“It is only by having a clearly defined program of social responsibility in place that Intimate Places can look to the future and take decisions which will enable it to continue to contribute positively towards an ever-changing and dynamic environment.”
Within the last 15 years since Intimate Places was established, corporate social responsibility has grown enormously in importance, particularly in developing countries such as Tanzania.
Through a process of trial and error, our organisation has developed a policy which we feel works well not only for us, but also for the environments in which we operate. The central theme to this policy is one of sustainability. It is our stated aim to make a long-lasting positive impact on our surroundings, on the communities in which we operate and on the economy of Tanzania in general.
The purpose of this document therefore is to provide readers with a brief insight as to our past and present achievements as well as our goals for the future.
Investing in the Tanzanian economy
Reasons to invest in a third world country such as Tanzania include contributing towards the growth of her economy and the standard of living of her people.
In the 15 years since Intimate Places Ltd. commenced operations in Usa River, we have seen tourism on the Northern Safari circuit flourish and have watched the standards of living of the people employed in our industry rise exponentially.
Whilst we can claim but a minute amount of credit for these developments, it is the philosophies of companies such as our own which have helped to bring about some of the developments that have been seen.
In this day and age of the global economy, it is often very easy to forget the importance of supporting local industry and to chase more competitive pricing elsewhere. In the development of all of our projects, Intimate Places has been very careful to source as much of its requirements as possible from within Tanzania. It is a tribute to our commitment to this philosophy that as much as 98% of all investments made have been sourced from within our borders.
Investing in the economy also extends to the payment of taxes due to the Tanzanian Government and Intimate Places has severally received recognition from the Tanzania Revenue Authority for its commitment to fulfill its obligations in this regard.
Investing in People
Intimate Places employs over 40 staff between Camp Zebra, Intimate Camps and our headquarters in Arusha. All of these staff have written contracts of employment with the company which afford them both job security as well as other benefits not normally associated with casual or ‘daily paid’ employment.
All of our staff have access to healthcare in designated health centres entirely at the company’s expense. In the event that they should be involved in an accident, then not only are they covered by the Statutory Workmen’s Compensation Act, but the company has also put into place additional insurances which will look after them and their families in the long term in the event of injury, no matter how serious or howsoever sustained.
In order to ensure that our staff attains the standards of service expected by our guests, the company provides a number of different training opportunities for all staff. These can involve recruiting outside professionals who improve our guests experience year around at the same time as teach our permanent staff the skills of their trade. Or they can involve bringing in local trainers to meet specific training needs from time to time. Or they can involve investing in outside training courses organised by industry professionals to develop our employees specific skills.
Intimate Places also attaches a great deal of importance to investing in staff for the future. In conjunction with local hotel schools, we have created training programs which allow their students to gain practical experience in the different departments within our organization in order to supplement the theoretical knowledge which they gain in the classroom.
Protecting the environment for future generations
A great deal of importance is attached by the company to protecting the environments in which our properties operate. Our policy here is to ensure that our seasonal and luxury mobile camps enter a national park, provide our guests with the ultimate wilderness experience and then depart leaving no evidence that they were ever there aside from some small patches of flat grass where our tents were located. Examples of how we achieve this are as follows:
- All of the electricity requirements of our camps is harvested from the sun’s rays through the use of solar panels. Electricity generators are used only in cases of absolute necessity.
- All of the waste generated by our camps is separated and transported back to Arusha for proper disposal.
- The hot water for guest showers is heated using eco-friendly Safari boilers which have been specially manufactured for Intimate Places by a local company. These boilers require minimal amounts of energy in order to operate.
- Briquettes manufactured in Moshi from waste wood products are transported into the national parks to run our boilers. This is to avoid the company playing a part, no matter how small, in the deforestation of our planet.
- Our luxury mobile camps offer the option of using “eco-flush” toilets so as to minimize usage of water in our national parks where water is all too often a scarce commodity. Furthermore, these toilets use specialist products which render all waste completely biodegradable.
Supporting worthwhile causes
In a country such as Tanzania, there are literally thousands of worthwhile projects in need of support. It would be impossible for an organisation the size of Intimate Places to assist them all.
During the course of the last 15 years and through a process of trial and error, the company has adopted a number of causes and our specialist team are always on the look-out for new worthwhile projects to help.
Our Vision for the Future
It is only by having a clearly defined program of social responsibility in place that Intimate Places can look to the future and take decisions which will enable it to continue to contribute positively towards an ever-changing and dynamic environment.
The central theme to our program is one of “sustainability. We have learned over the years, through both our successes as well as our failures, that it is preferable to encourage self-help groups to produce something which we can then buy from them – even at inflated prices – than it is to donate funds which can all too easily be squandered providing no long-term benefit to the intended recipients.
Intimate Places are extremely fortunate to be in the service industry and to require a wide range of products on a regular basis in order to be able to deliver the services which our guests desire. Consequently, we find ourselves able to help a wide range of groups and to make a difference to the lives of many ordinary Tanzanians.
The importance of technology has grown in the last decade and will in our opinion continue to do so in the coming years. We believe that we will need to continue to embrace technological advances fully in the future in order to be able to improve our offerings and to pursue our policy of protecting the environment in which we exist.
One of the areas where we are already concentrating our efforts is in the use of clean energy generated through natural phenomena. We have set a goal to halve our carbon footprint over the course of the next decade, even taking into consideration organizational growth.
Given that the hotel industry is a labour intensive one and the fact that the quality of our products is dictated by the quality of the staff that we employ we see a need to be even more active than we currently are in the areas of education and the training of our staff both present and future. This will likely require that we develop even closer ties with hotel schools whereby we integrate our properties as part of the curriculums which are offered to their students.
As our organisation continues to grow, we may even decide to venture into the area of education ourselves in order to enable us to create a talent pool which we can then use to feed our future human resource needs.
If you would care to learn more about Intimate Places in general and our Corporate Social Responsibility program specifically then please do not hesitate to contact Marc Lawson at firstname.lastname@example.org.