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Support of Procure Impact Suppliers Grows Stronger as More Hotel Companies Sign Dignity of Work Pledge

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Jen Collins

NATIONAL REPORT—In late February, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA) and Procure Impact, a first-of-its-kind B2B marketplace for products that support overlooked communities, announced the launch of the Dignity of Work Pledge, an initiative to create 100,000 hours of paid employment for overlooked populations. At the time of the announcement, eight hotel companies had signed the Pledge. According to Jen Collins, President of Procure Impact, three companies have since signed on, five have verbally committed, and Procure Impact is in conversation with 15 more. There are now more than 150,000 hotel rooms represented.

Hotel companies that purchase from companies in the marketplace help employ individuals facing barriers to work, including survivors of trafficking, veterans, at-risk youth, refugees, individuals with disabilities, and individuals who have experienced poverty, incarceration, homelessness, mental health issues and trauma, or substance use disorders.

“Procure Impact is much-needed bridge between social enterprise vendors and corporate America,” Collins says.

Companies can purchase everything from candles and bath and body products to tables to art to consumer-packaged goods. Those products help individuals learn new skills and earn income in the process. The products are all made in the U.S.

Those companies offering products through Procure Impact—almost 200 now—make products that the hospitality industry buys every day. “The most common is marketplace grab and go,” Collins says.

Hotel companies are an ideal fit for Procure Impact suppliers because they offer a lot of what the hospitality industry procures.

“Hospitality is a microcosm of the economy,” Collins says. “There are restaurants, retail stores, spas, corporate gift opportunities and more.”

Candle making

Purchases Tracked, Reported Back

Procure Impact tracks the impact of each transaction made on its platform by calculating the number of shift hours created, making it easy for hospitality companies to report on their impact goals and measure their progress. Hospitality companies get a receipt.

“Impact tracking has been well received,” Collins says. “[Hotel companies] use the information for their impact reports. We help them get the reporting they need.”

Launched in 2022, Procure Impact is the idea of Founder & CEO Lauren McCann. She has a background in philanthropy, including as the Founder & CEO of Calliope Advisors, a mission-driven consulting firm and innovation partner for philanthropists and nonprofits.

“Lauren and I connected because she really wanted to get into the hospitality space,” Collins says. “We connected on LinkedIn.”

Collins has an extensive background in hospitality including as Founding Member of The Purpose Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. She also worked for companies such as LaSalle Hotel Properties and Lodging Capital Partners. She is a graduate of The Nolan School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University.

“I believe so much in the power of social impact,” Collins says.

Procure Impact is a for-profit and women-owned company. “We are a remote seller,” Collins explains. “We buy at a bulk and discounted rate and then resell for a profit. Most people assume we are more expensive but in most cases the products are market priced. Most partners are nonprofits, and we rely on our corporate partners to make sure pricing is in line.”

Gift box example

Customization Work Available

Procure Impact works with many suppliers who take special orders. “We are doing some customization work—a candle for the Four Seasons in Atlanta is one example,” Collins says. Another example is an art commission for a Hyatt property in California.

The mission of Procure Impact fits well into hotel companies’ ESG structure. “Many hotel companies have made public commitments to social responsibility,” Collins says. “Guests are calling for this. The guest profile has become much more discerning.”

Collins adds that working with Procure Impact can help with employee retention—workers who prefer to work for organizations that have a mission-oriented focus.

For those hotel companies wishing to integrate their work with Procure Impact into their communications, Collins says Procure Impact will work with them to make sure they know the stories behind the products they are purchasing.

To connect with Jen Collins and to learn how to support Procure Impact and its efforts, write to jen@procureimpact.us.

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