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Together Is Better: How we built a responsible business

May 10, 2018


By Françoise Grumberg
Vice President, Global Responsible Business and Diversity & Inclusion, CWT

People and Planet: Build a responsible business with strong governance

“Whatever you do, do it with integrity”, said Curt Carlson, our founder. The motto exemplifies a set of values that have guided everything we do.

Our long tradition of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) comes in handy in today’s world, where being a responsible global citizen is no longer a choice. It’s a clear business imperative. 

Awareness has grown worldwide in recent decades, making us all want to work with companies that have a proven track record in conducting business, ethically and sustainably. According to a study by Cone Communications, 91% of global consumers expect companies to do more than make a profit, and 62% would prefer to work for a socially responsible company, even if the salary was lower.

CSR – or Responsible Business, as we call it at CWT– is an integral part of who we are. But saying is one thing, doing is another, which is why, in 2012, we committed to the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles. We formally pledged to align our operations and strategy to ten, universally-accepted principles. They cover human rights, labor, environment, and anti-corruption.

The pledge signaled our commitment to further operate in a way that nurtures respect, dignity, and sustainability and was the first step in building a solid Responsible Business program.

Its success was bolstered by the strong governance we put in place to embed CSR into our company culture. We created a Responsible Business network, that nurtures the engagement of employees across all areas of our business.

Chaired by Kurt Ekert, our President & CEO, the Executive Leadership Team has oversight of our strategy. Meanwhile, the global Responsible Business team that I lead, develops the strategy and coordinates CSR programs throughout the network.

A team of RB ambassadors works to advance our company’s Responsible Business plan in order to meet our 2020 objectives. Supporting them is a team of RB country correspondents who help to implement local action plans, share best practices, and communicate locally.

Thanks to this structure, Responsible Business is now a shared duty at CWT. As the marketer and author Simon Sinek says in his book, Together is Better, “The ability of a group of people to do remarkable things hinges on how well those people can pull together as a team”.

I couldn't feel more proud of what we have achieved so far. And this is just the beginning. With such strong governance, the sky is the limit.

Blog author: Françoise Grumberg, Vice-President, Global Responsible Business, Carlson Wagonlit Travel

About Carlson Wagonlit Travel

Companies and governments rely on us to keep their people connected. We provide their travelers with a consumer-grade travel experience, combining innovative technology with our vast experience. Every day we look after enough travelers to fill almost 200 Boeing 747s and around 100,000 hotel rooms, and handle 95 corporate events. We have more than 18,000 people in nearly 150 countries, and in 2016 posted a total transaction volume of US$ 23 billion.

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