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Marriott Inc. Partnerships for Successful CSR Programs
One Company, One Brand, the Marriott’s, are a global leader in offering hotel and lodging facilities with over 6,700 properties and operating in more than 130 countries across the world. The company is committed to innovative practices for serving customers and offering new opportunities to its associates by growing its business operations. Quality service and good food at reasonable prices is the organization’s guiding principle that has enabled it grows internationally. Although Marriott began as a root beer stand, it is current among the top employers in the hotel industry. Business is ran by embracing core values that include putting people first, embracing change, acting with integrity, serving the world and pursuing excellence. By becoming part of Marriott international, one becomes part of a rich history and thriving culture. Putting people first makes Marriott a great work place, earned Marriott global recognition and offered its associates growth opportunities.
The hotel’s brand portfolio provides a wide product range in the hospitality industry presenting two hotel styles, Distinctive and Classing. Each brand is further sub-divided into three tiers. Visit The Ritz-Carton, JW Marriott and W hotel branches to enjoy luxurious amenities. Classic provides time-honored hospitality services to one time travelers while premium brand include, Executive apartments, vacation club, autograph collection and Element hotel only to mention but a few. 1350 of its lodging facilities are franchised in more 30 hotels across the world. In 2016, reported historic growth in lodging facilities where 55,000 were opened excluding the 381,000 gained after acquisition of Starwood. We signed 880 new hotels that represented 136,000 rooms through franchise and long term management. In addition, were opened more than 400 hotel containing 68,000 rooms across the globe. Currently, we are operating more than 6,000 hotels and close to 1.2 million rooms.
Marriott’s CSR Activities
For the love of environment, economy and communities, the company believes that it has a global responsibility and opportunity for leading the world into a better state with respect to our scale and size. Led by the 2025 Sustainability and Social Impact Goals in collaboration with Sustainable development goals established by the United Nations the firm is committed to building a sustainable and positive impact in all business activities at all its branches and franchises. By believing that its areas of investment should be healthier to live, work, visit and live the company has developed sustainable communities by investing in the future of natural resources and children and deliver support and aid when need arises. The organization influences its clients and stakeholders to support a chosen number of non-profit associations with the aim of helping children in different parts of the world. Communities are served by volunteering, offering in-kind and cash donations and engaging associates in making meaningful impact to the community. The company responds to disasters through in collaboration relief organizations. The management supports investment on natural capital initiatives including rainforest protection, mangrove reforestation and coral restoration.
The company strives to offer unemployment solutions by partnering with non-profit organizations to promote access to business opportunities through its supply chain, diverse population, youth, refuges and people living with disabilities and promoting talents in the travel and tourism industry. Marriott participates in making of pro-travel policies and programs that support people’s understanding of different cultures by creating partnerships, training, accountability and advocacy. As the leading company in the industry, it is at forefront of fighting pressing human rights issues such as exploitation, human trafficking, and labor rights.
We are currently the first company to launch a CSR program that is in line with the millennium development goals. Our new social impact and sustainability initiatives foster Marriott’s business growth and balance the associates owners, customers, communities and environmental needs. The 2025 platform is committed to 15% water, 30% carbon and 50% food waste. Other essentials of the initiative will include capitalizing on business talents and personal talents training associates on human trafficking, creating a criteria for sourcing policies and recruitment.
Marriott’s sustainability reporting guidelines are set by Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). The company produces a series of reports topics in relation to the hotel industry and stakeholder interests. Mainly, the reports are emailed to the stakeholders although they can be accessed in the company’s website which is visited by more than 23 million guests per month. Information provided in the reports is in accordance with the GRI G3.1 Guidelines and self declaring Application Level C. In addition, the reports also contain information derived from the previous series. The reports made by the company reveals its performance, operations and an insight to the business aspect as required by the GRI guidelines regarding the report content. The key topics discussed in the reports include the company’s focus areas as categorized by stakeholders and the areas of stakeholder engagement including a description of Policy Advocacy. However, due to the changes occurring on the GRI, I believe that the company should look for other ways of reporting in the coming years. I also think that Marriott needs to evaluate, motivate and come up with appropriate sustainability reporting standard in future.
Other than GRI, the company is also ISO 26000 and ISO 50001 due to following the guidelines for improving reduction of carbon footprint through sustainable practices and also for energy management system respectively.
Effectiveness of CSR Implementation
As a global leader in the hospitality industry I believe that Marriott has a global duty and opportunity for driving forces in all CSR aspects from carbon reduction, human trafficking awareness and training. In my opinion, incorporating social and environmental initiatives is crucial since they have a direct impact on profits and other business aspects. In reference to the UN, Millennium Development Goals the company developed Serve 360 that steers the organization towards delivery and commitment in our four pillars of CSR namely, nurturing the world, sustainable operations, empowerment through opportunity and advancing human rights. It is therefore proud of being part of the solution to the pressing human rights. It is quite evident that the initiatives to take care of the society’s welfare are for the interests of our organization. Caring for the environment and the people has a positive influence both environmentally, socially and economically. Currently, the environment has got better while employment rate in the hotel industry has decreased.
The company has gained positive impression to the public over other businesses that hunt money without caring about the community well being. Marriott has set up evaluation measures for success of CSR programs both qualitatively and quantitatively. One measure is on the number of people helped to get independent. However, there are a number of issues that have affected implementation of CSR programs. For instance, the company is not able to fully comply with the reviews and community programs and have not touched on some crucial problems. Some of the target population has not been empowered due to lack of knowledge about our CSR programs. Lastly, the expected changes in GRI may have negative influence on the company since it may be required to some of the areas that reveal its secrets.
Meet Marriott’s Competitors
Unarguably, Marriott international, Accor SA and Wyndham are among the world largest hotels in the hospitality industry. Accor SA is committed to promoting gender equality and has currently signed Women Empowerment Principle adopted by the UN. The aim is to ensure that 35% of the hotel management comprises of women. Accor SA is also committed to planet 21 a program that demonstrates its 2020 goals based on set priorities such as working with employees, customer involvement and innovative practices with customers. The organization also fights against sexual exploitation for children, promotes eco-designs and healthy and sustainable food. Accor SA CSR reports correspond with the GRI requirements and principles. The hotel group also reports ethical indices and follows the principles of the UN Global Combat initiative.
Notably, the CSR for Wyndham hotel reflects how community programs drive business success. The hotel has notable philanthropic efforts including volunteerism, charity contributions, and working with local institutions that focus on education, health and education. The organization also partnered with Save the Children a nonprofit organization to help in child related initiative. The annual sustainability report for Wyndham is prepared in harmony with the GRI and aligned with the sustainable Development Goals framework for the UN. The reports have seen Wyndham named as one of the best employers in the world.
Looking at the three companies, they are all maintaining their CSR requirements and acting in accordance with the regulating bodies. In my opinion, the companies need to adopt different reporting systems to cover the all the crucial areas of their CSR reports. Additionally, there should be adequate and timely communication when the reports are released so that all parties can get access to information. The competition between the three hotels is on all sectors including the area that they are conducting their CSR program and the methods of reporting. The Marriott needs to differentiate itself by coming up with new CSR strategies to avoid saturation of a particular initiative.
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