ArticlePDF Available

Towards a Wider Adoption of Environmental Responsibility in the Hotel Sector

Authors:

Abstract and Figures

Hotels are an important sector in tourism. Though generally perceived as a smokeless sector, hotels actually interact with the environment particularly in terms of resource consumption. This article establishes a clearer link between the sector and sustainable development. It reveals the increasingly popular initiative to include environmental considerations in the operation of elite hotel chains and the barriers that may hamper a more prevalent practice of environmental responsibility among the small and medium size hotels. However, as hotel environmental responsibility ultimately contributes to the protection of natural beauty of destinations, therefore this article assumes an optimistic view believed essential when dealing with the issue. Several recommendations are made to encourage more Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) participation in environmental responsibility.
Content may be subject to copyright.
This article was downloaded by: [Universiti Utara Malaysia]
On: 07 April 2015, At: 09:03
Publisher: Routledge
Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954
Registered office: Mortimer House, 37-41 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH,
UK
International Journal of
Hospitality & Tourism
Administration
Publication details, including instructions for
authors and subscription information:
http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/wjht20
Towards a Wider Adoption of
Environmental Responsibility in
the Hotel Sector
Azilah Kasim
a
a
Faculty of Tourism, Hospitality and Environmental
Management , Universiti Utara Malaysia , Sintok,
Malaysia , 06010
Published online: 05 Oct 2008.
To cite this article: Azilah Kasim (2007) Towards a Wider Adoption of Environmental
Responsibility in the Hotel Sector, International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism
Administration, 8:2, 25-49, DOI: 10.1300/J149v08n02_02
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1300/J149v08n02_02
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE
Taylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the
information (the “Content”) contained in the publications on our platform.
However, Taylor & Francis, our agents, and our licensors make no
representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness,
or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and views
expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and
are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the
Content should not be relied upon and should be independently verified with
primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any
losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages,
and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or
indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the
Content.
This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes.
Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan,
sub-licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is
expressly forbidden. Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at
http://www.tandfonline.com/page/terms-and-conditions
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
Towards a Wider Adoption
of Environmental Responsibility
in the Hotel Sector
Azilah Kasim
ABSTRACT. Hotels are an important sector in tourism. Though gener-
ally perceived as a smokeless sector, hotels actually interact with the en-
vironment particularly in terms of resource consumption. This article
establishes a clearer link between the sector and sustainable development. It
reveals the increasingly popular initiative to include environmental con-
siderations in the operation of elite hotel chains and the barriers that may
hamper a more prevalent practice of environmental responsibility among
the small and medium size hotels. However, as hotel environmental re-
sponsibility ultimately contributes to the protection of natural beauty of
destinations, therefore this article assumes an optimistic view believed
essential when dealing with the issue. Several recommendations are
made to encourage more Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) partici-
pation in environmental responsibility.
doi:10.1300/J149v08n02_02 [Ar
-
ticle copies available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service:
1-800-HAWORTH. E-mail address: <docdelivery@haworthpress.com> Web
-
site: <http://www.HaworthPress.com> © 2007 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All
rights reserved.]
KEYWORDS. Environmental responsibility, the hotel sector, SMEs
Azilah Kasim, PhD, is Associate Professor and Deputy Dean of Research and Gradu
-
ate Studies, Faculty of Tourism, Hospitality and Environmental Management, Universiti
Utara Malaysia, Sintok, Malaysia, 06010 (E-mail: azilah@uum.edu.my).
International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration, Vol. 8(2) 2007
Available online at http://ijhta.haworthpress.com
© 2007 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1300/J149v08n02_02 25
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
INTRODUCTION
As a key trading partner in tourism, the hotel business has an impor
-
tant role in environmental responsibility issues. However, clearly link
-
ing the sector with these issues has been quite a challenge because a
hotel is essentially a service provider that caters for travelers and tour
-
ists’ needs for food and lodging. Depending on the size of the hotel, the
services offered could extend to include conference meeting place,
spas, golf courses and other luxuries. Depiction of hotel in the “product-
service continuum” proposed by Ludgren (1996) seems to suggest that
unlike a factory that often causes observable air and/or water pollution
in the process of production, a hotel poses no harm or only minimal harm
to the environment. In this light, its relative importance in realizing the
UN resolutions to achieve sustainability appears minimal compared to
other, more obviously polluting tourism sectors such as transportation.
This article aims to establish a clearer link between the hotel sector
and sustainable development. In doing so it reveals the increasingly
popular initiative to include environmental considerations in the opera-
tion of luxury hotel chains and the barriers that may impede a more
widespread practice of environmental responsibility among the small and
medium size hotels. However, as hotel environmental responsibility ulti-
mately contributes to the preservation of natural beauty of destinations,
therefore this article assumes an optimistic view deemed essential when
dealing with the issue. It ends by making several recommendations to
encourage more Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) participation in
environmental responsibility.
