Corporate Social Responsibility in the Hospitality Industry

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  • 0:05 What Is Corporate…
  • 1:38 CSR in the Hospitality…
  • 3:26 The Benefits of CSR
  • 4:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Allison Tanner
This lesson discusses the role of corporate social responsibility in the hospitality industry. It also looks at areas where organizations can be socially responsible and the benefits of doing so.

What Is Corporate Social Responsibility?

Jean is preparing the next generation of hospitality leaders to enter the industry. This week she starts off by explaining corporate social responsibility (CSR) and its role in the hospitality industry. She begins by telling the students that CSR is when a company takes the initiative to improve society by implementing socially responsible practices into their business model.

CSR is especially important in hospitality because most organizations work in the heart of a culture giving tours, providing accommodation, and showing guests sacred sights. Further, organizations in hospitality can have a major impact on various aspects of society. From food waste to imposing themselves on local communities, the hospitality industry can either be a great benefit to society or incredibility devastating.

Going to the board, Jean tells the students that there are various models of CSR, all of which are focused on the company's role in improving society. However, the model she'll use has three components. Placing one box on top of the diagram, she writes 'CSR' and links three boxes right below it. She fills them in with the words environment, philanthropy, and ethical labor practices.

Jean explains to the students that these are the three main areas of CSR. This means that organizations can make an effort to improve society by ensuring that they are treating the environment well, participating in philanthropic activities, and implementing fair and ethical labor practices into their business model.

CSR in the Hospitality Industry

To help the students picture the importance of CSR, Jean tells them to imagine that they work for a resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. The resort is using massive amounts of water and electricity, paying local workers a minimum wage, and doesn't give anything back to to the local or international society. Although his may seem extreme, Jean explains that in some cases, similar things have happened and can still happen today.

Now, there are many things this resort can do to improve its practices. The staff might start by asking themselves some questions such as: How can we be more environmentally friendly? Jean then draws on the board a list of various questions that organizations can ask themselves. She writes, ''Should we pay local labor rates?'' among others. Using these questions, the resort can identify areas where it can be more socially responsible.

For example, the resort in Playa del Carmen could help the environment by adding features that reduce its water use. They may also request that guests wash towels every two days in order to reduce the use of water. Other options include installing systems that will time electricity use.

For philanthropy, the resort could start funding to support local neighborhoods, provide a food bank, or create funds that are used to restore local heritage sites. In regards to ethical payment, despite Mexico having lower minimum wages, the resort could set a standard wage to ensure that their staff have paid vacation and working days that are no more than eight hours. Across the hospitality industry, companies can implement socially responsible means for working. Whether applying energy-efficient vehicles for tourism and transportation, giving back to the local community, or caring for its staff, CSR can be highly beneficial to a company.

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