The case for CSR/ Sustainability Reporting Done Responsibly


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Case study: How Wyndham Worldwide promotes ethical business behaviour

As one of the world’s largest hospitality companies, providing travelers with over 129,000 places to stay in more than 100 countries and territories on six continents, Wyndham Worldwide is also a values-centered company, defining and advancing the standards of ethical business conduct, transparency and integrity.

This case study is based on the 2016-2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report by Wyndham Worldwide published on the Global Reporting Initiative Sustainability Disclosure Database that can be found at this link. Through all case studies we aim to demonstrate what CSR/ sustainability reporting done responsibly means. Essentially, it means: a) identifying a company’s most important impacts on the environment, economy and society, and b) measuring, managing and changing.

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Abstract

Offering travelers worldwide access to a collection of trusted hospitality brands in hotels, vacation ownership and unique accommodations that include vacation exchange, holiday parks and managed home rentals, Wyndham Worldwide tries to conduct its business with integrity.  Tweet This! In order to promote ethical business behaviour Wyndham Worldwide took action to:

  • promote ethical conduct through the Business Principles
  • protect human rights
  • combat child exploitation
What are the material issues the company has identified?

In its 2016-2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report Wyndham Worldwide identified a range of material issues, such as long-term economic trends/issues, environmental management, data privacy/cyber security, labor standards, occupational health and safety. Among these, promoting ethical business behaviour stands out as a key material issue for Wyndham Worldwide.

Stakeholder engagement in accordance with the GRI Standards

The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) defines the Principle of Stakeholder Inclusiveness when identifying material issues (or a company’s most important impacts) as follows:

“The organization should identify its stakeholders, and explain how it has responded to their reasonable expectations.”

Stakeholders must be consulted in the process s of identifying a company’s most important impacts and their reasonable expectations and interests must be taken into account. This is an important cornerstone for CSR / sustainability reporting done responsibly.

Key stakeholder groups Wyndham Worldwide engages with:   

Stakeholder Group
Associates
Shareholders
Suppliers
Communities
Customers
Global partnerships

How stakeholder engagement was made to identify material issues

To identify and prioritize material issues Wyndham Worldwide carried out surveys and follow-up interviews with over 50 stakeholders, including a survey with a sample representation of stakeholders to develop its materiality matrix.

What actions were taken by Wyndham Worldwide to promote ethical business behaviour?

In its 2016-2017 Corporate Social Responsibility Report Wyndham Worldwide reports that it took the following actions for promoting ethical business behaviour:

  • Promoting ethical conduct through the Business Principles
  • Wyndham Worldwide’s Business Principles (the company’s Code of Conduct and Ethics) provide guidance to employees on ethical issues, while promoting a lawful and ethical business environment. The Business Principles lay down policies and processes regarding issues such as Associate Responsibilities, Workplace Violence, Protecting Our Information, Records and Systems, Antitrust, Intellectual Property. In addition, Wyndham Worldwide provides training to support its Ethics and Compliance programs, in a variety of formats.
  • Protecting human rights
  • In 2007, Wyndham Worldwide’s Board of Directors adopted a Human Rights Policy Statement. Additionally, Wyndham Worldwide supports the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and endorses the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: Implementing the United Nations “Protect, Respect, and Remedy” Framework. Wyndham Worldwide is also a member of the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and has supported the establishment of ITP’s working group on combating human trafficking.
  • Combating child exploitation
  • Wyndham Worldwide does not use child labor and has also signed the Tourism Child-Protection Code of Conduct (The Code). The Code focuses explicitly on protecting children from sexual exploitation in the travel and tourism industries and commits Wyndham Worldwide to strengthen its anti-child trafficking policies and provide training to help employees identify and report possible trafficking activities. Moreover, Wyndham Worldwide supports the Polaris Project, an organization that combats all forms of human trafficking and provides, with Polaris, continuous training to its hotels.

Which GRI indicators/Standards have been addressed?

The GRI indicators/Standards addressed in this case are:

1) G4-15: List externally developed economic, environmental and social charters, principles, or other initiatives to which the organization subscribes or which it endorses – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 102-12 External initiatives

2) G4-56: Describe the organization’s values, principles, standards and norms of behavior such as codes of conduct and codes of ethics – the updated GRI Standard is: Disclosure 102-16 Values, principles, standards, and norms of behavior

 

References:

1) This case study is based on published information by Wyndham Worldwide, located at the link below. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses. However, we made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the report’s meaning.  If you would like to quote these written sources from the original, please revert to the original on the Global Reporting Initiative’s Sustainability Disclosure Database at the link:

http://database.globalreporting.org/

2) http://www.fbrh.co.uk/en/global-reporting-initiative-gri-g4-guidelines-download-page

3) https://g4.globalreporting.org/Pages/default.aspx

4) https://www.globalreporting.org/standards/gri-standards-download-center/

Note to Wyndham Worldwide: With each case study we send out an email requesting a comment on this case study. If you have not received such an email please contact us.

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