MAI, CEO and Director/Partner of the Florida offices of HVS - one of the world's leading hospitality consulting and services firms - wellness and sustainability trends can be further broken down into three pillars: the Environment, the Economy, and the Community.
To clarify, if one is to build a concept, service or product, it is necessary to initially assess the entire life cycle of what is being created, beyond the product itself. For example, when looking at the life cycle of a product, it is crucial to see where it is sourced from, how it is disposed when finished, and how it in actuality impacts the environment, economy, and community. Important questions to ask are: