Over the recent past, many businesses have put more emphasis on Sustainability. They have formulated several motivations in concern for such investments. More than 33% of all global companies have prioritized Sustainability to reduce costs and improve the company’s operational efficiency (Sheehy & Farneti, 2021). As these companies try their best to maintain their Sustainability, they continue to use different words like corporate social responsibility. Sustainability is the approach to creating long-term values considering how a company operates in specific social, ecological, and economic environments. Corporate social responsibility is a broader concept considered to other concepts like corporate Sustainability. Corporate social responsibility covers many companies’ operations, including themselves, the public, and the stakeholders. Any company that chooses to engage in corporate social responsibility operates so that it influences society both at local and global levels. Corporate social responsibility and Sustainability also referred to as corporate Sustainability, are two diverse practices. However, under circumstances where building a good reputation and long-term goals in a business are mentioned, it is advisable to consider both initiatives (Nalband & Kelabi, 2014. Many companies, specifically in the hospitality industry, have significantly embraced corporate social responsibility in today’s business operations.   Understanding more about corporate social responsibility and Sustainability in businesses is worth understanding the terms and how they promote the business. Majorly in the hospitality industry.

Theoretical background

Corporate social responsibility works as a strategy that a business uses in self-regulation to make a positive change in society and maintain its social accountability. There are several ways that a company can embrace corporate social responsibility, including eco-consciousness and remaining friendly to the environment, promoting diversity, equality, and inclusivity, respect in the workplace, embracing the community,  and ensuring ethical business decisions. Corporate social responsibility is an initiative that originated from the voluntary decisions within a few companies and later advanced to mandatory principles at both national, regional, and international levels (Nalband & Kelabi, 2014.  However, several business entities have emphasized corporate social responsibility even beyond the recommended necessitates and entrenched the ideology of doing well in their business ethics.

If a company chooses to embrace corporate social responsibility, its practices have to have an integral business culture and operations. In the current socially conscious environment, the staff and the clientele impact a premium on exerting and spending their resources on operations that offer priorities to corporate social responsibility. This is the only way for a company to be perceived as genuine. Anything else will be detected as corporate hypocrisy. To safeguard the authenticity of corporate social responsibility, a company should consider its values, core issues, and business mission and determine the best initiative in dealing with culture and business goals. These initiatives can be done either by hiring third parties or internally conducting its assessments. From the United Nations review of the sustainable and development goals like gender equity, good health and well-being can apply to in many corporate while some precise goals like clean energy and Water are relevant in selecting industries like energy providers and  water.

Theories of corporate social responsibility

Scholars have formulated several models and theories in relation to the corporate social responsibility. In the modern business operations, many companies have decided to follow different methodologies in approaching and implementing corporate social responsibility. However, several companies have adopted methodologies that favor only the stakeholders and does not care about the community. Since every company has to adopt any of these theories and models, clear analysis has been done giving to the corporates to between the three main theories.

Carrols pyramid theory.

Carroll’s corporate social responsibility theory was first formulated in 1979 by Archie Carroll’s. Its simplicity, and the ability to describe the ideology in corporate social responsibility in four-parameter has made it one of the most popular theories in operation (Nalband & Kelabi, 2014). It suggests that the corporate social responsibility has to meet its standards at four echelons. Philanthropic, legal, economic and ethical levels.

Economic responsibility

The economic responsibility in company is all about making products that meets the societal needs and the company earns profits from them. In every company, there are shareholders who demand and expect profits earned from their investments with the company (Carroll, 2016). There are also employees in the series who also need safety, and clients expect quality products at affordable prices. Hence this creates the foundation of the Carrols pyramid. The economic responsibility of company as discussed by Carrols theory include the responsibility to make profits and providing survival and societal support for long. Every company’s economic responsibility targets the methods that enable the entity in the long term as well as meeting the high standards in philanthropy, legal and ethical practices (Nalband & Kelabi, 2014). Businesses that operate with manufacturing processes in recycling products and lower the cost assumes the best examples for the companies that are economically responsible.

Legal responsibility

Every company’s legal responsibility is to comply with the minimum and regulations in power. Companies operate with the expectations that they will revolve within these rules. Most of these rules are consisted of regulations and laws that epitomize the societal view on their ethics (Nalband & Kelabi, 2014). These rules act as determinants for the organizations conducts in its business operations in a manner that is fair as per the legislators on regional, national and the local levels. The legal responsibility in companies is attributed to consistent operations with the government rules, compliance with the local and national regulations, acting as a loyal company to the state, and productions of products that are legally accepted (Nalband & Kelabi, 2014).

