Sustainability in Hotels
the hospitality sector are relatively straightforward to record and interpret (e.g. occupancy percentages, capitalization rates, RevPAR, etc.), sustainability has remained intrinsically difficult to quantify. Sustainability issues touch on nearly all aspects of hotel ownership and management, necessitating the alignment of environmental, social, and financial factors to promote responsible business operations over time. Despite the lack of clear, universally accepted metrics, there is a noticeable shift toward sustainability that is well underway, with momentum demonstrated by a growing number of sustainability programs and initiatives which have arisen both internally in the hospitality industry (via hotel owners, managers and operators) and externally in the environmental community. The roots of environmental thought in the hospitality sector became evident over half a century ago, when a few enterprising hoteliers realized they could provide an enhanced guest experience by integrating natural elements into the resort experience. This concept, which evolved from earlier land conservation efforts, was pioneered in such locations as Caneel Bay and the Maho Bay Camps in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The movement to improve the environmental performance and image of the travel and tourism industry in the last decade and a half has taken root and built the foundation of long term sustainability. Hotels of all sizes and customer class, and in all locations, have joined the “green revolution” Sustainability indicators in Hospitality industry
Sustainability indicators in Hospitality industry can be characterized by a number of mutually reinforcing approaches and are typically combined to meet a hotel company’s “sustainability” objectives. These include: * environmentally sensitive design
* environmental management operations
* reducing carbon footprint
* nature conservation
* environmental reporting
* guest loyalty programs
Environmentally Sustainable Design (Green Buildings)
Green building refers to a structure and using process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from sitting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition. This practice expands and complements the classical building design concerns of economy, utility, durability, and comfort. Although new technologies are constantly being developed to complement current practices in creating greener structures, the common objective is that green buildings are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by: 1) Efficiently using energy, water, and other resources;
2) Protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity; and reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation. The environmentally sensitive or green building design can incorporate building materials that are either native to the area or are made of recycled materials.
Environmental Management – Doing More with Less
Environmental management has the goal of optimizing the efficiency use of resources and management of wastes in hotel operations. Specifically, it includes water conservation, energy efficiency and waste (solid waste and wastewater) management. Environmental management is driven from the top and reinforced through standard operating practices in all departments and functions in the hotel. It implies continuous improvement through a structured system of assessing all environmental aspects of operations, then setting goals, objectives, targets and action plans that demonstrate a comprehensive and measurable improvement in the environmental performance of hotel operations. While specific programs might include towel reuse programs, guestroom occupancy controls for lighting and air-conditioning/heating, recyclable pens and notepads, environmental management is a holistic approach that...
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