CSR yet to impact on meetings

While CSR remains high on the C&I industry’s agenda, it has failed to seriously impact on meetings procurement, according to a report commissioned by venue finder Hotel Brokers International (HBI). The industry’s interest in issues such as the environment has increased but, in the report, HBI managing director Des Mclaughlin said there was a long way to go. “We’ve not seen any real evidence of CSR as yet playing a significant role in meetings procurement,” he said. “Some of the elements of CSR are contrary to the ethos of the meetings business,” explained Mclaughlin. “The fact is that the business factors that predicate air over rail currently override CSR considerations. The impetus for change has to come from the corporates.” However, Mclaughlin added that he believed larger companies would increasingly expect venues and suppliers to have their own CSR policies. “If they don’t, the blue chips simply won’t use them,” he said. “I also think companies will increasingly look at their travel policies and reduce the amount of travel where possible.” The findings on CSR are part of the 126-page Meetings Industry Report 2007, launched yesterday. It draws on fifteen years of business data and commercial acumen, and is designed to act as a benchmark for finance and procurement directors, among others.

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