Business Ethics at Bandon Dunes

The Oregon Ethics in Business Awards honor those organizations and individuals who have demonstrated ethical business practice in its broadest interpretation: in the workplace, the marketplace, the environment, and the community. The recipients of these awards will have, by act and example, gone beyond the expected to achieve excellence in ethical business practices.

Back in 2009 the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, located on the southern Oregon coast, received Oregon Ethics in Business Award. The resort provides golfers with three championship style 18-hole layouts ranked among the nation’s elite public courses, along with several exceptional restaurants and lodging accommodations. Bandon Dunes understands the importance of keeping guests satisfied and aims to provide services that are “genuine, sincere, helpful and friendly.” However, Bandon Dunes does not only consider paying customers to be their guests, but instead, extends the same respect to stakeholders including employees, purveyors, the local community, and the environment. This golf resort, which has been barely carved from the landscape leaving nature largely unaffected, supported by the gracious hospitality of employees who are truly proud to be a part of the organization, has continued to become an exceptionally profitable, overwhelmingly generous, highly ethical enterprise.

Bandon, Oregon, a town of just over 3,000 people, was fueled primarily by fishing and logging industries until they both collapsed in the early 1980’s. The resort, now the city’s largest employer, utilizes every opportunity to support the local economy by teaming with neighboring businesses, and hiring local community members for jobs at every level of the organization. As a dedicated member of the community Bandon Dunes has also invested in the futures of the local youths by providing 40 of the 57 Bandon High School graduates with college scholarships last year, and by allowing the High School to use the resort as their home course free of charge. Bandon Dunes also provides grants to a vast array of community projects and organization through the Oregon Community Foundation.

The simple mission statement “golf as it was meant to be,” implies a level of authenticity that seems all but lost in the ostentatious clubhouses and artifactual landscape of most modern golf resorts. However, Bandon Dunes has made serious efforts to not only protect natural vegetation and wildlife during the development of the resort, but when an endangered species was discovered on the site, action was taken to improve the habitat for its survival. The organization recognizes the natural beauty of the rugged coastal setting, embraces its value, and provides maintenance under a “less is better” (fertilizing, mowing, watering) policy.

The resort utilizes its stable financial position to benefit its employees, the community at large and to minimize their carbon footprint by making long term investments in environmentally friendly solar panels.