Ethical responsibility

The Carrols pyramid suggests that the company’s ethical responsibility exceeds the societal normative expectations on rules and regulations. Additionally it is the expectation of every society that every company will operate and manage business ethically. Embracing standards, activities, and practices that have not been noted is the real meaning of ethical responsibility (Nalband & Kelabi, 2014). Legal and ethical expectations can be hard to differentiate since the laws are based on ethics though ethics exceeds beyond that.

Philanthropic responsibilities

Company’s philanthropic responsibility is composed of the entity decretory or voluntary to practices and activities of the business (Carroll, 2016). Its responsibility is not literal but though the society expects that the business will take part in similar activities. The quantity and the nature of these activities appear to be more voluntary are conducted in accordance to the company’s wish to be involved in the social activities (Carroll, 2016). The business philanthropic activities is an indicator that the company is willing to give back to the community. To implement this, the company adopts several types of philanthropy like, voluntary work, gifts, donations, and any other discretionary contributions in the community.

 Triple bottom line theory

Triple bottom line theory is another theory that assumes that the corporate operates under the moral society, which grants it a moral society. Triple bottom line majorly focuses on sustainability band demand the company to weigh its operations in three individual scales, economic, environmental and social Sustainability (Farooq & Hao, 2021). These three basics aims at company’s long term sustainability. The economic Sustainability is based on the company’s long-term since it is the nature of every company’s existence. Some decisions may create economic boon within a short period but causes long term harm will likely affect the bottom line to an extent that the stroke could be indefensible. Social Sustainability grants preference to the society’s economic power balance. Business competition is mutual and encouraged though the maximization of bottom-line demands the entity to foster the environment where they can all thrive. From this, the company continues with its existence fostering good will between the society and the company. Environmental Sustainability stems its basis from the fact that continued degradation will contribute to continued harm to ourselves (Farooq & Hao, 2021). Members surrounding the moral community need to offer protection to the environment hence these bottom-line values offers environmental protection. However, the question of the extent at which the degradation is acceptable is a crucial that should be answered. Business operations cannot thrive in an environment that is used up; hence there is a need for efforts in renewing the already harmed environments.

Triple bottom line theory suggests that a company should weigh its gains against its losses and make decisions that are beneficial to the community and itself (Farooq & Hao, 2021). The basic business decisions are made from a comparison between the cost expectations and its gains. To combat this order of operations, this theory suggests that the company should accommodate all these elements.

Analysis and evaluation

The hospitality industry, operating under large footprints in both consumption and staffing, it has always been in the forefront in the implementation of practices that will minimize the negative results to the environment under which the business operates (Rhou & Singal, 2020). These practices may include attempts in reducing fuel consumption, reduction of food waste, and hotel energy saving activities. With the fact they are not limited to the environmental concern, the hospitality industry embraces a group of other issuers where primary hotels have considered the implementation of corporates social responsibility wits that much relates to encouraging workforce diversity, community development, and other employment practices that are progressive where several hotels like Hyatt, Marriott, and Kempton have been included (Rhou & Singal, 2020).

While the corporate social responsibility initiative is a discretionary and voluntary, the “doing good” benefits outdo the expenses even when the business is not considering specific revenue from its activities. The state of the industry and more on the hotel business renders the social wits dormant to a number of desirable results. For instance if a company chooses to involve in corporate social responsibility, then its customer loyalty and its brand will be improved. Since the hotel services are intangible and can only be evaluated based on the quality’s perception as considered to tangible products, then the goodwill from the social initiatives by the firm are transferred to brands image hence bringing about differentiation that in return are advantageous to the business when the competition is high. In a similar way, the association in supporting the brand in social related issues brings about customer loyalty in an environment where the clients are considered as novelty-seeking the benefits that accrue from reputation in social initiatives also entices the customers to willingly pay for the premium services that at a times helps the hotel to thrive the industries seasonal demands where the economic cycles are unfavorable (Rhou & Singal, 2020).

Demographic segments often creates nurtures and create green hotels demand, a niche that is growing rapidly, creating rooms for Sustainability in the hotels’ decision making process. From the research, it has been proven that clients are much willing to pay for premium services in sustainable and green restaurants and hotels through organic or non-genetically modified ingredients. The most interesting part is that if the clients are aware of the company’s corporate social responsibility, they are much willing to forgive the corporate for minor failures in their services hence making service recovery fast (Bello, 2017). Additionally, hotels that assume practices attributed to corporate social responsibility not only motivates its clients but also attracts and maintains them. It is the wish of every employee to work for a hotel that has an established reputation in good performance.

