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Environmental Sustainability in Hotel Industry

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Marketing
Wordcount: 5424 words Published: 16th Jan 2018

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The project is related to the sustainability of environment in the hotel industry on the basis of waste management, and by taking other concepts from existing hotel industries. The ultimate aim is dependent on many of the vital stages of the thesis like environmental practices in hotel industry, assessment of different tactics of waste reduction in kitchen area, their importance, need for environmental sustainability etc.

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Research was performed to understand closely the environmental concerns of the hotel industry and recent development and trends in the same. A deep literature review was performed to evaluate the current stages of sustainable development in the environment and it indicates a lot of work has been done and lot has to be done in the field of hospitality industry especially in the hotel segment. According to eco-hotels, concept of sustainable environment is becoming familiar as days go by.

The analysis of hotel was purposefully done to get an idea about the preferences in customer demands so as to get the main drivers of the market. Waste management is very useful in identifying the weaker points related to the environmental concerns and impacts. It helps to prioritize different aspects of environmental study.



The concept of Sustainability is not new to us. It is the capacity to endure. Now a days because of global warming, tourism and hospitality industry are facing so many problems. It is essential for us to know each and every factor which affects hospitality industry positively or negatively. Now tourists are very concerned about environmental issues. They are demanding eco products, places which are managed in environmentally-aware or friendly manner. But again in hotel industry it is very difficult to convince guest to use eco products or recycled products. Because guests think if they pay a high price for one night stay, why should they compromise with the facilities provided. For example, if guest pays 150 GBP a day and hotel asks the guest to reuse same bed sheet or towel for 2 days then the hotel should reduce room rate. Again the customers’ reactions to the customer experiences are main concern for the service industry. This is all about environmental sustainability. Ryan (2002) states, future tourism must be concerned with more than just sustainability. Perhaps, after three decades of academics and planning literature on sustainability, we might change our view and speak of sustainable value creation for each of the tourist, the tourist industry and communities.

Sustainability is not only about environment. There are four main types of sustainability: human, social, economical and environmental. Out of the four, concentrating on environmental sustainability is the need of the hour. United Nations defines it as: “Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs”. Environmental sustainability maintains the balance between social and economical development keeping in mind environmental protection.

As we all know that the hotels are a part of the tourism industry. For Tourism industry it is very essential to protect our environment i.e. Environmental Sustainability. So we can automatically sustain the hotel industry. The hotel industry is correctly managed in protected areas, and it can become an effective instrument and an economic resource towards conservation. The main factors affecting an organisation in its effort to improve its market share involve hoteliers, consumers and employees in ways that contribute to an eco friendly environment. This proposed study will serve to offer such an understanding of these environmental demands in regards to the Hotel industry and potential/existing organisational success based on proper focus surrounding them. There are a number of hotels which are participating in environmental programmes. Ecotourism destinations tend to be self destructive and risky due to improper audits and environmental assessments. Sustainable hotel operations are the once that aim at minimizing their impact on surrounding natural environment and society. Environmental management in hotels is that minimises the impact of hotel practices on environment such as.


In the last decade of the 20th century, incorporation of environmental sustainability began in the hotel industry. This philosophy changed into an agenda. This was developed into Agenda 21 which is a programme run by the United Nations and is related to sustainable development. This was the first summit that discusses global warming issues. One of the projects launched in 1995 within the framework of Agenda 21 i.e. “Sustainable Salen”. The main aim of this project was to relate to the threat of erosion of some slope, waste management and waste water treatment within Salen area. With the adoption of Agenda 21, hotel industry was also encouraged to adopt practices which helped in environmental sustainability.


Now more and more hotels are taking part in sustainability practices to reduce their impact on nature. *Around 80% of European hoteliers are involved in this environmental programme. Like promotion of eco products, energy conservation programme, waste management programme, recycling, reusing product etc. But again this helps in increasing the profit levels of the organisation by controlling the expenditures. This is for the organisation’s benefit. But looking for an environmental benefit what are the measures hotels take internally. Hotels should identify areas for improvement and innovation at the property level and support the efforts of the Green Teams at each of the departments. Work diligently to minimize the organisational waste stream and conserve natural resources like water, energy, and food as well.