HOTEL’S INTERACTION WITH THE ENVIRONMENT
Hotels are considered a smokeless sector that runs activities similar
to that of a household, but on a much larger scale. Therefore, they pro
-
duce no observable air emission. Nonetheless, they are big consumers
of natural resources. Water and electricity consumptions in luxury
hotels in particular are very much higher than that in a typical house
-
hold. For example, a luxury hotel in a tropical climate would use be
-
tween 1,000 and 1,400 cubic meters of water daily (Table 1), whereas a
typical household in the same climate uses approximately 1.12 cubic
meters of water (Socioeconomic & Environmental Research Institute of
Pulau Pinang, 1999). In fact, it has been estimated that hotels, particu
-
larly luxury ones, are water-intensive businesses that use large amounts
26 International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
of water, primarily for leisure purposes. This shows that the level of
water use impact of a hotel cannot be considered similar to that of a
household. Similar observations have been made in other countries. In
Spain, for example, an average tourist uses up to 0.88 cubic meters of
water per day whereas an average Spaniard uses an average of 0.25 cu-
bic meters per day (World Wildlife Fund, March 2003). Similar situa-
tion is true for the Mediterranean regions as well; where over 0.40 cubic
meters of water is used per tourist per day as compared to about 0.07 cu-
bic meters per person per day for local resident consumption (Hunter &
Green, 1995). Such high water usage continues even in dry seasons.
Eber (1992) claimed that up to 3,000 cubic meters of water are used in
Thailand for a golf course even during a severe water shortage problem.
Water requirement for an 18-hole golf course has been estimated by
World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Chan (1999) to equal that of a small
town with 10,000 inhabitants. This indicates the high water demand
of tourism-related activities. Besides golf courses, large quantities of
water are also needed for maintaining landscaped areas, swimming
pools and laundering sheets and towels.
Excessive water use by hotels has been claimed as contributing to
water use conflicts all over the world. As reported in the Guardian
(2001), many of the world’s resorts are struggling to accommodate the
need of an increasing number of tourists for more swimming pools,
spas, golf courses and others. In countries that rely on water sources
such as dammed reservoirs, rivers, and lakes, excessive tourism de
-
mand on water exerts intense pressure on these water sources, which are
often intended for multiple-uses such as regular household consump
-
tion, agriculture, leisure, and other purposes. In other words, it is a
shared resource. Water use conflicts have affected tourism destinations
Azilah Kasim 27
TABLE 1. Possible Ranges of Daily Water Use in Luxury Hotels in Different
Climates
Good Fair Poor Very poor
Mediterranean Less than 600
m
3
/day
600-800
m
3
/day
800-900
m
3
/day
More than 900
m
3
/day
Moderate Less than 750
m
3
/day
750-960
m
3
/day
960-1,100
m
3
/day
More than 1,100
m
3
/day
Tropical Less than 1,000
m
3
/day
1,000-1,200
m
3
/day
1,200-1,400
m
3
/day
More than 1,400
m
3
/day
Adapted from
greenhotelier
magazine, issue 16, October 1999, with kind permission of the IBLF Tourism
Partnership. More information on
www.greenhotelier.org.
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
such as Southern Spain, Ibiza, Madrid, Goa (India) and the Caribbean
(WWF, May 2003; Orwin, 1999). In arid regions, higher volume of
water is needed to maintain landscaped areas and golf courses.
Related to water is the issue of water contamination. Since approxi
-
mately 1.5 billion people worldwide do not have access to safe drinking
water (WWF, March 2003), the problem of water contamination brought
about by tourism activities (for example, hotels’ use of laundry deter
-
gents and bleach which could affect the natural balance of the aquatic
environment if left untreated) may be considered serious. Judging from
the growth of international tourism before 2001 (along with the devel
-
opment of the hospitality industry) and the fact that many luxury hotels
have golf courses that consume extravagant amounts of fertilizers, the
effect of hotel sector’s wastewater in the natural environment can be re-
garded as significant. In developing countries where 90 percent of
wastewater is released without treatment into rivers and streams, water
contamination is a serious issue (Orwin, 1999). In Pulau Pinang, an is-
land tourism destination located at the Northwest of Peninsula Malay-
sia, for example, the inshore water around was found to be so polluted in
1983 that in most instances it was unsuitable for swimming and other
recreational purposes (Hong, 1985). This is due to the dumping of
untreated wastewater from hotels and other businesses into the sea. The
continuous dumping of untreated wastewater has been blamed for fish
stock depletion and abundance of jellyfish in recent days (Pulau Pinang
In-Land Fishermen Workers Association, personal communication,
June 15, 2002).
The energy situation is similar to that of water in many regards (see
Table 2). A hotel operation requires energy for lighting, air-condition-
ing/heating systems and hot water on a 24-hour basis regardless of sea-
sonality, the number of guests, or its location. In many countries, a
hotel’s source of energy is from a power grid that is powered by the
burning of fossil fuels that contribute to global warming (Holden, 2000).
