Sustainability Management in the Hospitality and Tourism Industry
The ability of a business to continue operating and excelling in its field is dependent on how it uses the available resources. In light of this, sustainable management is a critical aspect that all industries should focus on. Actually, since a significant number of resources are non-renewable, there should be prudent management in the allocation of these substances. Moreover, in as much as most of the world’s resources are inexhaustible, there is always a need to attain a company’s economic objective. In order to attain this objective, enterprises usually have to reduce unnecessary expenditures. Similarly, all organizations have a social responsibility of taking care of the environment, their shareholders’ interests, and the community. Consequently, sustainable management espouses that companies should create a balance between social, economic, and environmental demands on the use and allocation of commodities in order to achieve their long-term and short-term objectives.
Philosophy of Environmental Sustainable Management in Hospitality Industry
The hospitality industry has currently adopted environmental conservation as the main principle in its objective towards sustainable management. In part, the industry believes that through these measures it will be able to offer quality services for current and future generations (Bricker, Black, & Cottrell, 2012). Generally, the philosophy of environmentally sustainable management in the hospitality industry is a holistic approach that incorporates three main areas; planet, people, and profits.
Through environmental conservation practices, hotels are able to reduce operational costs. Ideally, these are expenditures associated with unnecessary heating and lighting. In order to achieve this objective, hospitality businesses normally use energy saving bulbs, solar panels, and insulating materials. In effect, the reduction in costs leads to an increase in profit. Moreover, this efficiency ensures that their operations are sustainable. Overly, this industry purposes to maximize both internal and external economic profits.
On the same breath, environmental sustainability requires hotels to take care of their surroundings. In order to reduce wastes, these businesses normally use environmentally friendly ways of utilizing resources. In this case, they may decide to recycle most of their commodities. Notably, a reduction in food disposals, by donating to the poor or reducing excesses, ensures that the world is safeguarded from the exhaustion of organisms (Moiseichik, 2010). Noteworthy, restaurants achieve this goal by cooking and providing their guests only what is relevant to their needs. Consequently, there is no need for excessive fishing of aquatic creatures, which leads to their depletion.
Finally, the hospitality industry has a social dimension on its activities. Ideally, hotels purpose to maximize the social wellbeing of all stakeholders in order to achieve this goal. In this case, they donate some of their excess foods to the needy. Similarly, the use of only the necessary amount of resources when cooking ensures that they do not exhaust aquatic and agricultural sources of food (Lockyer, 2006). In turn, this process ensures that the hospitality industry safeguards the interest of farmers and anglers of having a sustainable source of income.
Concept of Sustainable Development Principles
Basically, the concept of sustainable development in hospitality industry requires enterprises in this field to develop their facilities in a manner that is economical, reasonable, and environmentally friendly. Simply put, sustainable development principles are guidelines that focus on ensuring that businesses are developed in a manner that they can exist in current and future environment (Hartman, 2015). From a hospitality point of view, the concepts of sustainable development focus on the following:
- Living within environmental limits
- Ensuring a strong and healthy society
- Achieving a sustainable economy
- Responsible use of science, technology, and innovations
- Promoting good governance
Living Within Environmental Limits
To begin with, sustainable development principles require businesses in the hospitality industry to live within environmental limits. Generally, this refers to these enterprises ensuring that their activities do not negatively affect our surroundings. In order to achieve this goal, this principle espouses that hotels should responsibly use their resources. In light of this, they should ensure that they limit on the excesses used in their facilities. In as much as restaurant services require for a warm and generous reception of guests, it is prudent for them strike a balance between the amount of commodities that should be used and the quality of service that they intend to offer.
Overly, excess generosity, with an aim of meeting and exceeding the customers’ expectations often leads to waste. Impliedly, this misuse harms the environment directly and indirectly. The direct damage occurs when there is over exploitation of seas and lakes, when looking for aquatic creatures. Similarly, farms may be exhausted and polluted through the application of excess fertilizers in order to get the required volumes of agricultural produce (Higham, Bejder, & Williams, 2014). Moreover, there may also be a lot of energy consumption in the preparation, storage, and transportation of these commodities. Further, there may be a need for recruiting additional human resource.
Ensuring a Strong, Healthy, and Just Society
Although the main objective of businesses, even those in the hospitality industry is to maximize profits, they still have the duty of ensuring there is a strong, healthy, and just society. In order to achieve this goal, hotels must have a holistic view on the need to safeguard the environment. In fact, through actions aimed at protecting our surroundings, the hospitality and tourism industry can ensure there is a strong, just, and healthy society.
To begin with, excessive exploitation of resources such as through overfishing and application of too much fertilizer are destructive. Excessive fishing leads to exhaustion of aquatic life. On the same accord, application of too much fertilizer destroys the soil quality and leads to desertification (Thistlesthwaite & Wiswall, 2013). Effectively, if restaurants minimize on their excesses, they protect the interest of individuals who deal in other industries. In the above case, fishermen may be guaranteed of a sufficient supply of aquatic creatures in the future. Similarly, farmers may be assured of fertile soils.
