For her fourth blog and final blog of our series on modern slavery and responsible business in the hotel industry, Youth Ambassador Yuan Mao explores why becoming a more responsible business is win-win in today’s market.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a well-established approach by which businesses are more mindful of their social impact; whether through philanthropy, ethical labour practices or environmental awareness.¹ CSR has a long history, reaching as far back as the 1950s, and it has since become an important part of business operations in most sectors². However, the ever increasing consumer and employee demand for ethical business practices, driven particularly by Millennials, has led to a new wave of social commitment that goes beyond CSR. Whereas before there was a clear divide between business objectives and moral obligations to address social issues, in this new era of responsible businesses, human rights protections are fully embedded into the core mission of businesses themselves. This provides scope for businesses to make an even greater impact both externally and internally.
Shiva Hotels is developing a sustainability model to promote operations that recognise the social implications of running a business in today’s world. The model will inform a modern slavery standard across the Group’s hotels and supply chains by looking into employment practices, room-hires and supply chains. The Hotel Group has been working closely with experts, both in business and at the grassroots level, in the creation of a blueprint to tackle slavery in all areas of the business and ensure that any policies, procedures and trainings put in place are sustainable and impactful. In addition, it aims to implement more innovative ways of raising awareness of human trafficking, such as displaying artwork by survivors across hotels and holding film screenings that highlight the issue. The intent is for the model to be replicable across the industry.
The 21st century is proving to be a golden age for responsible businesses. With financial and reputational benefits of ethical businesses now becoming more tangible³, there is a clear competitive advantage to adhering to standards set by socially conscious customers. Equally, businesses are responding to the increase in investor groups and employees becoming more attentive to a company’s ethical policies and activities.4 This helps crystallize the idea that businesses should strive towards a moral duty to protect human rights regardless of the financial benefits and to contribute to a new standard for responsible businesses.
To see more about the role of consumers in driving CSR, see our previous blog here.