The continuously rising number of hotels globally, implies that hotels
are increasingly responsible for contributing to global warming.
Solid waste is another important environmental issue facing the sec
-
tor because hotels generate solid waste at a much bigger scale than a
household does. The types and amount of solid waste generated depend
on the size of hotels and whether there are any events taking place at any
particular time. For example, a luxury hotel would generate a far more
significant amount of solid waste compared with to a medium size ho
-
tel, since it offers more facilities such as a greater number of rooms and
bigger restaurants. However, the medium size hotel’s waste may also
28 International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
increase significantly when hosting a major conference, a ball or a wed-
ding. In an island destination where there are problems of limited land
area, solid waste problem could be catastrophic. Thus, waste manage-
ment is a pressing environmental issue for the hotel industry. In the
Dominican Republic, for example, the tourism industry has been threat-
ened by coastal pollution from inadequate management and disposal of
solid waste (The World Bank Group, 1999). Increasing economic activ-
ities particularly from tourism and the municipalities’ inefficiency in
managing the amount of solid waste generated have been blamed as
leading to the pollution problem. The problem persisted despite hotels’
involvement in mitigating the situation (The World Bank Group, 1999).
The above illustrations confirm that hotel operations interact with the
natural systems and therefore could cause far-reaching changes in the en
-
vironment. Clearly, a hotel is not an environmentally benign business and
must therefore be more environmentally responsible by taking positive
steps to become environmentally friendly. These may include managing
and operating along environmental lines, to reduce consumption of wa
-
ter, energy and other resources and to improve management, handling,
and disposal of waste (Worldwatch Institute, 2002).
Available Framework for Hotel Environmental
Responsibility
A broad framework for addressing hotels environmental issues may
be found in the blueprint of Agenda 21 for Travel and Tourism devel
-
oped during the Rio Summit. Twelve guiding principles (Box 1) were
Azilah Kasim 29
TABLE 2. Possible Ranges of Annual Energy Use in Luxury Hotels in Different
Climates
Good Fair Poor Very poor
Tropical Less than 145
kWh/m
2
/year
145-170
kWh/m
2
/year
170-200
kWh/m
2
/year
More than 200
kWh/m
2
/year
Moderate Less than 150
kWh/m
2
/year
150-175
kWh/m
2
/year
150-175
kWh/m
2
/year
More than 210
kWh/m
2
/year
Mediterranean Less than 220
kWh/m
2
/year
220-250
kWh/m
2
/year
220-250
kWh/m
2
/year
More than 280
kWh/m
2
/year
Adapted from
greenhotelier
magazine, issue 16, October 1999, with kind permission of the IBLF Tourism
Partnership. More information on
www.greenhotelier.org.
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
devised to help both the private and the public tourism sectors embrace
sustainability. A more specific framework is available in Green Globe
21 (GG21) developed in 1994 by World Tourism Organization (WTO),
World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), and Earth Council (EC)
to “enable tourism companies to seek advice on environmental matters
from experts who also understood the travel trade” (Forsyth, 1996,
p. 6). This standard is essentially an extension of the “Green Leaf”
programme developed by Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) to
“promote environmentally sustainable development in the travel and
tourism industry” (GG21 Asia Pacific, 2000; PATA, 2002). It tackles
global travel and tourism environmental issues through consultation
with key stakeholders such as employees, customers, communities, and
suppliers in the tourism industry. It also incorporates International
Organization for Standardization (ISO) related procedures to help the
travel and tourism industry around the world develop in sustainable
ways (GG21 Asia Pacific, 2000).
An emphasis on hotels’ environmental responsibility is also evident
in the literature. It must be noted, however, that the emphasis mostly
takes the form of suggestions, recommendations, and guidelines that
30 International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration
BOX 1. Principles in Agenda 21 for Travel and Tourism
Travel and tourism assist people in leading healthy and productive lives in harmony
with nature.
Tourism should contribute to the conservation, protection, and restoration of the
Earth’s ecosystems.
Travel and tourism should be based upon sustainable patterns of production and
consumption.
Nations should cooperate to promote an open economic system in which interna
-
tional trade in travel and tourism services can take place on a sustainable basis.
Protectionism in trade in travel and tourism services should be halted or reversed.
Tourism, peace, development, and environmental protection are interdependent.
In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection shall consti
-
tute an integral part of the tourism development process.
Tourism development issues should be handled with the participation of concerned
citizens, with planning decisions being adopted at local level.
Nations shall warn one another of natural disasters that could affect tourists or
tourist area.
Since the full participation of women is necessary to achieve sustainable develop
-
ment advantage should be taken of travel and tourism capacity to create
employment for women.
Tourism development should recognize and support the identity, culture and interests
of indigenous peoples.
