Going Green in the Hospitality Industry

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Environmentalism has become a great concern in all sectors of business, evidenced by the recent jump in energy prices, and empirical data provided by several different environmental and scientific agencies. The Hotel industry is no different, in fact, it would benefit greatly from the recent push for all businesses and business sectors to “Go Green.” Yet, the industry has long resisted the changes, and is only recently catching up to other industries that have converted their operations to have greener strategies.

Hotels require meticulous upkeep and cleanliness in order to keep up with guests’ concerns and demand. As a result, cleaning and waste products, and their disposal have become a main issue as hotels attempt to participate in the green movement. Additionally, energy efficiency in the hotel industry can prove difficult because of safety concerns that management must address, including keeping common areas and lobbies well-lit at all times. The hotel industry could benefit economically from the green movement, first by attracting guests who wish to adopt a greener lifestyle, as well as saving money through cost-saving energy practices and equipment adjustments. However, they must first understand the importance of greener practices on a wide scale, and understand how it is achieved, while meeting guest expectations and maintaining the same comfort level.

The industry is aware of these concerns, and has been investigating environmentally-friendly alternatives that would still prove consistent with guest concerns for at least the last 15 years. A 1996 article published in the International of Contemporary Hotel Management examines strategies for “greening” the industry, and highlights a questionnaire of hotel general managers; the survey included managers of hotels with an environmental policy. In the article titled, “Environmental Policy in the Hotel Sector: Green Strategy or Stratagem,” the results of a survey found that in hotels with an...
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