Can Airbnb Set an Example for Corporate Social Responsibility?
Recent natural disasters in both Israel and New Zealand have displaced hundreds of families from their homes. In Israel, fires (many of which were started by arsonists) have destroyed many homes and communities, and an earthquake in New Zealand had a similar effect. Airbnb, a company that connects renters and tenants, is using its business platform to help families who were displaced as a result of these disasters.
Airbnb has set up a “disasters response” page to help displaced families find a place to stay. The company has also waived its standard fee, allowing hosts to use the online platform for free. Airbnb sent an email to its users informing them that, “in light of recent events in Israel we want to let you know we’ll be waiving all service fees and enabling hosts to list for free.” By doing so, the company is enticing users to rent out their homes to those in need.
I have previously written on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the importance of companies using their resources and platforms to impact society in a positive way. Airbnb is exemplifying the benefits and importance of CSR and is making a significant impact on the lives of many families in Israel, New Zealand, and other places around the world. Airbnb is the perfect paradigm of a company that has invested in CSR, and I hope that other companies can learn from Airbnb’s actions and do the same.