International laws protecting the environment should be respected by the world wide
travel and tourism industry.
Adapted from:
WTO/WTTC/EC, 1995; WTTC, 2002.
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
assume a widespread acceptance of environmental responsibility in
the hotel sector. For example, Brown (1994) suggests that hotels have
specifically designed environmental policy that is constantly evaluated
to ensure effectiveness, instead of viewing the policy as simply an addi
-
tional measure to the corporate strategy. Brown emphasises that strate
-
gies prioritising the environment can be developed along with other
corporate strategies such as profitability and growth. The adoption of an
environmental policy, he stresses, would help ensure that any necessary
changes to implement the policy is embedded into the existing structure
of the organisation.
Going a step further, Meade and del Monaco (1999) emphasize that
one critical element of becoming an environmentally friendly hotel is
the adoption of an environmental management system (EMS) that ex-
tends throughout the hotel organization, and between the hotel and its
guest, local community, and even its suppliers. As examples, they point
to the long established International Organization for Standardization
(ISO) 14000 series and the World Travel and Tourism Council’s
(WTTC) GG21 certification that is more specific to the tourism indus-
try. Their suggestion is that an EMS includes procedures for assessing
required tasks, costs and changes that revolve around the objectives set.
The exercise must also identify human resource availability and capa-
bility as well as measurements of performance so as to identify pitfalls
and opportunities for improvement.
Central to a successful and well-communicated EMS is the enhance-
ment of business image in the marketplace. For hotels, this could trans-
late into the ability to reach the growing environmentally sensitive
tourists (Wahab & Pigram, 1997; Cater, 1993) who may be interested to
stay in accommodation with environmental policies and programmes in
place. In the western countries, the growing niche of discerning and
environmentally conscious business travellers in the United States has
been cited as the major reason why more hotels should show environ
-
mentally friendly attributes (Hotel Online Special Report, March 2000,
cited by Kasim, 2003). Similarly, raising the industry’s awareness
about meeting planners and travel buyers environmental concerns and
encouraging hotels to take advantage of this growing market are the
main objectives for the setting up of Coalition for Environmentally Re
-
sponsible Economies’ (CERES) Green Hotel Initiative (CERES Corpo
-
rate Outreach Committee, 2000).
Another benefit is the ability of EMS to improve efficiency and re
-
duce operating costs (Welford & Young, 2000). In fact, the savings
demonstrate the financial benefits of the systematic application of the
Azilah Kasim 31
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
environmentally friendly practices. Hotels, just like any other business,
could certainly benefit from bigger savings and better efficiency. How
-
ever, a systematic application of environment friendly practices is de
-
pendent on how well the concept is embraced by the staff. For this
reason, education of employees is crucial as it is fundamental to the cre
-
ation of cross-functional efficiency teams to plan and execute programs.
Other benefits of green practices are as shown in Box 2.
There are also evidences of initiative to specifically guide hotels’
environmental efficiency. An example is the International Hotel &
Restaurant Association’s (IH&RA) Environmental Good Practice in
Hotels, 1999, which provides persuasive confirmation and evidence on
the feasibility of utilizing and managing change in effort to achieve en-
vironmental excellence. Some of the basic “responsible activities”
include the use of recyclable office paper supplies and biodegradable
cleaning solution products as well as the implementation of energy sav-
ing and recycling programs. Web sites such as www.greenhotels.org,
www.ceres.org and www.iblf.org also provide guidelines on environ-
mentally friendly measures suitable for a hotel’s operation. However,
some parts of the Web sites (for example on benchmark tools) are not
accessible to non-members. This raises the issue of the usefulness of
such information to the general practicing hoteliers, particularly the
SMEs in developing countries.
32 International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration
BOX 2. Six Benefits of Adopting Environmental Responsibility
Cost reduction–More efficient use of energy, water, and other resources will result in
cost effectiveness because hotels are essentially “doing more with less.”
Market attractiveness–At least in the western countries, discerning travelers have
been found to prefer environmentally friendly hotels. More businesses are now begin
-
ning to develop environmental policies to attract this segment of the market.
Enhanced staff loyalty and motivation–Companies that adopt environmental poli
-
cies, and involves their staff in implementing those policies, are perceived as dy
-
namic and forward-looking management. This increases staff loyalty and
motivation.
Positive image–Promotion and publicity of a company’s environmental practices can
enhance its image positively.
Possible risks–Hotels rely on the health, beauty and attractiveness of its surrounding
environment. Deterioration of this asset will ultimately affect the sustainability of the
hotel business. Therefore, adopting environmental responsibility will minimize this
risk.
Law–Being environmentally responsible will ward hotels off any potential liabilities as
-
sociated with non-compliance to environmental regulation at national or international
level.
