New Ritz-Carlton Program Helps Groups Give Back

As corporate social responsibility (CSR) continues to grow in popularity, more and more groups are seeking ways to give back to their host communities when organizing meetings and events. In response, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. last week launched Impact Experiences, a program offering group guests the opportunity to participate in socially responsible activities that positively impact the destination while also fostering team-building amongst participants.

Impact Experiences can take place out in the community or onsite at the hotel. Examples of offsite activities include: a heritage farming project on an organic farm in Arizona; supporting critical coastal trail and rainforest restoration in Kapalua, HI; protecting the natural wetland environment in Donau-Auen National Park near Vienna, Austria; planting an endangered native species of trees in Dubai; collaborating with The Battery Conservancy in New York to help beautify the 25-acre public park; and building bird nests for migrating rare bird species at the Futian Mangrove Natural Reserve Area wetland in Shenzhen, China.

Examples of on-property activities -- which can be incorporated into conference agendas during lunch breaks, receptions, and coffee breaks -- include: partnering with the hotel's culinary team to prepare the ingredients for a regionally adapted dish for donation to a local hunger relief organization; assembling school supplies and art materials in backpacks for donation to students whose academic success is threatened by poverty; and collaborating in teams to assemble emergency preparedness kits to be shipped to a disaster relief facility or community organization.

"We are proud to make Impact Experiences available at every one of our hotels around the world to provide our guests with an option to address local social and environmental issues," said Herve Humler, president and COO of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. "Impact Experiences have the power through coordinated efforts and volume to be a significant force for good."

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