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An analysis of CSR activities in the lodging industry.
Article Type:
Report
Subject:
Hospitality industry (Surveys)
Hospitality industry (Public relations)
Corporate social responsibility (Research)
Corporate social responsibility (Surveys)
Authors:
Levy, Stuart E.
Park, Sun-Young
Pub Date:
01/01/2011
Publication:
Name: Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management Publisher: Australian Academic Press Pty. Ltd. Audience: Trade Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Business; Business, international; Travel industry Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 Australian Academic Press Pty. Ltd. ISSN: 1447-6770
Issue:
Date: Annual, 2011 Source Volume: 18
Topic:
Event Code: 290 Public affairs; 310 Science & research Computer Subject: Company public relations
Product:
SIC Code: 5813 Drinking places; 7011 Hotels and motels; 7021 Rooming and boarding houses; 7041 Membership-basis organization hotels
Geographic:
Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States

Accession Number:
296255048
Full Text:
This study identified and analysed current corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices and benefits gained from implementing these activities in the United States (US)lodging industry. A survey of the US-based hotel executives showed that the most important and highest performing initiatives tended to be popular environmental practices focused on energy, waste and water management. Hotel executives reported that cost savings and branding-related outcomes were the greatest benefits from CSR implementation. It is argued that increased consumer and managerial learning of CSR activities from a holistic perspective is critical to moving the CSR program forward in the lodging industry.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility (CSR), sustainability, CSR activities, importance-performance analysis, hotels

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Best Western encourages members of its rewards frequent-stay program to donate points to World Vision for Japan tsunami and earthquake relief efforts. Employees are paid by Kimpton Hotels to volunteer at a local nonprofit organisation during Kimpton Cares Month. Marriott breaks ground on LEED-certified 'green' hotels. These good works, among many others, demonstrate the vitality of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in the lodging industry. A CSR orientation not only contributes to the common good of society (Garriga & Mele, 2004), but can engage employees, connect with consumers, boost profits, and even stave off regulatory threats from government (e.g., Bohdanowicz & Zientara, 2008; Eraqi, 2010; Weber, 2008).

Given the potential benefits that CSR can bring to hotel brands and individual properties, however, the activities that comprise CSR in the lodging industry are often ambiguous. In addition, the lack of managerial awareness and learning in this arena has been argued to be a major organisational barrier to implementation of socially responsible practices (e.g., Goodall & Stabler, 1997; Kazim, 2009; Post & Altman, 1994). As a multidimensional construct (Dahlsrud, 2006), CSR has often been cited as 'the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life, of the workforce, and their families, as well as of the local community and society at large' (World Business Council for Sustainable Development, 1999, p. 3) and considered 'a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis' (CEC, 2001). However, these broad conceptualisations do little to help focus and clarify the activities which compose CSR. While numerous attempts have been made to clarify what constitutes CSR activities in the management literature (e.g., Carroll, 1999; Wood, 1991), little progress has been made within the hospitality context.

Another reason for our limited understanding of CSR is due to the current popularity of the related concept of sustainability. Lodging companies tend to communicate CSR efforts under the banner of sustainability, or more lately, sustainable hospitality (Houdre, 2008). Moreover, numerous hospitality certification programs (e.g., Energy Star, Green Seal) and associated measurement systems (e.g., Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, International Tourism Partnership's Sustainable Performance Operational Tool) provide sustainability criteria for hotels to evaluate and benchmark performance while gaining industry-wide recognition for their efforts. Although sustainability encompasses the 'triple bottom line' (i.e., profit, people and planet; Elkington, 1997), the ecological underpinning of the sustainable development movement has resulted in a clearly environmental emphasis (Montiel, 2008). This is evidenced in the hotel business by the type of ubiquitous responsible practices communicated to guests such as towel recycling efforts, the utilisation of environmentally-friendly products, and the composting of food (Tzschentke et al., 2008a). Not surprisingly, the common sentiment among practitioners is that CSR is largely about the environment (Sheldon & Park, 2011). Similarly, hospitality research examining CSR activities has focused predominantly on environmental practices (e.g., Andereck, 2009; Bohdanowicz, 2006, 2007; Heung et al., 2006; Mensah, 2007).

