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Case 7: Kimpton Hotels’ Earthcare ProgramTEACHING NOTE FOR:KIMPTON HOTELS’ EARTHCARE PROGRAM1This case illustrates the following themes and concepts discussed in the chapters listed:Theme/ConceptChapterCorporation in Society1Corporate Social Responsibility/Citizenship7Natural Environment/Sustainability11Consumers15Employees16Community/Corporate Philanthropy18Case Synopsis:This case focuses on an environmental sustainability initiative at a boutique hotel chain,Kimpton Hotels.In 2005, Kimpton Hotels undertook a branding campaign for its chain ofunique properties.One aspect of the campaign was the rollout to all hotels of a majorenvironmental initiative called the EarthCare Program. Elements included the introduction ofenergy-efficient lighting, low-flow/high pressure showerheads and sink aerators, and low-flow toilets; linen and towel reuse; the use of non-toxic, non-allergenic, all-natural cleaningproducts; the use of low-VOC paints; as well as other initiatives.Kimpton managementestablished two basic ground rules. New initiatives could not cost more than what wasalready budgeted for operations and capital improvements, and they could not adverselyaffect customer perceptions or satisfaction.This case allows students to explore whether ornot there is a business case for the EarthCare Program.It also asks students to consider howthe company should best implement and institutionalize its sustainability initiatives, and howtheir success should be measured and reported.TEACHING TIP: WHERE TO USE THE CASE IN THE COURSEMost instructors will wish to use this case in conjunction with the discussion ofvoluntaryenvironmental initiatives by businessandmanaging environmental issues.It may also beused to illustrate the costs and benefits ofcorporate social responsibilityandsocial andenvironmental performance auditing.Discussion Questions:1.What are the benefits of Kimpton’s environmental sustainability initiatives?Whatare their costs?
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Case 7: Kimpton Hotels’ Earthcare Program2.How would you justify the EarthCare Program to Kimpton’s board of directors andstockholders?That is, what is the business case for the program?