CSR Middle East, CSR dedicated platform with 3.555 corporate members in the Middle East.

How impactful CSR initiatives are reshaping modern hospitality

The hospitality industry's social responsibility is crucial to its exponential expansion.

It can no longer operate without regard to its surroundings and due consideration to its environmental impact and overall sustainability contributions.

The needs of the times demand that the industry complies with the highest corporate values and ethics that allow it to make a difference and effect positive societal change.

Its social responsibility is wide-ranging, from its clients' health and nutrition to the utilisation of sustainable supplies such as those sourced from sustainable agriculture or farming and fisheries.

Eco-friendly practices and green designs are becoming the 'in-thing' so to speak among hotel establishments nowadays as a show of their full support for natural resource conservation efforts. Other ways to demonstrate industry commitment include promoting sustainable tourism, tapping renewables, and reducing food waste.

Given this perspective, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is therefore crucial to any business strategy. CSR programmes are highly impactful in an organisation's operations and functions as they affect not only the local communities but also a company's reputation, bottom line and morale as a whole. It is also worth noting that a number of clients are now affiliating themselves with organisations that boast of a well-established CSR reputation.

Many countries in the Middle East have been aggressive and demonstrated seriousness in terms of ensuring the CSR compliance of private and public businesses.

The UAE is at the forefront of intensive initiatives highlighting the importance of social responsibility and incentivising corporations with good CSR standing. Dubai, for instance, is aiming to promote sustainable tourism destinations via its Dubai Sustainable Tourism Initiative.

As such, the Dubai Government has partnered with various private organisations to promote sustainable practices in the industry.

The idea behind the CSR concept is to embolden companies to initiate significant endeavors that go beyond the common objectives of making profits and taking care of their shareholders, customers, and employees. CSR enjoins corporations to be fully active in helping build a sustainable society for all.

It is not surprising that Fortune's Best Companies to Work for and the World's Most Admired Companies and other similar industry lists include major hotel chains with commendable CSR agendas focusing on community development, workforce diversity, and progressive employment practices. The hospitality landscape is fast changing and the industry of the future will be defined by how well it lives up to its social responsibility and its well-meaning undertakings that will help shape society for the better. Companies working towards fulfilling their social responsibility are most likely bound for success and significant market ascent.

Habiba Al Marashi

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