This study aims to explore the nature of CSR in the lodging industry by: (a) identifying CSR activities which hotels are practicing; (b) examining hotel executives' perceptions on the benefits of implementing these activities; and (c) gaining insight into the importance and performance of these CSR activities from hotel executives' perspectives. The study findings can enhance managerial learning, given the very limited current understanding of the elements which compose CSR within the hospitality field.

Benefits of Incorporating CSR in Hotels

Implementation of CSR practices in hotels are contended to be driven by a number of factors including profit motives, brand positioning, ethical considerations of managers and owners, societal and regulatory pressure, and employee relations (e.g., Butler, 2008; Han et al., 2009; Kasim, 2007; Mair & Jago, 2010; Tzschentke et al., 2008b).

Cost savings in hotel operations are often evidenced through CSR implementation, particularly environmentally-responsible practices which reduce energy expenses (e.g., Bader, 2005; Han et al., 2009; Mair & Jago, 2010). This is considered to be a major motivating factor for hotel properties to implement green practices (Bohdanowicz, 2006; Tzschentke et al., 2008b). From the revenue standpoint, CSR and sustainability efforts can lead to higher repeat business and room revenue (Huimin & Ryan, 2011; McGehee et al., 2009). There are mixed reports, however, regarding consumer willingness to pay more (e.g., Kasim, 2004; Kuminoff et al., 2010). Beyond operational performance, CSR activities have been found to positively influence firm value (Bader, 2005; Kang et al., 2007; Lee & Heo, 2009) and return on assets (Lee & Park, 2009). CSR also offers a key marketing advantage over competitors (Atakan & Eker, 2007; Butler, 2008; Williams et al., 2007) and can improve hotel image and reputation (Bader, 2005; Bird et al., 2007; Bohdanowicz, 2005; Han et al., 2009; Kirk, 1995; Mair & Jago, 2010).

Furthermore, some executives consider engagement in CSR as part of the corporate mission (Sheldon & Park, 2011) and simply the fight thing to do (Huimin & Ryan, 2011; Mair & Jago, 2010). Strategic implementation of CSR practices can also grant hotels a social license to operate and reduce threats of greater governmental supervision (Kasim, 2007; McGehee et al., 2009; Williams et al., 2007) by improving community relations and contributing to the local quality of life (e.g., Kirk, 1998; Sheldon & Park, 2011; Bohdanowicz & Zientara, 2008). Hotels that execute and communicate CSR efforts to current and potential employees can lower staff turnover, strengthen employee engagement, raise staff morale, and better recruit high-performing candidates (e.g., Bader, 2005; Bohdanowicz & Zientara, 2008; Huimin & Ryan, 2011; Shaw & Thomas, 2006).

CSR Activities in the Hospitality Literature

As evidenced through analyses of corporate reports and web sites (e.g., Holcomb et al., 2007) as well as books in the academic and popular press (e.g., Clarke & Chen, 2007; Diener et al., 2008; Sloan et al., 2009), hotel firms are actively promoting their CSR efforts, although questions remain as to their efficacy (Bohdanowicz & Zientara, 2009). While authors have utilised the case study approach to explore CSR-related programs, strategies and reporting systems within major hospitality firms such as Scandic, Hilton International, and Intrawest (Bodhanowicz, 2007; Bodhanowicz & Zientara, 2008; Williams et al., 2007), limited empirical work on examining CSR activities exists. These studies focus on surveying visitor and managerial perceptions of hospitality industry environmental practices (Andereck, 2009; Bohdanowicz, 2006, 2007; Firth & Hing, 1999; Heung et al., 2006; Mensah, 2007) or hotelier views of CSR initiatives (Bodhanowicz & Zientara, 2008; Eraqi, 2010; Tsai et al., 2010).