Achieving a Sustainable Economy
In general, achieving a sustainable economy refers to businesses in the hospitality industry organizing their value chain in a manner that brings the highest results to all stakeholders. Actually, by using these policies, companies in this industry are able to ensure that they are a going concern. In this case, sustainable environmental policies curtail the use of resources. In turn, this leads to saving of significant proportions of capital by enterprises in this industry (Hargreaves & Fink, 2005). For instance, proper and sustainable designs of restaurants may limit the need to use air conditioning and lighting facilities. As a result, environmental conservation techniques may result in more profits for the business.
Similarly, the economical use of resources through procedures like recycling of packaging materials, crates, and water has the overall effect of ensuring there is a continuous supply of these products (Thistlesthwaite & Wiswall, 2013). Notably, most of these commodities are manufactured using exhaustible raw materials such as petroleum or forests. Noteworthy, although trees can be planted, their excess consumption may lead to deforestation. Consequently, if companies in the hospitality recycle most of their materials, they indirectly ensure there is a sustainable economy.
Responsible Use of Science, Technology, and Innovations
Responsible use of science and technology is paramount for sustainable development. In the hospitality industry, the use of science and technology is mainly shown in the design of buildings and the recycling process. In the design of buildings, technological advancements require that structures should be constructed in a manner that they have an adequate supply of natural light. In effect, hotels that use these technologies do not need to use a lot of electricity for lighting purposes (Jones, 2014). On the same note, modern designs require restaurants to have adequate ventilation. Ideally, hospitality businesses that have installed these features do not need to use the air conditioning systems. In turn, these strategies ensure that such facilities are cheap to operate.
Similarly, the use of technology is effective in enabling hotels to have a sustainable business. Basically, enterprises in the hospitality industry use innovations such as solar panels, recycling machines, and energy efficient cooking and washing machines. Notably, the use of solar panels ensures that these businesses are self-sufficient in the provision of electricity. Moreover, solar energy is renewable and does not pollute the environment (Soudagar, 2011). On the same accord, the recycling of water ensures that hotels fully utilize this resource before it is disposed of.
Finally, the use of modern energy efficient machines enables companies in this industry use minimum energy in their services. In practice, this method is economical for the business. Moreover, it is essential in the minimization of exploitation of non-renewable energy such as petroleum. In light of this, the use of technologically advanced systems leads to the emergence of sustainable management of the environment.
Promoting Good Governance
Simply put, promoting good governance implies advocating for policies and measures that ensure sustainable utilization of resources. From the hospitality industry perspective, promoting good governance occurs when the management instills a culture of environmental conservation on its employees. In practice, these are principles such as requiring the housekeeping department to ensure that curtains are fully opened so that accommodation facilities have an adequate supply of light (Weaver, 2005). Similarly, it may entail ensuring that most of the water in the hotel is recycled. Consequently, these administrative procedures have an overall tendency of ensuring that there is an economical and sustainable utilization of resources.
Application of Sustainable Development Principles
Notably, modern technological facilities, innovations, and knowledge have made the application of sustainable development principles to be easy. Nonetheless, due to the underlying principles of the hotel industry, it is difficult and almost impossible to implement all of these policies. While sustainable development principles require enterprises to use only adequate resources for their activities, the hospitality industry requires guests to be offered high quality and generous services. Impliedly, this industry advocates for excesses, which is against the principles of sustainable development.
Nevertheless, technologies such as the use of solar energy, recycling of products, minimizing the use of air conditioning systems through proper designs, and donating excess foods are measures that can ensure that this industry is sustainable. For instance, the installation of solar systems and heating facilities are easy to implement in most facilities. Notably, these innovations do not significantly affect the designs of the existing buildings (VanDerZanden & Cook, 2010). On the same accord, hotels can donate their excess foods to the needy in the society. In practice, this method is simple and quick to adopt.
Similarly, the use of proper modern designs is easy to implement in new structures. Given the high rate that new hotels are usually constructed, these methods can be easily implemented since most engineers, designers, and architects are aware of the importance of proper designs in enabling buildings to be sustainable. Moreover, in the long run, proper designs usually lead to the saving of huge heating and lighting costs (Chiras & Reganold, 2009). Nonetheless, it is difficult for these innovations to be adopted in already existing hotels. In most cases, the modification costs outweigh the benefits of these innovations. Ideally, this challenge is due to the huge structural modifications that new designs require. However, since most existing hotels usually develop new branches, these designs can always be established in these new structures.
To sum up, sustainable utilization of resources is paramount for the continued existence of the hospitality industry. Noteworthy, reckless utilization of resources has the ability of irreversibly destroying our environment. In fact, it may lead to some organisms and vegetation becoming extinct, desertification, deforestation, and exhaustion of non-renewable energy. Moreover, these effects have adverse social, economic, and environmental effects, which may lead to the closure of businesses. In light of this, the hospitality industry must adopt sustainable management policies in order for it to continue being lucrative.
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