One of the biggest industries globally, travel and tourism contributes up to 10 percent of the world’s economy and about one in every 12 jobs. Yet most companies in this sector are still in the early stages of assessing and addressing their sustainability impacts. To better communicate the newly public company’s commitment to responsible practices, and to prepare for the increased transparency required of public companies, Hyatt leaders partnered with BSR to articulate a vision for an integrated sustainability strategy.
Our goal was to help Hyatt build a strategy that connects corporate responsibility objectives to business goals in ways that:
- Deliver value and innovation to Hyatt’s operating companies.
- Identify and mitigate sustainability risks.
- Build trust externally and engage colleagues internally.
At Hyatt, which owns, manages, and franchises hotels, engaging internal stakeholders such as general managers, owners, associates, and executives was an essential first step in understanding the unique global and local sustainability challenges each property faces.
First, BSR interviewed several executives to establish senior management’s current and future conception of CSR. We then conducted workshops in Asia, the Middle East, Europe, and the United States to identify current activities, prioritize CSR issues, and understand regional nuances. Several key themes emerged:
- Addressing poverty and inequality in local communities through education and economic self-sufficiency
- Recruiting, developing, and retaining staff
- Managing the environmental footprints of its hotels, expanding its commitment to sustainable sourcing, protecting the biodiversity of the areas surrounding its hotels, and using sustainable design and construction
This work allowed Hyatt to develop and implement “Hyatt Thrive,” a strong, practical CSR vision representing Hyatt’s goal of creating “thriving communities, places where we are proud to work, our neighbors want to live, and our guests want to visit.” The platform, which establishes a global CSR framework with a common vision and strategic focus that can easily be implemented locally, is centered on four pillars: educational and personal advancement, health and wellness, environmental sustainability, and economic development and investment. Hyatt Thrive’s primary objective is to help the company communicate its philanthropic, environmental, and community engagement initiatives, and to position Hyatt to focus on and articulate the value it brings as a global company to the many communities it serves.
The CSR strategy has spurred additional sustainability initiatives, including a new human rights policy statement that references specific industry issues such as human trafficking. Hyatt Thrive also led to an improved approach to aligning Hyatt’s giving and volunteerism with the four pillars of the Thrive framework.