Marriott’s is one the hotels that embrace corporate social responsibility. The company mentions that it has established new social initiatives and Sustainability that is meant to foster growth while balancing the customer community, owner and associate’s needs (Font et al, 2010). Marriott’s being one of the global leaders in the industry with its establishment in more than 125 countries is emphasizes on and expects to be socially responsible and opportunistic in all aspects in the attempts to reduce carbon and water usage while providing its associates with awareness training (Ge, (2020). It recognizes the social and environmental initiatives that include human training, which adds up to positive impacts to the corporate. The company’s commitment is guided by its initiate the “serve 360” in delivering positive output through coordinating it four areas of priority (Font et al, 2010). These areas include nurturing the world, sustaining responsible operations, empowering the society through job opportunities, and advancing all the human rights. Both the customers and the associates confess that they enjoy and wish to work with Marriott hotel since it aligns with the values and brings ion positivity in the community hence being proud of the inclusion in the mix (Ge, (2020).

The company also looks at support the global vision 2030. Its partnership with the industry is the international voice that in Sustainability and the leading sector towards attaining fairness in the future (Ge, (2020). Supported by its members, the hotel launched goals including of water, human rights, youth employment and carbon reduction. As a way of exercising its corporate social responsibility practices, Marriott’s hotel majors its participation in a variety of activities. The company majorly focuses on the environmental concerns with its emphases on water and energy conservation, together with other international conservancy agencies. For instant, in 2008, the organization pledged two million dollars meant to preserve around one million acres of land in the Brazilian rainforest. Additionally, the company aims at reducing energy and water consumption in the future through establishing solar power in most of its hotels. The company also engages with its grocery vendors towards ensuring that it is supplied with greener products with neutral prices in every product category including beverages and food.

In its attempts of ensuring that its clients are aware of its corporate social responsibility practices, and how the community at large benefits from its, Marriott adopted several strategies in communication. It communication mainly puts more emphasis on long-term commitment through the identification of long term goals. Further, in communicating its corporate social responsibility strategies, the company emphasizes on its credibility to its shareholders due to its belief that it has little control over these sources. It also considers on staffing employees from the surrounding community with social ties who can easily spread the good message on the corporate social responsibility activities.


Companies have now decided to put more emphasis on adopting corporate social responsibility as a way of ensuring Sustainability. Every company that hoses to practice corporate social responsibility practices is a company that wishes to engage with the society both at international and locally. While implementing corporate social responsibility, it is advisable for the company to evaluate on both long-term and short term goals. In understanding corporate social responsibility well, several theories were formulated. Carroll’s pyramid theory is the first and simple theory that bases its emphasis on four levels, economic, legal, philanthropic ethic responsibilities. These levels suggest that for a corporate social responsibility to be effective, then it must meet their standards. The other theory is the bottom line theory. This emphasizes on weighing the company’s cost and expenses and making the right decision that benefits both the community and itself. To combat this theory, there must be a close examination on the gains and losses. Hospitality industry has been greatly witnessed in embracing corporate social responsibility. The industry has always been in the forefront in practicing corporate social responsibility activities that significantly benefits the community. Such activities may include practices that reduce water and energy consumption. Hotel that chooses to embrace corporate social responsibility benefits from customer loyalty and retention. Marriott’s is one of the hospitality companies that greatly embraces social corporate responsibility. It operates within a range of 125 countries globally and is is proud to mention that it has implemented the initiative in all these countries. It is helped in attaining this through emphasizing on it four areas of emphasis, these areas include nurturing the world, youth employment, sustainable operation responsibility and opportunistic community empowerment. The company has also attempted in promoting environment conservation through preservation of water catchment areas and establish of solar power. It works closely with fair and credible staffing process towards making sure that its initiatives are widespread.




Sheehy, B., & Farneti, F. (2021). Corporate social responsibility, Sustainability, sustainable development and corporate Sustainability: What is the difference, and does it matter?. Sustainability13(11), 5965.

Nalband, N. A., & Kelabi, S. A. (2014). Redesigning Carroll’s CSR pyramid model. Journal of Advanced Management Science2(3).

Carroll, A. B. (2016). Carroll’s pyramid of CSR: taking another look. International journal of corporate social responsibility1(1), 1-8.

Farooq, Q., Fu, P., Liu, X., & Hao, Y. (2021). Basics of macro to microlevel corporate social responsibility and advancement in triple bottom line theory. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management28(3), 969-979.

Rhou, Y., & Singal, M. (2020). A review of the business case for CSR in the hospitality industry. International Journal of Hospitality Management84, 102330.

Bello, F. G., Banda, W. J., & Kamanga, G. (2017). Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices in the hospitality industry in Malawi. African Journal of Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure6(3), 1-21.

Font, X., Walmsley, A., Cogotti, S., McCombes, L., & Häusler, N. (2012). Corporate social responsibility: The disclosure–performance gap. Tourism Management33(6), 1544-1553.

Ge, X. (2020). Exploring factors of corporate social responsibility in luxury hotels: The case of Marriott Hotel (Doctoral dissertation).

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