Many of the green practices that visitors value most highly are guest experience related rather than those which focus on minimising adverse ecological impacts. In a study of over 800 travellers in Arizona, Andereck (2009) revealed that the most valuable environmental effort that hospitality businesses can implement is landscaping with native plants, which help enhance visitor 'sense of place' (p. 496). Supporting this guest-centered, rather than earth-centered theme, the most important attributes of green hotels were found to be sufficient sunlight, fresh air, clean drinking water, and green plants, according to a survey of Chinese hotel guests (Heung et al., 2006). Kasim (2004) also reported that responsible hotel attributes most valued by domestic and foreign visitors to Penang, Malaysia were guest experience-related such as friendliness of hotel staff and promotion of local culture and cuisine. Employment of local people, promotion of local conservation efforts, and the environmental image of the hotel were substantially less valued by the respondents.

Along the same vein, these respondents preferred in-room facilities which were non-environmentally friendly (e.g., individual soap bars versus dispenser soap, fresh towels versus re-used towels). On the other hand, popular environmental initiatives implemented by hotels tended to be based upon cost savings, rather than enhancement of the guest experience. According to hotel manager surveys, the most popular measures included installing energy-efficient bulbs as well as towel and linen-reuse programs (Bohdanowicz, 2006; Mensah, 2007), reflecting that the major incentive for hoteliers to implement green practices is to reduce operating costs (Bohdanowicz, 2006).

Among studies examining CSR initiatives in a more holistic manner, a variety of activities came to the forefront. Bodhanowicz and Zientara (2008) surveyed 13 major hotel brands, and found that the most popular CSR initiatives were donations to charity, working with local communities, and purchasing fair-trade goods. In other studies, substantial attention was given to ensuring that the practices related to the guest experience. For example, Eraqi (2010) surveyed Egyptian tourism managers on 15 practices derived from the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, a set of 37 criteria organised around the United Nations-identified pillars of sustainable tourism. He found that several of the most highly-rated sustainable practices included certifying that promotional materials are accurate and complete and ensuring that customer satisfaction is measured and addressed. In a choice modeling study involving nine CSR programs in a Taiwanese hotel, Tsai et al. (2010) reported that two of the top three programs to be implemented by hotel executives when taking into account financial and labor resources as well as program goals were guest satisfaction-related initiatives: namely, providing satisfactory printed and internet-based tourism information to prospective guests and creating plans to satisfy major stakeholders including consumers.

While previous research helps illuminate key stakeholder perceptions of responsible hotel practices, only Eraqi (2010) utilised a comprehensive list of CSR activities in his survey. In addition, CSR items were rated based upon popularity of implementation (Bohdanowicz, 2006; Firth & Hing, 1999; Mensah, 2007), managerial attitudes towards CSR activities (Eraqi, 2010), and in relation to hotel resources and program goals (Tsai et al., 2010). No previous studies have utilised the importance-performance analysis (IPA) approach for CSR activities, although it can help hotel managers determine strategic marketing decisions, allocate resources and identify problems (Chu & Choi, 2000; Oh, 2001). IPA has been widely used in the hospitality context; for example, to examine hotel selection factors by business and leisure travellers (Chu & Choi, 2000), hotel attributes that influence customer satisfaction (Choi & Chu, 2001), hotel room technologies (Bilgihan et al., 2010), manager and employee perceptions of hotel service quality (Martin, 1995), and guest ratings of Chinese hotel attributes (Ryan & Huimin, 2007).

Methods

This study was conducted by first developing a comprehensive list of CSR activities practiced by hotels. These activities were identified through an analysis of CSR reports and web sites of the 10 largest hotel companies worldwide ranked by Hotels Magazine based on total room numbers as of December 31, 2009 (see Table 1), consistent with the hotel selection criteria used by Holcomb, Upchurch, and Okumus (2007). In addition, to identify additional hotel-related CSR items, an extensive review of the relevant literature in the top 57 hospitality and tourism journals was conducted, following the journal selection process by Law, Leung, and Buhalis (2010).

Three researchers independently identified 129 potential items, which were then cross-reviewed, synthesised to 35 practices, and reworded for clarification purposes, if needed. These CSR items, along with ten CSR benefits derived from the literature, were then integrated into an Internet-based survey. The survey incorporated the following sections: CSR activity importance to the hotel operator; hotel performance of the CSR activities; benefits of CSR activities to the hotel; hotel property characteristics; and, information about the respondent. The survey items and format were pre-tested in April 2011 among 12 hotel executives familiar with the topic, and minor adjustments were made according to their comments, such as shortening some sentences.