Environmental Sustainability is required for the protection of the natural resources. Because of pollution, population these resources are on the way of vanishing. Human activities are responsible for these problems. They are using these resources in an improper way which is the cause for global warming. It is a big issue in front of the world and because of those historic monuments are damaged and places of visit are polluted and the flow of visitors is decreasing. As studying about this industry it is very essential to know each and every factor which affects positively and negatively on hotel industry. As we all know that again the hotel industry is a part of environment. If hotel industry is correctly managed in protected areas it can become an effective instrument and an economic resource toward conservation. In terms of learning about sustainability development it seems that there need to be stakeholders to make wider understanding of it. So now hotels are also taking efforts to improve its employee’s share in ways that they contribute for eco friendly environment. Kitchen is an area where the most of the waste is produced compared to the other departments of the hotel. This area was neglected some years ago but now most of the hoteliers are focusing to treat the waste in kitchen area. This proposed study will serve to offer such an understanding of these environmental demands in regards to the hotel industry and existing organisational successes in waste management programme in kitchen department based on proper focus surrounding them.


Previous study has identified waste management as a key with respect to the environmental sustainability in hotel industry. Therefore waste management, which includes the recycling, reuse etc., plays a crucial role in the success of environmental sustainability in hotel industry.

This study is concerned with the kitchen waste management practices in hotel sector. The selection of kitchen area particularly because a number of studies have noted a significant performance in other department like Housekeeping and Front Office etc. than kitchen. This lag has been largely attributed to the lack of attention or participation of staff in kitchen area. The dissertation is therefore concerned with the reasons for this lag and how they might be addressed based on investigation in this area. Following are some of the objectives which we have examine

  1. To assess the need for Environmental Policies and Management in the hotel sector.
  2. To evaluate the current situation with regard to environmental policies and actions in the hotel sector.
  3. To undertake a case study focusing on waste management in hotel kitchens in order to assess

a. The effectiveness of current environmental management practices

b. The barriers to further improvement in waste management practices

c. The factors influencing attitudes of kitchen staff to waste management practices

4. To assess the contribution that waste management can make to environmental sustainability in the hotel sector

5. To make recommendations on how waste management practices in the hotel sector can be improved.


This dissertation consists of six chapters in which main subjects about environmental sustainability are outlined and analysed. This dissertation starts with the execute summary in which the whole dissertation is explained briefly. First chapter is Introduction where the aims and objectives, background as well as the structure of this study are described which give a main scenario in this particular subject.

Chapter two consists of Literature Review where the previous research is critically reviewed for the good understanding of environmental sustainability and waste management concept, theory and new trends which came into the hotel industry that are very essential and relevant with this study. Different author’s research and thoughts serve very informative about environmental sustainability as well as their importance. This chapter represents the deep study and conceptual framework related topic leading to the research.

Chapter three is the methodology of this dissertation. It is about how the research is done, what are the strategies used, sampling of data, case study approach with the evidence of case study and procedures of interviews are introduced in this chapter. Finally the research model is presented at the end of this chapter.

Chapter four demonstrate the finding and analysis of the data collected from interviews. This analysis of data collection is the stem for conclusion and recommendation.

Chapter five is about result of finding and analysis. This study outlines some important recommendation and limitations of the case study as well as some suggestions for future research.

The flow of this study is illustrated in Figure 1.

  • Identify Research topic and Research Questions
  • Critically Review Literature
  • Develop Conceptual Framework
  • Selection of Methodology
  • Data Collection
  • Sample Selection
  • Secondary Data Primary Data
  • Analysis of Data
  • Presenting Findings and Results
  • Conclusion, recommendation, and Suggestions for Future Research



The purpose of this chapter is to identify and review the relevance of previous literature in order to better understand environmental sustainability and waste management programme in hotel industry. This chapter is divided into seven sections. The second section presents a brief summary of the Sustainable development in hotel industry. Third section focuses on environmental management in hotel sector. Section four argues about the motivation for ISO 14001 in hotels and other environmental certifications. Section five introduces the waste management definition and concept. Section six examines the role of waste management programme in hotel sector. And lastly chapter seven focuses on the kitchen department and waste management in kitchen area.


