HomeHotelSocial sustainability in hotels: culture, data and alliances are key

Social sustainability in hotels: culture, data and alliances are key

The experts gathered at the conference “Innovation, digitalization and sustainability” of Hosteltur Academy, AEHM (Madrid Hotel Business Association) and the General Directorate of Tourism and Hospitality of the Community of Madrid, have agreed to point out the keys to continue advancing in the sustainability strategy of the chains with the focus on the objective social. Thus, it is essential to change in company culture, measure more transversally the results of the implementation of these measures to obtain the necessary data to point out the correct path, and the alliances with third parties who are experts in the field.

Corporate culture

For Cristina Cabañas, president of Guitart Hotels, the first step consists of “convince the team, breaking barriers and stereotypes, about everything they can learn by incorporating people with other abilities.” Proof of this is that the employability campus for young people at risk of social exclusion of the Climent Guitart Foundation has resulted in the entry into the workforce of 74 people; to which they add another 30 with mental disabilitiesboth in the company and in others in the area, thanks to the alliance with the Barça Foundation“putting value in different skills to improve employability and teamwork.”

“With these types of initiatives we help people who until then have not had the possibility of accessing the labor market due to lack of training, we fill vacancies and enrich the team in every way,” as Cristina Cabañas has confirmed.

And the fact is that the incorporation of these people with different abilities in companies such as Meliá Hotels International, according to its Vice President of Sustainability, Lourdes Ripoll, “generates a engagement among the employees themselves seeing their values ​​aligned with those of the company they work for, spreading empathy, which makes these initiatives are a success”.

From left To the right, the moderator, Juanma Martínez, general director of Green & Human; Lourdes Ripoll, Vice President of Sustainability at Meliá; Cristina Cabañas, president of Guitart Hotels; and Alfonso Murillo, Director of Corporate Development at Panoram. Source: Hosteltur.

In the specific case of Panoram Hotel Management, as explained by its Director of Corporate Development, Alfonso Murillo“as we are managers for third parties, our biggest challenge is to expose properties to the benefits of this type of actions with a social perspective. They have to be able to overcome that fear of unknown effects, because then the experiences are always very positive, for example incorporating people with mental disabilities. You explain it to the client, who is increasingly aware, and he receives it phenomenally, also generating engagement with the”.

Implementing this type of policy, as he has acknowledged, “depends on the properties, because brands like Accor, for example, have a lot of resources dedicated to this. The easiest part is educate managers and teamsbut when it comes into play economic component Things get complicated, because we don’t want there to be an economic return but at least there are no losses, which is very complicated in small and traditional properties.”

Data intelligence

Precisely to verify all the implications of the adoption of this type of measures, Lourdes Ripoll advocates “measure your impact on organizationsbecause we do not have data intelligence to know if these social initiatives, for example, reduce staff turnover or the absenteeism rate. Meliá, with 350 hotels, is present in 37 countries with different realities and disparate needs. If you don’t have data, you have nothing, you manage by impulse”.

Lourdes Ripoll has been convinced that “a great revolution is going to occur in the Human Resources department thanks to people analytics, which will allow us to know the impact of these initiatives based on countless indicators for different categories.”

Alliances with third parties

In Guitart Hotels they bet on the collaboration with third partiesfor example by selecting “social providers with a positive impact on society, and that do not have to be more expensive because they are very competitive, like those that supply us with yogurt and uniforms; or the lifeguards who work with us, Proactive Open Arms”.

Other news related to sustainability strategies:

– Riu advances in sustainability with its new Proudly Committed strategy

– Pioneering regenerative tourism project in Europe at a campsite in Madrid

– Riu, first hotel company certified by Aenor in Zero Food Waste

– Ilunion Hotels and Women Action Sustainability alliance on sustainability

– Ranking of the 100 most responsible companies in 2023: eight are from the sector

In other regions of the world such as Asia-Pacific, as Ripoll has stressed, “there are more harmony between large companies to collaborate on social projects, as we are already doing with a large company in the area. In Portugal we are also working together with another company on a social inclusion initiative to recruit personnel for the upcoming opening of a hotel.”

Meliá hotels in the Dominican Republic have staff with visual disabilities to give massages in their spas; while a foundation is in charge of recycling and selling the furniture they remove before renovating an establishment. They are just two initiatives of the chain with social impact

Source: Hosteltur

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