Corporate social responsibility (CSR) polices that do not address specific business needs are pointless, hospitality operators have been warned.
At a debate on "CSR and the credit crunch" in London last week, organised by Partners in Purchasing, Peter Davies, the political editor of the Ethical Corporation Institute and chairman of Tory leader David Cameroon's working group on responsible business., said all activity must be measurable.
"You have to bear in mind the bottom line and what you are trying to do," he said. "If your CSR policy is not doing anything longer term for your business, why are you doing it?"
Fellow debate panellist and Michelin-starred chef Jake Saul Watkins, who runs the JSW restaurant in Petersfield, Hampshire, explained how his commitment to local sourcing addressed both ethical and commercial concerns.
"My produce is fresher and tastes better because it's locally sourced," said Watkins who hunts and fishes for as much of it as possible. "It enables me to save money and make a positive change in reducing my impact on the environment."
In a Caterer survey to kick off our Green Month, 19% of the 350 respondents admitted that the downturn would represent an obstacle to pursuing more eco-friendly polices with 19% saying other areas took priority.
By Chris Druce
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