The term sustainability first came into existence used in 1970s when more attention was given to taking care of environment and overutilization of it. The most common used definition was named by the World Commission on Environment and development in 1983. Later in the year 1987, this report called as Brundtland report. According to Brundtland report, Sustainability Development is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs”. It is also explained by John Elkington in the book Cannibal with Forks that it is a triple bottom line which covers factors like economic, environmental and social. In practical terms, company should not only consider the financial benefits but also look at the environmental and social functioning. A Sustainability Development, though it is a vital component of profitability for hotel industry today and an opportunity for the industry, again it is about meeting the ever-increasing challenges due to environmental, social, economic and technological changes that are faced by hotel sectors. Sustainability is a crying need for hotel industry on the path of rapid economic growth. Practitioner should emphasise the efforts of hospitality business to promote sustainable development by conserving natural and cultural resources on which hospitality industry depend. The simple and easy to understand definition of Sustainability Development is the 3Ps acronym: Profit, People, and Planet. It means profit is for people on the planet. *But planet is at risk. Approximately 6 million people are at risk due to natural disasters like flooding and droughts. Climate change is a big problem which is concern for this risk. Our planets natural resources are on the way of vanishing. Human activities are responsible for overutilization of these resources. People should focus on renewable resources rather than non-renewable such as solar, water, etc. Now governments, consumer groups, non-government organizations are taking part to make awareness of this programme and to educate people about this.

In recent years, Sustainable Development has taken centre stage in the hospitality industry. So much has been written and spoken about sustainability, but not much has done for the implementation of sustainability practices. There are very few examples about sustainable initiatives There is a need of more critical evaluation of existing things and techniques in the area of sustainability.

The main purpose of sustainability development is to secure economic development, social equity and environmental protection and they are interdependent on each other. As we are not sure about our future, but it should be preferably sustainable one.


2.3 An Overview of Environmental Management in Hotel Sector:

There are currently a number of significant environmental threats which creating risk for future generation like the “green house effect” and depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer, over-consumption of non-renewable resources and global air pollution, etc. The hotel industry discovers many of the conflicts which arise when carrying out environmental policies. Hotel is industry which comes more contact with people and can make more awareness of environmental management programme

Environment Management is management of an organization in such a way that it will reduce or eliminate the negative impact on the environment without having any harmful impact on our future generation. In other words it’s fulfilling the present needs without harming the future generation needs.

In this era of time all the different types of industries are trying to step forward and help prevent or minimize the negative impact on the environment for the betterment of the future.

Our Hotel Sector is one of those industries which have been taking very active participation in this area. Hotel industry as compare to the other big production industries has a relatively less impact to the environment and as the people have started realizing the importance of the environment impact so it’s a kind of way to improve the image of the brand in front of the guests and also a way to help the environment.

In order to carry out the environment management properties carry out an audit which helps them to understand the scope and areas where they can implement new standards. Many properties form a committee which meets on a periodical basis and discuss policies and standards to improve the system. Government have also started many rewards which motivates the properties to take active part in the environment management. As any rewards achieved will help to improve the brand image and as this generation is more interested towards the environment friendly things so it helps the property to improve their image and get more business.

Some of the methods followed in our industries to help improve environment management are:

  • Conserving natural resources
  • Recycling
  • Waste reduction
  • Raising environment awareness among guests and the associates
  • Reduction of pollution

Importance of environment management:

Focuses on continual improvement of the system

Environment Management helps cost control. As many properties have implemented recycling policies for example glass, plastic, office paper, printer and copy machine toner cartridges. In guest rooms many hotels have a recycling container which gives the guest a opportunity to be a part of the good work.

Provides a systematic way of managing an organization’s environmental affairs

Water conservation is a very good option in this management. Hotels have started to recycle the water with proper treatment and use of low flow. Restrictors on faucets and showerheads which help to save a lot of water. Use of low-flow fixtures saves a thousand of gallons per year.

Training the staff in a proper way will help to carry out this process in effective way and awarding their efforts to help the environment will make the staff more interest in putting their efforts in to it.

Encouraging the guests to take part in helping the environment by using good green choice programs which will make them interested to take part in to it will also help to reach our ultimate goal.

Menu planning to reduce waste food

It is a system which serves as a tool to improve environmental performance

Gives order and consistency for organizations to address environmental concerns through the allocation of resources, assignment of responsibility and ongoing evaluation of practices, procedures and processes


2.4 Motivation for ISO 14001 in the hotel industry:

The 1SO 14001 is a standard for Environment Management System (EMS) which is developed by International Organization for Standardization. It is for all types of business and organization. It is a nongovernment organization launched in 1947. The ISO 14001 EMS is with the specification of guidance for use. According to Tibor & Feldman (1996) T. Tibor and I. Feldman, ISO 14000: a guide to the new environmental management standards (pp. 237), Irwin Professional Publishing, Chicago (1996).Tibor & Feldman, 1996, ISO 14000 standards were developed mainly in response to the development of national EMS standards in various countries, which forced companies to deal with dozens of potentially incompatible systems from each country in which they conducted business. There are number of hotels like Inter-Continental, Marriott, Hilton International, Ramada and Holiday Inn Worldwide have taken initiative by adopting environmental programmes to protect our planet. There are various reasons for to adopt this programme. Hotel sector can reduce their impact by implementing environmental programmes like water, energy and material conservation and reducing operating cost. By doing so, they could also achieve company image and customer satisfaction.


