The UN Global Compact was born as an international Project created in 1999 whose mission was to initiate a global movement to create awareness among the sustainable businesses about the impacts created by their activities, so as to mitigate their negative consequences.
The key points of the initiative are developed upon some clearly defined goals:
- Doing business responsibly, aligning strategies to the ten universally accepted principles to promote CSR in the areas of environment, labor rules, corruption prosecution, and human rights.
- Make strategic decisions to develop UN Sustainable Development Goals, emphasizing on innovation and collaboration.
There are more than 13.000 supporting organizations in more than 145 countries, being the largest business social responsibility voluntary initiative worldwide.
One of the usual questions is whether CSR is profitable or not. According to the World Business Council for the Sustainable Development (WBCSD) there are five sources of profitability within SCR:
1. Operational efficiency: reducing waste, selling recyclable products, etc.
2. Risk reduction: taking care of the environment, developing anti-corruption practices, etc.
3. Human resources recruitment and retention: increasing productivity by attracting honest, committed and participative talents, and reducing their turnover.
4. Long term protection of raw materials’ sources: development of suppliers and improvement of the price and payment conditions.
5. Demand growth: customer attraction and loyalty, and compliance with the large buyers’ requirements.
Far from considering Social Responsibility as a fashion trend or a mere philanthropic action, it is considered as a series of practices applied by firms, and that are part of their corporate strategy, as their goal is to minimize the business impacts and aims to create internal benefits for all the stakeholders.
Socially responsible businesses generate profits by improving their reputation. According to Adela Cortina –Director of the ETNOR Foundation about business ethics-, “social responsibility should be assumed as a management tool, a measure of prudence and an exigence of fairness”. However, there are not clear rules and universal criteria on how to apply Social Responsibility within the Corporate Strategy, letting its development be up to the business owner criteria.
Some of the tourism companies which adhere to the UN Global Compact for Responsible tourism are:
- Ilunion Hotels.
- Segittur – Turismo e Innovación.
- Viajes El Corte Inglés.
- The Ostelea School of Tourism and Hospitality