CSR is a big deal- and that's not going away anytime soon

Photo Credit: Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Photo Credit: Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Corporate social responsibility, defined:

CSR is a form of corporate self-regulation integrated into a business model. With some models, a firm's implementation of CSR goes beyond compliance and engages in "actions that appear to further some social good, beyond the interests of the firm and that which is required by law." CSR aims to embrace responsibility for corporate actions and to encourage a positive impact on the environment and stakeholders including consumers, employees, investors, communities, and others.

At first, a majority of us thought CSR was just 2014's hot meeting trend. But according to a recent survey of incentive travel professionals by the Society for Incentive Travel Excellence (SITE), CSR is so next year as well.

While incentive travel continues to grow, meeting planners will continue to budget for "give back" components of programs.

Hotel brands who include group activities centered around environmental responsibility and/or community volunteerism will see more favor in the coming years. Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, takes a luxury Caribbean retreat to the next level with its Ambassadors of the Environment program. Guests are introduced to Puerto Rico's natural wonders and rich cultural traditions with educational experiences focused on the delicate ecosystem.

Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts incorporates many living values initiatives based on the needs of both their customer base and their location. For example, their new Greening Meetings program allows meeting planners to conserve water, recycle and donate materials during events. Property-specific initiatives, like bringing exposure to the protection of sea turtles in Nevis or elephants in Thailand, help guests understand their personal impact on the world.

Apart from fulfilling philanthropic obligations, CSR is an undeniable opportunity for an organization's team building. At Cadence, we believe meaningful experiences lead to lifelong memories that create brand loyalty and drive business results. Really, it's a win win win.

What giveback programs have you experienced during a corporate meeting, event or incentive trip?