2.5 An introduction to waste management

2.5.1 Definition

It is the collection, transport, processing, recycling or disposal, and monitoring of waste materials.

The term usually relates to materials produced by human activity, and is generally undertaken to reduce their effect on health, the environment or aesthetics. Waste management is also carried out to recover resources from it. Waste management can involve solid, liquid, gaseous or radioactive substances, with different methods and fields of expertise for each

2.5.2 Concept of Waste Management

There are a number of concepts about waste management which vary in their usage between countries or regions. Some of the most general, widely used concepts include:

Waste Hierarchy:

This hierarchy generally based upon the following ‘3R’ concept

a} Reduce b} Reuse c} Recycle.

This classifies waste management strategies according to their desirability in terms of waste minimization. This will use as a most useful technique in today’s era and which is a cost effective too. The aim of the waste hierarchy is to extract the maximum practical benefits from products and to generate the minimum amount of waste.

Polluters Pay Principle:

In this concept the waste generator has to bear the cost of waste disposal and generally he has to bear the cost which compensates the harm caused to the environment. According to the waste management, the producer of the waste has to pay/compensates against waste decomposition charges.

Extended producer responsibility :

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) is a strategy designed to promote the integration of all costs associated with products throughout their life cycle (including end-of-life disposal costs) into the market price of the product. In this the manufacturer has to bear the all charges which are responsible for all waste produced during each phase of it like waste produced during manufacturing, packaging, selling. In this system producer has the liability of the waste generated throughout the life cycle of the product.

According to the diagram which is above shows that the two approaches to the waste management:

Most favoured option

This contains the methods which are generally used so that it will make the waste disposal easy. They are


Reduce or minimisation



Least favoured option

This contains the methods which are generally not used because of the expensiveness or not easily accessible or may be these methods are land, capital, time, and labour consuming. These are two viz energy recovery and disposal.

2.5.3 Procedure

The few basic principles to reduce solid waste to be followed by every nation: (Jonkoping, Swedan, 1993)

Reduce the amount of thrash discarded

Reduce the amount of unnecessary packaging

Adopt practices that reduce waste toxicity

Reuse containers and products

Consider reusable products

Maintain and repair durable products

Reuse bags, containers and other items

Borrow, rent or share items used infrequently

Sell or donate goods instead of throwing them

Recycle -use recycled materials and compost

Choose recycle products and recycle them

Select products from recycled materials

Compost yard trimmings and some food scraps

Respond to the solid waste dilemma by reconsidering waste-producing activities and by expressing preferences for less waste

Educate others on source reduction and recycling practices

Make your preferences known to manufactures, merchants and community leaders

Be -creative–find new ways to reduce waste quantity and toxicity

2.5.3 Importance

2.6 Role of Hotel industry in Waste Management Programmes


2.7 Hotel Waste Management in Kitchen area



3.1 Introduction:

This chapter talks about the methodology used by the researcher for this study. This mainly focuses on the research objective and defines the specific guideline which helps to researcher for the research design, research methods and approach, process, strategy, sources of data collections, sampling issues and procedures for interviews, etc. In short this chapter illustrates the concept which used for primary and secondary data collection. According to Sekaran (1992), research has been defined as:

“An organised systematic, data based, critical, scientific enquiry and investigation into a specific problem, undertaken with the objective of finding answers or solutions to it.”

-Sekaran (1992)

The research methodology of the present dissertation is influenced and structured by the process ‘onion’, which was introduced by Saunders et al. (2003). In order to write the methodology this section divided into five sections which provides clear explanation about the dissertation research process.

3.1 Research Philosophy:

A research philosophy represents a researcher’s perception of the way knowledge is constructed (Saunders et al., 2003). There are three philosophies which we can use for dissertation such as positivism, interpretivism and realism philosophies. It is very important to clear the research philosophy which is a base for methodological framework.

