The hospitality industry has long been under the CSR microscope due to the sheer volume of operations, energy use and waste creation. Although towel and linen reuse programs may be the hallmark consumer-facing program of the industry, new efforts have emerged that make a huge impact not only on sustainability issues within the industry but also leave a social impact mark on the world.
Each year, hundreds of millions of soap bars are discarded in North America alone, but a partnership between nonprofit Clean the World and Caesars Foundation seeks to change that. Caesars Foundation has been working as part of the nonprofit's Global Soap Project since 2010. The Project's aim is to recycle soap and plastic bottles from the hospitality industry that would otherwise be thrown out, and distribute them as sanitized soaps to families and communities around the world. Now, the six-year partnership has collected "nearly two million bars of soap to be sanitized and distributed to 100 countries to reduce the spread of bacterial borne diseases." To engage employees in this commitment, Caesars Foundation runs a contest offering week-long trips to distribute soap directly to those in need. Just last month, three employees hand-delivered soap to 1,000 families across Guatemala. These employees experienced how an item that many Americans may take for granted can have such a big impact. "I really didn't understand what these families undergo on a day to day basis until I saw it first hand," shared one employee on Caesars' Citizenship blog.
The partnership creates a win-win for Global Soap Project and Caesars. Caesars is able to solve for a major waste issue at its hotels and engage employees in a meaningful way through on-the-ground volunteer work. Yet for Global Soap Project, the donated soap can make an even bigger impact on the health and lives of the people it serves. In fact, more than "1.8 million children die from hygiene and sanitation related illnesses each year" but a simple product like a bar of soap is the "most effective way to prevent those deaths."