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September 16, 2009

Condé Nast Traveler and Corporate Social Responsibility

World Savers

by Dinda Elliott

We haven't told you about this yet, because we wanted to do some work quietly first. But a week before we host our third Condé Nast Traveler World Savers Congress, it's time to share some news about the progress we've made related to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the travel industry over the past year. Our conference, scheduled for Sep. 21 at New York's Morgan Library, will convene some 250 travel industry CEOs and leaders from the nonprofit world to discuss what more can by done by the travel industry--particularly during challenging economic times--to improve the planet. We will also present the World Savers Awards to this year's winners, which were announced in the September issue.

We're excited and proud to report that over the past year, in addition to covering such environmental and social issues as global warming in Greenland, development challenges in Grenada, and trips that give back   throughout the year, Condé Nast Traveler has hosted a series of brown-bag lunches around our conference table and telephone meetings with a group of leading U.S. hotel companies to discuss CSR, learn more about the challenges they face, and set some goals. Our editors realized that we not only have a platform to speak with our readers through our magazine, but also that we can play a role in helping an important industry conversation.

To their immense credit, Abercrombie & Kent, Carlson Hotels, Fairmont Hotels, Four Seasons, Hyatt Corp., InterContinental, Kimpton Hotels, Loews, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Starwood, and Vail Resorts all took the trouble to join the meetings, sometimes flying across the country--even from London in the case of InterContinental--to do so.

We applaud these companies' commitment to promoting socially responsible practices and, especially, their willingness to work together to solve some very challenging problems. I can tell you from personal experience that these companies' CSR officers are an amazing group of people, passionate and dedicated, and they are pushing relentlessly to expand environmental and social programs, even in the face of a very tough economy.

Further reading:
* Video: Mandy Moore introduces the World Savers Congress
* How can YOU help save the world when you travel? (Perrin Post)
* The program for Monday's World Savers Congress

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