The philosophy, which is used in this dissertation, is interpretivism philosophy. It means where researcher can focus on exploring the topic by the application of critical interpretations and gradually establishing research conclusions (Remenyi et al., 1998).

3.2 Research Approach:

There are two distinctive research approaches such as inductive and deductive. This research usually associated with qualitative research method. This method is chosen in this study because it is good way to collect deep knowledge and detailed data to preserve the entire view of participant in the case study. Much of data is taken from the previous literature while to find out current trends primary research method is used like interviews and observation, etc.

3.3 Research Strategy:

In research, we often refer to the two broad methods of reasoning as the deductive and inductive approaches. A research strategy is a tool which is uses for exploring a research questions. There are six strategies which uses in dissertation such as survey, grounded theory, action research, experiment, ethnography and case study (Saunders et al., 2003).

The present research is a case study on Waste Management in Kitchen Area. According to Merriam (1998), if writers want to get an understanding of the situation in depth, a case study approach is a good choice. The case study approach is flexible to allow researcher to develop the research question during the research. This research is mainly focuses on extracting knowledge through literature review. Then the second step is taking in-depth interviews to collect data which is called primary research method.

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3.4 Time Horizon:

Another essential factor in research process is ‘Time Horizon’. There are two distinctive time horizons such as longitudinal and cross-sectional. The present dissertation has longitudinal time horizon as it is appropriate for case study approach research and data collection. A longitudinal research is a process which studies particular factor for given period of time as it constructs the ability to conduct a long term study.

3.5 Data Collection Method:

In order to identify the waste management practices in the hotel industry, case study approach is used to explore the environmental programmes run by the hotel industry and their role in these practices.

The present dissertation incorporates the case study research strategy and in-depth interviews. In this respect, it can be concluded that the present study is built on a combination of secondary and primary data. This both methods are depending upon each other as secondary data provides good theoretical framework whereas primary data leads to the address the most important issues in the present circumstance.

3.5.1 Secondary Data:

The secondary data used described as multiple source of data collection. To identify the concept of environmental sustainability secondary data from journals, articles and hotels will be used. From this Waste management concept will be understood. Work by various accepted authors like Herve Houdre, Abraham Pizam, Philip Sloan, Joseph S. Chen, Willy Legrand, Sasikumar & Gopi Krishna, etc. have been argue upon to reach an agreement. Thus, the researchers are investigating more into this matter to sustain the environment and hotel industry.

3.5.2 Primary Data:

According to Sekaran (1902), primary data is a search for the information in order to build up the researchers understanding towards the area of the subject. This data is extracted through the taking in-depth interviews, survey and by observations. The Researcher Observation Data:

The researcher is also working in hotel sector and therefore able to collect data by practical experience and observation. Therefore, as employee of Hotel Crown Plaza, Wembley, London (Five star Hotel) and working in food and beverage department observer was able to collect data from kitchen area by observation. Interviews:

Interviews can be formalised and structured. It can be formal and informal conversation. According to Guion (2006, p1), “an in-depth interview is an open-ended which is also known as unstructured interview.” It is a common data collection method for discovery oriented study. For in-depth interviews analysis of different levels of hotels will be done. For that four types of hotels were studied like five star, four star, three star and private hotel.

In this case study researcher has used unstructured and structured interviews. Due to some reasons like lack of acceptance from the five star hotel management, researcher couldn’t take live interviews in each and every hotel; therefore researcher used the structured interview by email to interviewee. In four stars and in private hotels, researcher has taken live interviews which were unstructured. A questionnaire with both closed and open ended questions have used. Using a structured and unstructured interview, the roles of kitchen department in waste management programme in hotels industry will be identified. Interview was related to kitchen employee participation inside the hotel and attitude towards waste management programme outside the hotel. Are they keeping same attitude outside the hotel like when they are at work. The questionnaire made to discover the perspective of kitchen staff about environmental sustainability and waste management programme in hotel sector. Interview was conducted with head chef who is responsible for implementation and observation of the waste management programme in kitchen area. Interview is also conducted with two commi chef and one kitchen porter who are participating in this programme. On the basis of collected data the analysis and comparison was done which served the actual position of hotel industry in terms of environmental programme and what measures should be taken to improve this practice.

The result of all this will help in analyzing the status of sustainability in hotel sector.

Employees serve a vital important role in environmental programmes in hotels. Suitable education and training not only increases knowledge but also elevates their awareness of environment protection which supports resource conservation. Survey:

Survey is a detailed study about specific area


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