Adapted from: Hotel Online Special Report, September 2000
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
HOTEL’S REACTION TO THE WIDENING ROLE
The discussions, recommendations, and guidelines described above
imply that the necessary frameworks for hotels to engage in environ
-
mental responsibility issues are available. In response, many big inter
-
national hotel chains have already “jumped into the bandwagon” of
environmental responsibility. According to Theobald (1998), more
owners and managers now appreciate the dictum that every tourism
business, “needs to sell the destination first and its business second”
(p. 185) which may result in a more proactive interest in the physical
well being of all destination types. Theobald’s positive outlook may
have some merit considering the initiatives by industry leaders such as
WTO and IH&RA.
1
Supporting Theobald’s contention is the increasing evidence that big
international hotels in the United States and Europe have set the trend of
practicing and publicizing their environmental best practices through
Web sites, corporate reports and in the general literature, often as a part
of their strategic management. This indicates that there exists an endorse-
ment and incorporation of proactive environmental dimensions into cor-
porate planning and management (Murphy, 1994) within these groups of
elite hotel chain. For example, corporate hotel groups such as the Holiday
Inn Hotel Group, Hilton International and InterContinental Hotels adopt
environmental standards manuals as the integral part of their effort to be
environmentally compatible. The InterContinental Hotels Group uses the
environmental audit as a way to regularly monitor the environmental
performance of its branch hotels. Managers are expected and driven to
achieve environmental targets being set by linking their appraisal with
those environmental performance (Vellas & Becherel, 1999). Environ-
mental audit, along with other possible control measures including
organizational culture, supervisory visits, standardized procedures and
manuals, and the reward system, is what Brown (1994) calls a control
system to ensure effective environmental measures of a hotel.
A number of other large hotel corporations, for example Canadian
Pacific, Inter Continental, Ramada, etc., have been awarded for imple
-
menting a range of effective environmental measures (Checkley, 1992;
International Hotel Environmental Initiatives, 1992; Hawkes & Wil
-
liams, 1993). InterContinental Hotels, for example, received awards for
its attempt to make its properties “green” via reducing plastic throw
-
aways and waste. Canadian Pacific Hotels and Resorts sets up a “Green
Partnership Guide” which set the target for a reduced landfill waste of
50 per cent and paper use of 20 per cent in two years. It saves energy by
Azilah Kasim 33
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
retrofitting light bulbs, showerheads, and taps with “Environmental
Choice” equipment, and purchases environmentally friendly products
for cleaning and running the hotels (Theobald, 1998). The program
ismade mandatory to all its chain hotels worldwide, giving it an inter
-
national coverage.
In Europe, the Scandic hotels have opened two eco-hotels in Oslo
with an energy management system that automatically decreases the
room temperature when the room is vacant and returns the temperature
to a comfortable level when a guest checks in. Scandic expects this fea
-
ture to cut total energy use by 30 percent (BSR, 2001). InterContinental
Hotels improved guest comfort while cutting energy costs, a saving of
USD 200,000 annually. Forte Hotel Limited, one of the largest hotel op
-
erators in the world has implemented energy efficiency measures at var-
ious sites since 1983. By the end of 1995, approximately 70 of its hotel
chain have installed “combined heat and power systems” (CHP) that
can generate 7,700kWh of electricity. With the system, the company re-
duced its electricity costs by more than USD 340,000 a year. From early
1996, Forte has been installing CHP units in 100 more hotels and saved
an extra USD 850,000 in the process (Business Social Responsibility,
2001).
Hotel associations in the west have also responded positively to this
new responsibility. The American Hotel and Motel Association (AHMA)
initiated a water saving program for its member hotels that encourages
reuse of towels and sheets among guests, and fully endorsed both the
“Green Seal Program” and the “HVS Ecotel Program” that award and cer-
tify hotels with environmentally friendly features (Cheney & Barnett,
2001). Meanwhile the Hotel Association of Canada (HAC) made infor-
mation about hotel-related initiatives such as Energy Innovators Initia
-
tive and the Green Leaf Eco Rating Service available to all its members
(Greenontario Provincial Strategy, 2002). In the United Kingdom, an
environmental manual titled Environmental Management for Hotels:
the Industry Guide for Best Practice was published, in 1992, by the In
-
ternational Hotels Environmental Initiatives (EHEI) for managers and
hotel groups’ to develop their own environmental programs and initiatives.
IHEI aims at fostering, “the continual upgrading of environmental per
-
formance in the hotel industry all over the world” (Cheney & Barnett,
2001, p. 119) by providing guidance on environmental performance
improvement. One output is the launching of the annual Environmental
Award of the International Hotel & Restaurant Association (IH&RA).