The final survey was e-mailed to 613 hotel general managers in the Washington DC and San Francisco metropolitan areas on May 3, 2011, and two e-mail survey reminders were sent before the survey closing date on May 17, 2011. A total of 55 people responded to the survey but 41 were complete and usable, resulting in a 7.5% response rate, which is in line with an average rate of 6% to 15% for web-based surveys, according to a recent meta-analysis (Lozar Manfreda et al., 2008). This study was directed to hotel general managers, although recipients were encouraged to forward the e-mail survey to hotel executives best suited to answering CSR-related questions. Nevertheless, general managers accounted for 32 of the 41 responses (78%). The average age of respondents was 44.7 years old, with males accounting for the majority (80.5%). Most of the hotel executives reported that they received a bachelor's degree (70.6%). The average tenure in the hotel industry was 19.4 years, although respondents worked, on average, only 5.3 years in their current hotel, with nearly 70% reporting less than 5 years experience in the current property.

The geographic location of the hotels in which respondents worked were evenly split between the Washington DC metropolitan area (51.2%) and the San Francisco metropolitan area (48.8%), with the hotel size averaging 246 rooms. The majority of hotels were located in urban areas (58.5%), with hotels in suburban (19.5%), small metropolitan/town (9.8 %), and resort areas (7.3%) also represented on multiple responses. The upscale (26.8%) and midscale (26.8%) chain scale segments represented more than half of responding hotels, with higher-end hotels (e.g., luxury, upper upscale) accounting for nearly 25% of hotels, and economy hotels representing nearly 15% of hotels surveyed. Management companies (53.7%) and independent operators (26.8%) accounted for the majority of hotel operators in this study, although brand operators (17.1%) were also represented.

Results

As seen in Table 2, executives reported that all ten potential benefits accruing to hotels from implementing CSR activities were important to varying degrees. The most highly rated benefit was found to be hotel cost savings (x = 4.35), while branding-related outcomes including hotel reputation (x = 4.26), hotel image (x = 4.24), and competitive advantage of hotel (x = 4.09) closely followed in importance. Respondents agreed that guest loyalty (x = 4.04) was an important benefit of hotel CSR efforts, followed by employee-related benefits such as employee motivation (x = 3.98), employee retention (x = 3.67), and employee recruitment (x = 3.59). The reduction of hotel risk by public scrutiny (x = 3.67) and government regulations (x = 3.50), however, were found to be relatively less beneficial as compared to other potential outcomes surveyed.

The 35 CSR items utilised in this research (see Table 3) represent all five CSR dimensions as classified by the KID database (Inoue & Lee, 2011), particularly dominated by environmental issues (22 practices) and community relations (8 practices). Rated on a 10-point scale, the average score for item importance was 7.62 and item importance was 6.86. As shown in the IPA grid (see Figure 1), the majority of CSR activities were rated to be high-importance, high-performance items (48.6%) in the 'Keep up the good work' quadrant, or low-importance, low-performance items (37.1%) within the 'Low priority' quadrant. Two of the practices were rated as low-importance, high-performance attributes in the 'Possible overkill' quadrant, and even more surprisingly, only three practices were considered high-importance, low-performance attributes in which hoteliers are suggested to 'Concentrate here.'

Within the 'Keep up the good work' quadrant, the most highly-rated CSR activities were found to be highly popular green practices such as guest re-use of linens and towels (i = 9.22, p = 8.98), installation of low water flow fixtures (i = 9.23, p = 8.76), and implementation of recycle/reuse waste management programs (i = 9.41, p = 8.71). The provision of safe and equitable work conditions for employees (i = 9.54, p = 8.9) also rated among the highest CSR practices. A second cluster of four CSR practices also were perceived to be performing well and of high importance to hotel companies, including the implementation of programs to accommodate disabled guests and employees (i = 8.98, p = 8.28) and reducing resource consumption by installing energy-efficient appliances (i = 8.86, p = 8.38), training housekeeping employees (i = 8.96, p = 8.23), and reducing paper usage in property-based operations (i = 8.93, p = 8.24). Eight other attributes representing four CSR dimensions were also located in this quadrant.

