Starwood Hotels & Resorts reveals Global Citizenship report

Sheraton Hanoi - part of Starwood Hotels & Resports

Sheraton Hanoi - part of Starwood Hotels & Resports

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc, a member of the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) has released its first Global Citizenship Report.

In the report the company outlines the initiatives and policies it has implemented in its quest to provide guests, customers and associates with “A Better Way to Experience the World”.

The “Global Citizenship at Starwood” report provides an update on Starwood’s recent Global Citizenship programmes, and outlines the company’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship, community involvement, opportunities for associate development, and best practices in corporate governance.

Frits van Paasschen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Starwood, said, “At Starwood we believe being a good corporate citizen makes good business sense, and helps us offer our guests ‘A Better Way to Experience the World.’ Working closely with experts, NGOs, community partners, suppliers, and allies, Starwood has established a set of over-arching principles that guides our portfolio across all nine of our brands and nearly 1,200 properties worldwide. We are proud to share an update on our collective efforts and the great work our global team of associates does every day to implement practices and policies that help protect our planet and our future.”

ITP director Stephen Farrant said, “Starwood has been an active and valued member of the International Tourism Partnership for many years, investing significant time and effort into industry-wide working groups such as the Youth Career Initiative (YCI) and the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI). I’ve worked with Starwood associates on a wide range of programmes and have witnessed a real commitment to environmental and social responsibility throughout the organisation.

The integration of ITP initiatives across Starwood’s global brands demonstrates that Global Citizenship is part of Starwood’s core business strategy – not just an afterthought. I would like to see Starwood continue to implement HCMI across all of its properties and strengthen its commitment to water and energy conservation through further reduction goals.”

The report details key focus areas including:

SUSTAINABILITY AND CONSERVATION

Starwood is the first major hospitality company to require sustainability compliance and reporting for its entire portfolio. The company’s environmental policy establishes the foundation for its corporate responsibility efforts and the steps it is taking to protect the planet and its people. The report highlights Starwood’s progress against its important “30/20 by 20” goals for reducing water and energy consumption by 2020, announces a new greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 30% by 2020, and details individual policies that inform Starwood’s comprehensive approach to sustainability.

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Starwood seeks to be a positive influence in every community in which it operates – an ideal exemplified by the $4.8 million Starwood donated to worthy causes and the roughly 129,000 hours of time that more than 43,000 Starwood associates reported volunteering in their local communities in 2012 alone. Through strategic philanthropy, grant contributions, employee volunteerism, guest engagement and in-kind support, Starwood creates opportunities via education and workforce development, fosters community pride through conservation and cultural preservation, and responds to civic needs via disaster relief and human rights.

Starwood has been a long time supporter of ITP programme the Youth Career Initiative. The programme works with local NGOs and hotels to help offer disadvantaged young people real life training and employment opportunities within the hospitality industry. 85% of graduates whose opportunities were limited before undertaking the six month course of training and mentoring, go on to further education or employment. Starwood currently runs YCI programmes in Mexico, Poland, Jordan, India and Vietnam. Additionally they are one of three hotel chains piloting a new approach to running the YCI programme at one of their hotels in Atlanta.

ASSOCIATES

Starwood’s employees or associates are the force behind its Global Citizenship efforts and signature guest experiences, and the company continuously seeks opportunities for community engagement, skills training, and personal and professional development for its team members worldwide. Starwood is consistently acknowledged as among the top companies globally for diversity among its employees. In addition, Starwood supports its valued team members via the Starwood Associate Relief Fund (SARF), a need-based financial grant programme that, since 2006, has meaningfully helped more than 2,700 Associates get back on their feet after a natural disaster or emergency.

SUPPLY CHAIN

Starwood procures goods and services from more than 100,000 vendors around the world and in this report, shares an update on supply chain efforts, including strengthening human rights compliance, sustainability-aligned sourcing strategies, and procurement decisions. Starwood is working with its vast network of business partners in more than 100 countries to improve and align its supply chain and to encourage socially responsible practices for all businesses that outfit its global properties.

PARTNERSHIPS

Acknowledging the key role collaboration plays in achieving goals and effecting change, Starwood proudly outlines some of its partnerships with leading non-governmental organisations and non-profits, including Clean the World, Conservation International and UNICEF.

“We recognize that social responsibility drives business and builds the strong, vibrant communities that define our signature guest experience, and this report signifies our steadfast commitment to our sustainable future,” said Ken Siegel, Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of Starwood. “Owing to our global footprint, Starwood faces diverse social and environmental challenges as well as exciting opportunities, and we are determined to continue making the best decisions possible to further our collective global citizenship.”

The report was compiled using the Global Reporting Initiative’s (GRI) G4 framework as a guide and contains Standard Disclosures from the GRI Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, including information on Starwood’s corporate governance practices.

You can read the Global Citizenship report in its entirety here.

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