RIU is turning its CSR through the implementation of a methodology on which it bases its decisions to invest socially in the destinations. This is a new action process, applied in international cooperation, which had never before been used in the hotel sector and has been presented today in Madrid by Carmen Riu, CEO of the chain, and Catalina Alemany, director of RSC, at a press breakfast held at the Riu Plaza España hotel. The objective of this new system is to apply a more scientific and rigorous method and less based on the sensitivity and subjectivity of the people involved in decision making. In addition, the focus on the lines of action is specified: health and childhood and biodiversity protection.
To address the actions in each destination, the chain has developed, in collaboration with the ESCP-Europe Business School Paris, a common methodology that serves to make a diagnosis of the real needs and hence derive the necessary actions in each case. In addition, in each country the investment in social development is linked to the volume of business in their destinations, thus applying a criterion of proportionality to their actions. Another very relevant fact has been the increase in RIU’s global investment that has doubled in 2019, from 825,000 euros in 2018 to 1,555,000 in 2019.
The methodology is based on an analysis of the country and the area through different social and economic indicators developed by international and local organizations. This serves to have a first impression of the situation of the surroundings of the hotels and to know their needs. With this information, a plan is created in which the possible alliances and the interest groups and the representatives with whom one must work are defined. Once the team travels to the country, an internal diagnosis is made, in which the perception of the staff of the destination itself is known, and an external one in which contact is established with interest groups such as civil organizations and the government, between others. Finally an evaluation is made in which the actions are defined.
This method of action was released in Costa Rica in 2018 and thanks to it the need for preventive health care is discovered. From all this, the project of the Pediatric Clinic of Artola, in Costa Rica, which has been underway since September 2019 and which aims to serve children between 0 and 14 years who are in the development phase in the province of Guanacaste RIU has covered the necessary remodeling of the consultation and covers the expenses of the doctor, nurse and administrative, so that the service can be offered. This project covers a specific community need that also aligns with the RIU focus on Health and Children.
Another outstanding RIU project is the one developed in Cape Verde. In this case, the focus is on the protection of biodiversity, specifically the sea turtle. The archipelago is one of the main destinations in the world of spawning of the Caretta caretta and the need to protect it arises in 2010 the alliance with a local NGO from the Island of Boavista. Although it is prior to the new methodology, it is fully aligned with it and will remain as the results have been very positive. By monitoring the nesting and monitoring the beaches to avoid poaching, in addition to involving the community, the number of turtles born and released in the sandy beaches of Cape Verde has been raised to historical maximums.
However, it is not necessary to go far to detect urgent social problems or needs. In the case of Madrid, which has been one of the cities in which RIU has applied the method, has discovered a high contrast of opportunities for children in the center of Madrid. The situation can be excellent in Gran Vía and poverty in the surrounding streets. Now RIU aims to match the conditions in education and health for all children and for this it will work together with organizations such as Red Cross, Help in Action, Save The Children and Tomillo Foundation.
Thanks to this new methodology RIU studies the social and environmental problems of the environment where the hotels operate and allows you to see the real impact of your activity in each destination, as well as the situation of the community in aspects such as poverty, access to education or health.