In the 'Low priority' quadrant, nine of the 14 items were environment-related, with particularly low importance-performance ratings for offsetting carbon emissions through guest donations, enabling guests to redeem loyalty points to offset carbon footprints from trips (i = 4.98, p = 3.97), obtaining LEED certification for the hotel (i = 6.64, p = 4.94), and utilising alternative energies (e.g., water, wind) in hotel operations (i = 6.05, p = 5.12). From a community relations perspective, allowing guests to donate to or volunteer with local community organisations also ranked low in importance and performance (i = 5.74, p = 5.00).

According to the analysis, conducting diversity programs for stakeholders (i = 7.41, p = 6.97) and organising/sponsoring local community events for the purposes of fundraising (i = 7.48, p = 7.05) were rated below-average in importance and above-average in performance, relegating these items to the 'Possible overkill' quadrant. The 'Concentrate here' quadrant consisted of three CSR practices, namely having a formal governance system to measure, monitor and report on sustainability practices (i = 7.82, p = 6.79), using hotel wastewater in landscaping or gardening (i = 7.77, p = 6.22), and providing opportunities for hotel employees to volunteer in or donate to the local community (i = 7.86, p = 6.42).

Discussion and Conclusion

This study explored current CSR practices in the lodging industry as well as the corresponding benefits which accrue to responsible hotels. As CSR practices are popularly discussed in hospitality trade magazines (King et al., 2010), this study contributes to the ongoing dialogue by identifying, screening, then classifying 35 CSR activities utilising importance-performance analysis. Given that most empirical research in this area has focused exclusively on environmental practices, this study provides an account of the current state of CSR in the lodging industry from a holistic perspective, aligned with current conceptualisations of CSR.

[FIGURE 1 OMITTED]

Hotel managers clearly recognise the numerous advantages of hotel participation in CSR initiatives, with cost savings reported as the most important benefit, supporting previous empirical research surveying Swedish and Polish hoteliers (Bohdanowicz, 2006). Corroborating this finding, several of the most highly-rated items in this study were resource-efficient practices such as employing linen and towel re-use programs and installing energy-efficient appliances and low water-flow fixtures. While hotels are certainly encouraged to 'keep up the good work' in these aspects, mainstream green practices have been widely implemented and are now commonly found throughout the industry. Accordingly, firms might encounter reputational risk by being accused of 'green-washing' if their practices remain outdated (El-Dief & Font, 2010; Laufer, 2003) and are not supplemented by other more broad-based activities. Hotel operators may have begun to recognise this risk and are now engaging in CSR initiatives beyond traditional environmental practices. These include, but are not limited to, linkages with community organisations (e.g., Hilton Hotels and Resorts in Mexico with K.I.D.S. Charities), guest volunteerism in the local communities (e.g., Ritz-Carlton Give Back Getaways), serving healthy food to children (e.g., Novotel Hotels in France participation in the Edenred 'Nutritional Balance' program), and sponsorship of charity events (e.g., The Four Seasons Hotel DC Sprint Four the Cure 5k Run/Walk).

Although consumers are increasingly taking interest in the positive contributions of hospitality companies to society, hotel companies need to better publicise their CSR initiatives to guests (Han et al., 2009; Holcomb et al., 2007; Muirhead, 1999). Increased consumer awareness of CSR efforts may lead to more hotel guest demand, which has been found to be a key driver of hotel adoption of CSR initiatives (Bohdanowicz, 2006). Online travel agencies may have a particularly important role to play, given that approximately one-third of hotel rooms are booked via electronic channels (Ricca, 2011). For example, Travelocity's Green Hotel Directory allows travellers to screen lodging options by hotels which have successfully been audited by certification programs (e.g., Green Globe, Green Seal) whose standards are similar to the GSTC. Expedia has launched a similar initiative, partnering with Sustainable Travel International. More work needs to be done to increase exposure, however, as these initiatives cannot readily be found on the homepages of the aforementioned web site homepages.

