RIU Hotels’ Sustainability Report has identified 1.2 million euros (US$1.4 million) in social and environmental investments in 2019, up 41.2 per cent on 2018.
The projects abided by a social innovation model, focusing on child protection, and the well-being of the local community. The hotel group has also taken a pathway towards a more environmentally responsible hospitality model.
Some of the outcomes of RIU’s work include the establishment of two playrooms in Quintana Roos, Mexico where children can acquire cognitive skills; reforestation of 450 trees and plants with Plant-for-the-Planet on the Canary Islands; and significant reduction in single-use plastics, consumption per guest per night and CO2 emissions across its properties.
CEO Carmen Riu noted that the company “has left behind charity to achieve a mature identity that is bound up with corporate social responsibility”.
The company expressed that “this experience has been vital in tackling the new social situation caused by Covid-19 in relation to CSR, because many projects running this year have been affected by the crisis, and the actions they involve have had to adapt to a new social reality”.
Some of the changes that had to be made this year included conversion of RIU’s face-to-face therapy for minors at risk of social exclusion and their families in Madrid to virtual retreats.
As a result of pandemic disruptions, RIU Hotels expects social and environmental investments to be lower this year compared with previous years. For 2020, it intends to focus on actions aimed at relieving the impact of Covid-19 on the destinations where its hotels are located.