By Kaitlyn Wallace
The Ritz-Carlton is world-renowned for being a vision of class, luxury, and hospitality expertise. With a reputation for unique and chic events, skilled staff, and beautiful accommodations, The Ritz-Carlton sets the standard for elegance and sophistication worldwide.
What is perhaps less well-known is The Ritz-Carlton’s commitment to social and environmental responsibility through programs that aim to make a positive impact on surrounding communities. These programs place The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis in a position of leadership not just in the world of hospitality, but also in the corporate responsibility movement that is rising nationwide.
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis’ reputation of event excellence is well-deserved. With a full suite of talented and committed hospitality professionals, The Ritz-Carlton team is dedicated to bringing every planner’s vision to life.
“Planning a meeting or event at The Ritz-Carlton is a team effort, and the team is dedicated to tailoring the event experience to the planner and attendees’ needs,” says Kate Hunter, Director of Catering Sales at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis. “The ladies and gentlemen of The Ritz-Carlton are magic makers; they will always ensure that your meeting or event is not only functional, but memorable.”
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis excels in prioritizing environmental responsibility in their meeting and events services. With the help of their Ritz-Carlton Environmental Action Conservation Teams (REACT), planners and hospitality professionals can work together to execute meetings with a positive environmental impact.
Amanda Joiner, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis, describes the process as follows: “Planners can work with our ladies and gentlemen to create impactful programming that utilizes our Green Meeting Initiative Toolkit, which touches on many aspects of reducing waste during conference meetings. Everything is thought through from a green initiative perspective, including our food waste reduction services, recycling program, and biodegradable products.” These efforts are bolstered by The Ritz-Carlton’s use of environmentally friendly cleaning productions, locally sourced and sustainable food options, and use of recycled products in meetings and events.
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis’ commitment to corporate responsibility does not stop at environmental responsibility. The Ritz-Carlton is also dedicated to making an impact on the community level with their “Impact Experiences” programming, which provides planners with an opportunity to create meaningful service and team-building events that contribute to local aid organizations.
“At The Ritz-Carlton, we have built a legacy of extraordinary service, and we’re pleased to integrate Marriott International’s social responsibility through our event planning services,” Joiner added, stating that “planners can also help create special programming opportunities through conference events that give back to the St. Louis community through the hotel’s partnerships with area food banks and community service initiatives.”
Examples of these initiatives include collaboratively creating meals to donate to local food banks, making cards for children experiencing hospitalizations, and compiling academic success kits for children in need of school supplies. Signature Impact Experiences, which include off-site volunteer experiences, are also available for planners to design local and unique service events.
Service to the community does not stop at events and activities; instead, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis takes care to foster passionate and responsible leadership among the planners and attendees that utilize The Ritz-Carlton’s services. With two Malcolm Baldridge Awards, The Ritz-Carlton Leadership Center offers onsite programming, online courses, and advisory services aimed at proliferating responsible leadership throughout the hospitality industry. These efforts yield concrete positive results for both employees and clients.
“I am continuously amazed by our ladies and gentlemen and their ability to go above and beyond for their clients,” says Joiner. “These are truly remarkable ways in which we can all work together to create a positive impact.” Hunter agrees, adding that “planners choose The Ritz-Carlton for the opportunity to collaborate with the epitome of hospitality professionalism.”
Setting the Standard
Corporate responsibility programming often goes unnoticed in the face of flashier and more visible hospitality programs. But this may not be the case forever; as young meeting and events professionals continue to push for environmental and social action to come hand in hand with professional development, organizational responsibility may begin to take center stage as a united standard for conferences and corporate events.
The Ritz-Carlton is not only participating in this trend, but leading the movement towards a more caring, community-centric vision of hospitality, all without sacrificing the qualities that professionals love most about planning with The Ritz-Carlton. As the corporate responsibility movement continues to plan, other hotels and organizations will have to work hard to keep up with the achievements of The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis in the world of social and environmental action.
Kaitlyn Wallace is a contributing writer from St. Louis.