Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

Getting the CSR message across

19 October 2009
Getting the CSR message across

Rebecca Hawkins, director of consultancy firm CESHI, says hospitality operators must be able to prove that their sustainable business practices make a difference in order to win consumers for whom CSR matters.

"Businesses engaged in the broader sustainability agenda will have noticed that the range of issues embraced by this topic has expanded significantly. Once, any organisation that was engaged in energy, waste and water management could claim to be pursuing sustainable business practices. But today these initiatives are just seen as standard, good business sense.

The broadening of the sustainability agenda for hospitality businesses and the ambition that it demonstrates is welcome. But the merging of all these issues under a single banner provides problems for operators seeking to promote their corporate social responsibility (CSR) credentials.

The reputational risks of failing to meet promised performance standards mean many hospitality businesses understate the range of initiatives they are involved in.

Also, they do not know enough about the consumers who make choices based on environmental and ethical factors. The available data is contradictory and relates mainly to tourism.

Findings include Defra's 2007 research, which showed that environmental considerations have little influence on holiday decisions; and a VisitBritain NOP poll, which discovered that 14% of domestic holidaymakers in England had chosen a specific holiday because of environmental or social reasons.

This is supported by the success of sites such as responsibletourism.com and may signify that businesses with a market presence for credible CSR initiatives stand to benefit. However, mainstream operators are unlikely to benefit in this way without the following:

â- Improved understanding of the elements of responsible business programmes that most appeal to different consumers

â- Demonstrating the credibility of their programmes and proving that the initiatives make a genuine difference to the quality of the experience and the issue being addressed

â- Understanding the incentives that consumers respond to in this area and applying the techniques that are emerging in the social marketing field.

Working with partners such as Considerate Hoteliers and Coast, Oxford Brookes University is starting to address these issues and develop tools such as a Chefs' Charter and Green Passports to help businesses communicate the actions that matter to their clients."

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.

close

Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking