Save the TowelsJune 14th, 2007 | Posted by in Business Ethics | Business Strategy | Corporate Social Responsibility | Socially Responsible Investing
I was in Washington D.C. for a few days with my wife and son and saw a bit of CSR in action. No, it didn’t crop up during on of the mid-June sunny jaunts with my son to the Mall or one of the many museums around its perimeter. I found it in the bathroom of our hotel…
If you have stayed in a hotel in the last five or so years, you are likely to have seen the same sign hanging in your room’s bathroom or shower. It typically reads something like:
“Hotel X is concerned about the environment. Every time we wash a towel, a lot of water and detergent is used and poured down the drain into the environment. To help out, please re-use your towel more than once. Please leave a towel you would like washed on the floor and any you intend to re-use on the rack.”
Simple and easy. The likely reduction in towel usage does indeed cut down in water, electricity and detergent usage (rather, the resulting detergent run-off). But it also does something else — it saves the hotel money.
Fancy that. …a business case for CSR…
Every towel that a guest re-uses is one less towel that the hotel has to spend money and resources cleaning. Yes, the information cards hanging in the bathroom cost money and used up resources (I have yet to see one that has been printed on recycled paper, or labeled as such), but probably far less than the resources they save by prompting guests to be laundry thrifty.
Kudos to the hotels that have been implementing CSR in such a manner, and to those looking to extend the “save the towels” campaign to other areas of their operations.
(If the hotel chain is of interest, it was one of the several Embassy Suites properties in the city. The Westin that we spent the latter half of our trip in did not have a similar sign.)
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