CSR activities identified in both the industry and academic hospitality literature are heavily weighted towards environmental practices, incorporating 22 of the 35 items (62.80) in this survey. This has reflected a longstanding subordination of broad-based CSR to ecological sustainability efforts. However, several major hotel companies have recently restructured their website communications to reflect a more balanced view. For example, Four Seasons has introduced 'Living Values,' which equitably features the areas of supporting sustainability, building communities and advancing cancer research. Hyatt Thrive, the hotel brand's new CSR platform, focuses on environmental sustainability, economic development and investment, education and personal advancement, and health and wellness.

Over 85% of the CSR activities were within the 'Keep up the good work' or 'Low priority' quadrants, while only three practices were found in the 'Concentrate here' quadrant. This suggests that hotels are by and large complacent with their implementation of CSR efforts, as initiatives considered important were perceived to perform well, while less important practices generally did not. Some of the more innovative practices were considered low priority, including utilising alternative energies (e.g., solar, wind) for operations, and enabling guests to neutralise their carbon footprint by donating money or frequent stay points. This might suggest hotel executives' lack of knowledge on those options and/or unwillingness to move beyond traditional CSR practices, which brings into question long-term corporate commitment to CSR. However, hotels admit that they have room to improve in sustainability monitoring and reporting, helping employees engage with the local community, and better utilising wastewater in hotel property landscaping.

Study limitations include the small sample size of the respondents, which did not allow for more advanced statistical analyses. The hotels surveyed were located in two highly-developed US metropolitan areas, and may not reflect the importance of community, environmental and employee issues confronting other regions of the country and world. While IPA serves as a managerial tool by providing insight on corporate activities, it should not be used as the sole instrument to determine resource allocation and identify problem areas. In particular, it is suggested that more in-depth, qualitative research on high-importance, low-performance CSR activities identified in this study be conducted to provide additional credence that hotel companies should enhance their efforts within these areas. Given that implementation of CSR practices was found to improve relationships with guests and employees, future research could utilise IPA to measure perceptions among these two important groups to determine stakeholder alignment on CSR practices. Further cross-cultural work in this area is also needed, as cultural differences have been found among managerial (e.g., Quazi & O'Brien, 2000) and consumer perceptions (e.g., Maignan, 2001) of CSR. As hoteliers continue to learn about and appreciate the ways in which hotels contribute to society, as well as the ways in which these actions return to benefit hotels, it is believed that the CSR movement in the lodging industry will continue to strengthen and gain prominence.

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Stuart E. Levy

School of Business, George Washington University, United States of America

Sun-Young Park

School of Management, University of San Francisco, United States of America

Correspondence

Stuart E. Levy, Assistant Professor, Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management, School of Business, George Washington University, Suite 301, 2201 G Street NW, Washington BC 20052. E-mail: slevy@gwu.edu

Levy, S.E., & Park, S.-Y., (2011). An analysis of CSR activities in the lodging industry. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management, 18, 147-154. DOI 10.1375/jhtm.18.1.147
Table 1
Top Ten Hotel Companies by Total Number of Rooms (as of 12/31/09)

Name                           Headquarters         Rooms    Hotels

InterContinental Hotels        Windsor, England    646,679   4,438
  Group PLC
Wyndham Hotel Group            New Jersey, US      597,674   7,114
Marriott International         Maryland, US        595,461   3,420
Hilton Worldwide               Virginia, US        585,060   3,530
Accor Hospitality              Paris, France       499,456   4,120
Choice Hotels International    Maryland, US        487,410   6,021
Best Western International     Arizona, US         308,477   4,048
Starwood Hotels & Resorts      Minnesota, US       298,522    992
  Worldwide
Carlson Hotels Worldwide       Minnesota, US       159,756   1,058
Hyatt Hotels Corporation       Illinois, US        122,317    424

Table 2
Hotel Benefits of Implementing CSR Activities

Benefit                                              Mean     SD

Hotel cost savings                                   4.35    0.85
Hotel reputation among guests                        4.26    0.98
Hotel image among guests                             4.24    0.97
Competitive advantage of hotel in marketplace        4.09    1.03
Guest loyalty                                        4.04    0.92
Employee motivation                                  3.98    0.98
Employee retention                                   3.67    1.21
Reduces hotel exposure to public scrutiny            3.67    1.23
Employee recruitment                                 3.59    1.22
Reduces threat to hotel of government regulations    3.50    1.19

