With so much focus on environmental and economic sustainability in recent years, social sustainability has often been forgotten or overlooked by many tourism businesses.
Social and corporate governance, sometimes referred to as Corporate and Social Responsibility (CSR) refers to the responsibility of a tourism operation for the impacts of its investment decisions and wider business activities on the health and welfare of society. CSR considerations are now starting to gain traction when companies are reporting on their own financial and business performance and the practices of suppliers which sit along their supply chain.
Institutional investors are now seeking accountability and transparency for strategic investments. In February this year, Larry Fink, CEO of BlackRock, sent a letter to CEOs of S&P 500 companies and large European corporations to emphasise the importance of “real and quantifiable financial impacts” over the long term. Many stock exchanges have also tightened their reporting requirements to include CSR obligations .
By having a benchmark against which to track your performance over time, organisations have an ability to gain insight into their company’s strengths and areas for improvement, especially social and corporate governance topics which are often priorities from an investor and shareholder standpoint.
EarthCheck’s latest release to its scientific Benchmarking platform will help address this evolving conversation and assist organisations in understanding and reporting aspects such as liveability, human rights, labor rights, equity, well-being and cultural sensitivities.
The Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) benchmarking indicator set, is the first global rating of CSR for the tourism industry. All 32 sectors of the EarthCheck Certified program will be now be assessed and benchmarked including tourism assets such as Accommodation/Lodging providers, Convention Centres, Casinos, Golf Courses and Spa’s.
Stewart Moore, CEO and founder of EarthCheck and Executive Director of the APEC International Centre for Sustainable Tourism said:
“The EarthCheck Benchmarking and Certification program was built on the principles of Agenda 21, and we remain committed to these building blocks. These principles provide operators with the clear pathway on what they need to do to achieve more responsible and sustainable tourism. A continuing commitment to CSR by businesses will contribute to the economic development of the region while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families, as well as of the community and society at large.”