Jessica K. Scott
12 February 2015
The State of Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry and What the Future Holds
In the 1970’s, most hoteliers weren’t concerned with environmental conservation or social enhancement programs. The catalyst for change in these attitudes began with a major energy crisis in the United States during the 1970’s which drove up energy prices and limited the spending capabilities of consumers and business owners alike. Due in large part to the limited supply of energy, the hotel industry began employing programs and techniques to reduce their overall energy usage. Though these programs were employed mainly to maintain profitability, they represent the beginning of a significant change in the way hotels are operated to this day. Hoteliers pushed for greater energy efficiency in the interest of cost reduction throughout the 1980’s, but it wasn’t until the early 1990’s that the industry began taking true green initiatives. After the United Nations issued a report on industrial sustainability the hotel industry began deploying their first Corporate Social Responsibility programs focusing on protecting and conserving the environment. In the 2000’s programs that focused on social issues were incorporated into Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives throughout the hotel industry. These programs emphasized the need to help people live better lives by providing education, medical care, and jobs to disenfranchised people across the globe. The hotel industry is currently continuing to expand their environmental conservation efforts. Intercontinental Hotel Group president, Andrew Cosslett’s vision of the future of his business is to see his, “…hotels as more intelligent and sustainable. This thinking is in keeping with changing consumer expectations. With over 4,000 hotels globally, we have a big responsibility and a big opportunity to make a positive difference. A small incremental change across all...
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