Buying Travel to Impact Social Good

When Siemens U.K. travel commodity manager Emma Eaton visited Business Travel Show Europe in London earlier this year, she stayed at a different hotel than the other hosted buyer visitors. Eaton checked herself into Good Hotel London, a property she had recently added to Siemens’ preferred supplier list not only because it meets the company’s quality and price standards but also because it is a social enterprise.

Social enterprises are businesses that allocate at least 50 percent of profits for philanthropy, such as training and supporting disadvantaged people. In most cases, including Good Hotels’ parent Good Group, the figure is 100 percent. All Good Group profits fund Niños de Guatemala, a foundation providing education to 500 children in Central America. Good Hotel London also provides a training program for long-term unemployed people in Newham, the borough where it is located and one of the poorest in the U.K.

Eaton is one of a tiny but growing number of travel and meetings managers aiming to buy social, a phase she defines as “the opportunity for corporates to use their purchasing power to do good. Instead of just using our purchasing volume through traditional routes, it’s looking at buying from the many wonderful organizations which exist to improve the lives of people who need some help.”