34 International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
EXPANDING THE ACCEPTANCE OF ENVIRONMENTAL
RESPONSIBILITY: POSSIBLE BARRIERS
The above section provides a positive outlook about hotel acceptance
of its environmental responsibility. However, it must be noted that the
agenda is being driven by only a fraction of (an elite) group of hotel
chains based in Western Europe and North America while others in the
industry remain laggard. Apart from a few “elite” groups of hotel corpo
-
rations it is not known how responsive the sector is to its widening envi
-
ronmental role and what barriers exist to cause such laggard reaction
particularly in the context of a developing country. A survey by Knowles
(1996) in London found that 94 percent of the hotel respondents have
the 3R strategies, i.e., reducing pollution or emissions, recycling materi-
als and reusing if possible. However, only approximately 19 percent of
the hotels in question have an environmental policy and just 50 percent
of them communicate their environmental initiatives to their guests.
Knowles’ (1996) conclusion was that hotel groups tend to be “responsive”
to environmental needs rather than “responsible.” This should be a
cause for concern because hotel sector essentially comprise of small and
medium enterprises (SME), each of which contributes some degree of
environmental problems. Therefore, the accumulative environmental
impacts of these hotels also need to be addressed. In other words, active
involvement of SME is crucial for an effective and comprehensive envi-
ronmental programme.
There is little empirical research on why apart from the elite hotels, the
sector is generally laggard in practicing environmental responsibility.
Reviewing the literature, there seems to be three fundamental barriers
against a wider acceptance of environmental responsibility in a hotel
business, particularly in the context of SMEs. The fundamental barriers
are: (1) the difficulty in integrating environmental considerations into a
hotel’s core functions. This barrier may be true for hotel business of any
size and location; (2) the effect of global socio-political and economic
conditions on the tourism industry; and (3) the increasingly prevalent
scepticisms on the imposition of global standards that perpetuate big
business’s agenda, particularly in developing countries.
The first barrier is the complexity of incorporating environmental
considerations in a hotel’s core functions from the operational and fi
-
nancial capability perspectives. Hotel companies may have reservations
about incorporating environmental measures due to the perceived nega
-
tive impacts of these measures on a hotel’s service quality (Brown,
1996; Kirk, 1995). Specifically, hotels’ role as service provider entails
Azilah Kasim 35
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
assurance of service quality at all times. On the other hand, some envi
-
ronmental measures could negatively affect service quality. For exam
-
ple, using a lower temperature for laundry may lead to the assumption
of “low hygiene” among hotel patrons, thereby adversely affecting the
hotel’s reputation. Similarly, using low-pressure showerheads may
reduce the amount of water used by guests, thereby lowering guests’
satisfaction. There is also concern about the efficiency of “environmen
-
tally friendly” measures. For instance, using lower temperatures for
laundry to save energy may cause hard stains to remain on the fabric,
necessitating that the items be laundered again.
Besides conflict between environmental measures and service qual
-
ity, the high cost of integrating environmental measures is another
restricting factor in the hotel business. Capital is theoretically an impor-
tant internal driver for a hotel’s environmental responsiveness (Zadek
et al., 1997). Capital is needed for the costs of incorporating environ-
mental principles and standards or policies in the management, service
delivery and marketing aspects of hotel operation. For example, a hotel
with socially responsible image may need to maintain this by engaging
in many forms of social project on an annual basis. Planning and imple-
menting these projects requires adequate capital. Furthermore, involve-
ment of employees in a hotel’s environmental program means more
investments in training, educating and communicating about impacts of
their jobs to the environment and the importance of their support to
company’s effort. Incentives, rewards, and recognition programs could
motivate employees’ support towards environmental initiatives but cost
money to implement. In addition, the company may need to sacrifice its
privacy of information in terms of environmental reporting to the pub-
lic, or engage in some form of environmental audit (ideally with a third
party to remove possible partiality of assessment). Engaging credible
and impartial auditors could cost a significant amount of money.
The initial costs of implementing cost-cutting and resource-saving
programs are also high and may be beyond the capability of SMEs.
Therefore, a hotel’s engagement in such activities requires a real com
-
mitment. Research on SMEs by Tilley (1999) has confirmed that the
majority of managers will not be able to implement environmental mea
-
sures if such measures are not recognized as important in the com
-
panies’ budget. In addition, the longer time horizon for returns on
environmental investments deters companies of all sizes from engaging
in this type of investment. This is in line with Goodall’s (1994) conten
-
tion that the capability, cost and long term commitment of resources in
-
volved in enhancing environmental performance unavoidably means
36 International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
that the implementation of best practice environmental management is a
trivial activity practiced by a few large firms.
Besides costs, there are other reasons why smaller hotels do not tend
to adopt environmental responsibility. A study by Kasim (2003) in
Pulau Pinang, Malaysia found the reasons to be (1) the nature of tourists
that patron the hotels–these tourists are essentially less concerned about
a hotel’s environmental practices. In fact, their priority centers on price,
value for money experience and a comfortable place to stay. There is little
consumer pressure for SMEs to be “green”; (2) the issue of visibility–
the size of the hotels makes them invisible polluters compared with
large-scale resorts. Therefore, they are not expected to be responsible;
(3) the lack of external pressures–there is no societal, regulatory, or
nonregulatory pressure for SMEs to be “green”; and (4) myopic view of
environmental responsibility–there is little indication to show that be-
ing environmentally friendly goes beyond ensuring cleanliness of the
premise. The findings indicate the variety of issues to be tackled in en-
couraging SMEs to be more environmentally responsible.
