The company adds sustainability criteria to the variable bonuses of executives. For the first time the Report has been reviewed against GRI standards, achieving a Grade A rating. The company raises its transparency levels achieving 100 GRI indicators compared to 84 in 2008.
Palma de Mallorca – The Vice Chairman of Sol Meliá, Sebastián Escarrer Jaume, has presented the hotel company’s Sustainability Report for 2009 in Madrid today, after a year which he described as one of “consolidation of our global sustainability policy”, and in which Sol Meliá obtained certification as a “Biosphere Hotel Company”.
Amongst the most important figures for the year, the company Vice Chairman highlighted the greater number of indicators covered, rising from 84 to 100, the first assessment by external stakeholders through the “panel of experts” in sustainability, and the evaluation of the 33 commitments made in 2008 and the generation of 25 new commitments, el and the achievement or significant progress in 31 of the 33 commitments to improvement made in last year’s report.
The Vice Chairman of Sol Meliá also explained how the Sustainability Report has changed over the last three years to help achieve the objective of making the Report more useful for the company both institutionally, commercially and as a management tool. More specifically, the 2009 Report is built around the company’s different stakeholders and the ways in which the company creates value for each of them. This strategic focus is complemented by more detailed information and case studies showing how Sol Meliá activities as a sustainable company contribute to the development of the communities in which it operates and the people that live in those communities.
Value for stakeholders
In spite of the crisis which has affected the entire travel and tourism industry, in 2009 Sol continued to create value for all of its stakeholders. Of the 1,064 million euros in revenues generated by the company, 332 went to employees, 527 to suppliers, 93.4 to the authorities, 71.3 million was invested in improvements, and the remaining 168 million went to boost the company treasury (reducing the level of debt and contributing to the health of the balance sheet and the financial sustainability of the company).
In the words of Sebastián Escarrer “we have made an extra effort because transparency is enormously important both for our reputation and our credibility, and also to improve our internal management, and although sometimes it may be a little hard to get hold of the information, this is why we continue to strive to achieve international standards and define increasingly challenging objectives”.
In this respect, Sol Meliá has taken on a commitment to raise awareness and knowledge amongst its staff about the Sustainability Report and has a plan which aims to reach 75% of the staff in 2010, involving them in the gradual improvement of our social, cultural end environmental responsibility in all of their activities, and raising awareness about the achievement of our objectives.
The real commitment: Variable bonuses as a means of improvement
Sol Meliá has made its sustainability objectives something that affects all of the company in that they have been added to the variable bonus criteria of company executives in 2010, both in corporate offices and business units (hotels and vacation club).
This helps the company enhance the stimulus of achieving sustainability objectives, focused on a selection of 19 objectives related to the achievement of Sol Meliá’s four public commitments: certification as a Biosphere Hotel Company – first achieved by Sol Meliá in 2009- , progress related to the United Nations Global Compact, the GRI indicators as yet unsatisfied or susceptible to improvement, and the renewal of the Sol Meliá membership of the exclusive Spanish stock market “responsible investment” index, FTSE4Good Ibex.
In the business units the evaluation system for variable bonuses related to sustainability focuses on the mandatory aspects defined in the Sustainable Development Manual, and will affect 91% of hotels and vacation club units.
The percentage of the variable bonus associated to sustainability objectives is 5% for corporate offices (plus an extra 5% depending on the strategic impact) and 10% on a global level for hotels or the vacation club (5% assigned to compliance with the hotel Sustainable Development Manual, and the other 5% related to energy and water efficiency).
Improvements in 2009. Commitments for 2010
Alongside the new strategy and methodology, Sebastián Escarrer also presented some of the specific improvements achieved in 2009, including:
· Grade A rating from the GRI after their review of the 2009 Report
· Greater contextualisation of the Report data, with comparisons to historical data and placement within the environment in which they have been achieved.
· Greater balance in the amount of information from corporate offices and the amount from business units.
· Greater focus on results and trends which are not getting better or are even getting worse, with the reasons for the differences.
· More focus on sustainability, human and environmental value rather than financial information.
· More information and transparency on labour-related data such as salaries by country and data on executive pay or diversity indicators such as the percentage of local employees.
· Focus on data about the relationship with different stakeholders.
· Inclusion of data which never used to be collected such as guest satisfaction ratings or local concerns.
The Vice Chairman of Sol Meliá strongly stated that the progress made should in no way hide the fact that there remain many areas for improvement which will be faced internally and then reported in the Sustainability Report for 2010. The company aims to include in the next report data on consumption by hotel type, more information on local issues (Sol Meliá operates in 26 countries and employs people from 94 countries), and a substantial increase in the information on corporate governance which, in his opinion, will increase the credibility of the Report.
With regard to specific commitments, the company proposes the achievement of 25 improvements to achieve the reporting standards of the best rated companies.
More information at http://www.solmelia.com/desarrollosostenible/
Picture: Carstino Delmonte/ Touristikpresse.net