Table 3 CSR Activities and Importance-Performance Ratings

Item
No.     CSR Dimensions and Activities        Importance   Performance

Community relations

1       Assess social impacts in the            8.4          6.92
        community before hotel
        construction and find ways to
        manage them

2       Become a member of international        6.55         5.97
        organisations which promote
        responsible business

3       Implement supplier codes of             7.06         6.29
        conduct/guidelines for ethical or
        human rights standards

4       Make donations (money or products)      7.91         7.92
        to the local community

5       Minimise hotel use of local             6.69         6.22
        community resources to prevent
        depletion

6       Organise and/or sponsor local           7.48         7.05
        community events for fundraising
        purposes

7       Provide opportunities for
        employees to volunteer in the           6.66          6.5
        community by matching employee
        contributions to charities and/or
        developing networks with local
        organisations

8       Provide opportunities for guests        5.6          5.08
        to donate to or volunteer with
        community organisations

Diversity issues

9       Conduct diversity programs for          7.41         6.97
        suppliers, top-level executives,
        employees, guests, owners and/or
        developers

10      Implement programs to accommodate       8.98         8.28
        guests and/or employees with
        disabilities

Employee relations

11      Conduct workforce development           8.22          7.5
        programs to foster employee
        wellbeing and growth

12      Implement employee-friendly             9.54          8.9
        policies for safe, healthy, and/or
        fair work conditions

Environmental issues

13      Collaborate with or participate in      7.77         7.25
        local community activities to
        improve the environment (e.g.,
        clean up programs)

14      Conserve water by treating and/or       7.77         6.22
        reusing waste water in
        landscaping/gardening

15      Educate employees on environmental      6.88         8.04
        issues via newsletters and/or
        awards programs

16      Educate guests on environmental
        issues by providing environmental       5.66          5.5
        kits, offering carbon neutral
        seminars, and/or promoting
        sustainability-oriented local
        businesses

17      Enable guests to redeem loyalty         5.74           5
        points to neutralise carbon
        footprints from their trips

18      Have a formal corporate governance      7.82         6.79
        system to measure, monitor, and
        report on sustainability practices

19      Implement a trip-reduction program      6.11         5.36
        for employees to reduce
        single-occupant vehicle trips

20      Implement linen and towel re-use        9.22         8.98
        programs

21      Implement procurement criteria to
        reduce negative environmental           7.87           7
        impacts (e.g., fair-trade
        products, non-toxic cleaning
        products, recycled supplies)

22      Implement waste management              9.41         8.71
        programs to recycle materials,
        reduce waste, and/or use recycled
        supplies

23      Obtain LEED certification for the       6.64         4.94
        hotel

24      Offset carbon emissions through         4.98         3.97
        guest donations

25      Partner with local experts to           7.43           6
        provide guidance on how the hotel
        can conserve local biodiversity

26      Provide opportunities for
        employees to volunteer in the           7.86         6.42
        community by developing networks
        to local organisations and/or
        matching employee contributions to
        charities

27      Reduce construction waste when          8.41         7.23
        building or renovating hotels

28      Reduce energy consumption in guest      8.86         8.38
        rooms by installing
        energy-efficient appliances

29      Reduce paper usage by using
        electronic documents for internal       8.93         8.24
        and external communications (e.g.,
        sales tools, statements,
        publications)

30      Reduce water consumption in guest       9.23         8.76
        rooms by installing low-flow
        fixtures

31      Train employees to reduce resource      8.96         8.23
        consumption (e.g., water, energy)
        for housekeeping operations

32      Use alternative energies for            6.05         5.12
        operations (e.g., solar, wind,
        bio-mass, geothermal)

33      Use environmentally friendly            7.52         6.29
        energy suppliers (e.g., hydro
        plants, wind farms)

34      Use locally sourced ingredients         7.73         7.21
        for food

Product quality

35      Provide customers with more             8.17         8.13
        healthy food selections to combat
        obesity

        Average (Mean)                          7.62         6.86
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