The second fundamental barrier to a wider acceptance of environ-
mental responsibility is the fluctuation of tourism industry’s growth as a
result of changes in global socio-political and economic situations. As
mentioned earlier in the paper, the growth of international tourism in the
1980s and 1990s has encouraged the WTO to make an optimistic pre-
diction about the industry’s future growth. However, several major
global crises have dampened this prediction, starting with the general
economic downturn that begun to show in 2001. For the South east
Asian region, countries including Malaysia have begun experiencing
the downturn since 1998. According to the ILO (Belau, 2003), the
global economic downturn has reduced the industry’s previously strong
4.5 percent annual growth rate to well below 4 percent. The shocking
event of September 11 has negatively affected the tourism industry,
closing about 10 percent of tourism business worldwide, with some
countries experiencing almost 30 percent fall in tourism business. The
industry’s growth plunged into the negative territory of between minus
one and minus five in 2001. Further negative global events that fol
-
lowed include terrorist attacks in Bali and later in Mombasa, the Mos
-
cow hostage drama, the Iraq war, and the global fear surrounding the
spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). More recently
the civil unrest in South Thailand and bombings in London have en
-
hanced security concerns. The occurrence of natural disasters such as
tsunamis, earthquakes and typhoons in many parts of the world also
negatively affect the robustness of tourism.
Azilah Kasim 37
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
Security concerns have dampened people’s propensity to make long-
haul trips. Consequently, tourism income of many countries particu
-
larly the developing nations that rely on inbound tourist from western
nations has reduced significantly. Inevitably, the profitability of tour
-
ism businesses including hotels are negatively affected as well. In the
face of such adversity, hotels’ (particularly small and medium size ones)
capability to respond positively to environmental responsibility is seri
-
ously in question.
The third and final fundamental barrier to a wider acceptance of envi
-
ronmental responsibility is slightly abstract–scepticisms about impos
-
ing global tourism standards on developing countries. Utting (2002)
stresses that in developing nations, environmental responsibility is still
a relatively new concept even for manufacturing industries. The appli-
cation of this concept in tourism may be even more difficult because, for
many developing countries, tourism is an important economic option
that generates foreign exchange and investment. In fact, tourism is the
only economic area where developing countries consistently run a trade
surplus (Worldwatch Institute, 2002). Thus, an introduction of global
standards may restrict the growth of the tourism industry, which for most
developing countries has only been actively promoted since the 1980s.
Mowforth and Munt (1998) also assert that the introduction of global
standards in developing countries is unfair because tourism in develop-
ing countries is essentially an extension of the former colonial condi-
tions. They stress that since its infancy, tourism in developing countries
has gained from global economic dealings that structurally privileged
developed nations such as unequal trading relationships, dependence on
foreign interests, and the division of labor between developed and de
-
veloping nations. The situation has relegated many developing nations
to become tourism recipients while developed nations became tourism
generators. Consequently, the former are more prone to the well-known
negative impacts of being a host destination (Mowforth & Munt, 1998).
Therefore, expecting the developing countries to swiftly respond to a new
global standard without allowing them a period of adjustment and giving
them some form of assistance seem unjustified. In addition, since only
one-third of the revenue from international tourism reaches the local
economy because of the high foreign exchange leakages (Mowforth &
Munt, 1998), the domination of transnational corporations (TNC) in local
tourism due to their capability to adopt global self-regulating standards
may worsen the situation because the profits and other earnings repatri
-
ation by foreign companies. This essentially counters the principles of
38 International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
sustainable tourism: to bring prosperity, development, social progress,
and better environmental standards to developing countries.
In addition, the critics see global standards on self-regulation as
being created merely to advance the agenda of TNCs (Pleumarom,
2000; Chavez, 1999; Kolodner, 1994). In other words, by having the
self-regulation system in place, government interference in the work
-
ings of the hotel sector, and media scrutiny on the sector’s environmen
-
tal harms will be minimized. Pleumarom (2000) argues that World
Trade Organization’s introduction of “environmental standards” and
“eco-labels” is primarily to put forward TNCs’ interests that under
-
mines the existing national environmental policies and laws adopted
by democratically elected governments rather than benefiting local tour-
ism. She argues that the sheer power and dominance of these corporations
in the industry has enabled them increasingly to pressure governments
around the world to liberalize trade and investment in services. The
developing nations are more prone to bow to such pressure because of
lack of power to go against these major industrial players. Conse-
quently, TNCs are likely to reap big benefit from global standards than
smaller local companies.
