LATITUDE HOTELS GROUP: Accountable, committed and transparent CSR for African hospitality
The Latitude Hotels Group has announced the launch of its first CSR Report underlining the priority of the cosmopolitan African hospitality brand on extending its CSR agenda.
Though working on sound CSR principles since 2012, this report marks the first time the company has comprehensively analysed and publicly reported on its actions and impacts with a process of rigorous self-assessment in five critical areas, reporting on socio-economics, employment and skills, supply chain, community and environment.
Commenting on the company’s initiatives, Chairman, Nick Brown said, “A passion for sustainability has always directed Latitude’s journey, and we are now at an important staging post. Last year, we launched our 3rd hotel with Latitude 0° in Kampala; now, we are proud to launch this report. These two events, seemingly different, are intrinsically related milestones. As our footprint grows in Africa so too do our responsibilities, and hence the opportunities and positive contribution we’re able to make to our communities and to society”
Jean Byamugisha, Executive Director of the Uganda Hotel Owners Association, appreciated Latitude as a game-changer in the hospitality sector in Africa. She lauded the company’s bold and aspirational approach to recruitment – which is to recruit an attitude above skills. She said that many others in the region are now encouraged to replicate this model.
”The decor of the hotel is significant,” she remarked, “It is indisputably world-class and not just visually stunning, but sings a song of community empowerment and enhanced pride, skills and improved local livelihoods.” She particularly noted how Latitude has brought ‘style with substance’ in that sector.
Latitude has invested $30.1m in Africa (Zambia, Malawi and Uganda). Through its 3 boutique hotels, Latitude currently has a direct impact on 1,397 people in some of the world’s poorest countries. Skills development and employee welfare are critical to the group and they take a progressive approach to recruitment, training, career opportunities and medical support.
For its supply chain, the company endeavours to source as much possible locally. It quantitatively measures ‘import leakage’ and seeks out new approaches and initiatives to increase their local presence. For example, the group is now formalising procedures and responsibilities around impact collection and measurement to promote further transparency, The progress will be documented annually and most significantly, verify its CSR activities externally, starting with its new membership of Fair Trade Tourism, the non-profit organisation promoting best practice responsible tourism in Africa.