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Ritz-Carlton Integrates CSR into Branding

Stephenson (left) spoke with Dr. Salah Hassan's class about corporate social responsibility at The Ritz-Carlton.

For The Ritz-Carlton Company, corporate social responsibility is a key part of the hotel’s brand. Sue Stephenson, vice president of Community Footprints for the Ritz-Carlton Company, LLC, spoke to GWSB students Oct. 15 as part of a class on marketing management taught by Salah Hassan, professor and chair of the Department of Marketing.

Stephenson is a seasoned veteran of the legendary luxury brand, and has been instrumental in the development of its corporate responsibility efforts, known as “Community Footprints.”  Stephenson shared the mission of The Ritz-Carlton from 1983: “The Ritz-Carlton hotels will be known as positive, supportive members of their community and will be sensitive to the environment.” She leads the company’s vision on this dimension, which has three CSR focus areas:

  • Hunger and poverty relief
  • Well-being of children
  • Environmental conservation

Stephenson highlighted two of the key programs supporting these focus areas:

  • Give Back Getaways” – a “voluntourism” program where guests of the hotel are invited to join employees for half-day projects in the local community.
  • “Succeed Through Service” – The Ritz-Carlton brand has partnered with America’s Promise Alliance to provide young students in disadvantaged communities the opportunity for career exploration, life-skills training and community-service learning projects.

Stephenson said that earlier she was in a discussion with Ritz-Carlton President and COO Herve Humler, where he commented that Community Footprints was not only a critical social responsibility effort, but also foundational for the overall vision of the brand.

Stephenson was one of several top-ranked executive speakers from The Ritz-Carlton to be hosted by Hassan and the Department of Marketing over the past year.

Posted by gwsb on October 21, 2010 | Filed under: GWSB News.

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