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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 of unique properties. One aspect of the campaign was the rollout to all hotels of a major environmental 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 cleaning products; the use of low-VOC paints; as well as other initiatives. Kimpton management established two basic ground rules. New initiatives could not cost more than what was already budgeted for operations and capital improvements, and they could not adversely affect customer perceptions or satisfaction. This case allows students to explore whether or not there is a business case for the EarthCare Program. It also asks students to consider how the company should best implement and institutionalize its sustainability initiatives, and how their 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 of voluntaryenvironmental initiatives by businessand managing environmental issues. It may also be used to illustrate the costs and benefits of corporate social responsibilityand social and environmental performance auditing. Discussion Questions:1.What are the benefits of Kimpton’s environmental sustainability initiatives? What are their costs?
2.How would you justify the EarthCare Program to Kimpton’s board of directors andstockholders? That is, what is the business case for the program?