There is also the perception that self regulation policies are often de-
signed for profit maximization and capital accumulation among big cor-
porations, rather than for environmental or social reasons (see Welford,
1997; UNRISD Conference Report, 1998). Self-regulation’s codes of
ethics have been criticized as a marketing ploy to show an environmen-
tally responsible attitude to the “discerning” consumer or to avoid any
potential conflict and bad publicity from critical environmentalists.
Within the context of a developing country, voluntary regulation may
end in damaging effects if companies in developed countries use it as a
“disguised form of protection” (UNRISD Conference Report, 1998,
p. 79) to discredit the product and services of those (often smaller local
companies) who could not obtain certification. The complex processes
and requirements of certification also deter smaller companies from
adopting it, thereby giving TNCs more leverage compared to their
competitors. In this context, certification becomes a market-share tool
for big corporations at the expense of smaller companies. This is what
Welford (1997) labels as a top down technocratic development model,
which obscures the difference between development and growth to
ensure “business as usual” opportunities.
Azilah Kasim 39
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
ENCOURAGING A WIDER ADOPTION OF
ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY
The barriers discussed above could impede a wider acceptance of en
-
vironmental responsibility concept, particularly among SMEs in devel
-
oping countries. However, as mentioned earlier, an optimistic view is
essential in dealing with hotel environmental responsibility as the exer
-
cise contributes to the preservation of natural beauty of destinations.
Admittedly, the second and third barriers discussed above are beyond
the scope of this paper. Nonetheless, the first barrier can, and must
be overcome through education and a support system designed to nur
-
ture the “political will” among SMEs to be more environmentally
responsible.
Education
Education is important to raise awareness among SMEs regarding
available options in environmental practices and to alleviate fear that
environmental measures run contrary to service quality. Education
should also touch on basic issues such as the benefit of being “green”
and the issue of costs. In terms of benefit, SMEs need to be exposed
to existing frameworks available for environmental responsibility mea-
sures. They need to be convinced that the incorporation of environmen-
tal principles and standards or policies in the management, service
delivery and marketing can lead to clear savings through effective use
of resources, waste reduction and cost cutting. International Hotels
Environmental Initiative (IHEI) internet based environmental bench-
marking tool in www.benchmarkhotel.com developed by IHEI and
WWF-UK can be used as a reference in energy management, freshwa
-
ter consumption, waste management, wastewater quality, purchasing
programs, community relations and diversity improvements. The tool
allows hotels to compare their environmental performance with that of
hotels with similar facilities in three major climate zones (The Interna
-
tional Business Leader Forum, 2001).
SMEs must also be more informed about the relative costs of being
“green.” As mentioned earlier, perceived high cost of environmental
measures is one of the overriding reasons why SMEs are laggard in envi
-
ronmental responsibility (Tilley, 1999). Perceived high cost is arguably
not a valid excuse for lack of involvement because SMEs have many
alternatives that do not involve adoption of high-tech green technology
40 International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
synonymous with higher price. For example, water can be saved by putting
a brick in toilet tanks to raise the water level. In addition, frozen food can
be defrosted at room temperature, if ample time is given for defrosting
to take place, while caring for hygiene and food safety issues. This can
save water as the existing practice in many hotels for defrosting involves
putting the food under running water (Malaysian Association of Hotel
respondent, personal communication, June 29, 2005). Grey water from
kitchen sinks can then be channeled properly for landscape irrigation pur
-
poses, while fruit peels and vegetables can be composted at a small corner
of a hotel and later used as natural fertilizer. For more specific and
detailed examples of available options, hoteliers can refer to IH&RA
Environmental Good Practice in Hotels (1999), the websites already
mentioned, or the wide literature on hotel environmental responsibility.
SMEs also need to be educated and convinced that pollution reduc-
tion can enhance operational efficiency. As found by Clelland et al.
(2000) in their study of 250 manufacturing companies, there is a strong
link between Waste Management Practices and corporate operational
efficiency. Their findings illustrate the eco-efficiency argument that
business could gain advantages through being environmentally respon-
sive. Considering these findings and the potential cost reduction often
associated with water and energy efficiency initiatives, environmental
responsibility can be a beneficial engagement for a hotel business.
Most importantly to alleviate the first barrier mentioned in the previ-
ous section, hotels must be made aware that not all environmental mea-
sures can negatively affect service quality. For example, focusing
environmental initiatives in common areas such as the landscape, the
lobby, the public and/or staff toilets and the kitchen will not have direct
impact on the guests. Similarly, efforts such as waste separation, recy-
cling, and composting can be done at a secluded corner of a premise,
thereby not posing as an eyesore to guests.
Support System
Education alone is insufficient to facilitate SMEs involvement if
there are no support systems to encourage or coerce them to deal with
this wider responsibility. As highlighted by DiMaggio and Powell
(1991), institutional structures can be molded by exogenous influences
such as regulatory, professional as well as environmental and social
expectations. Business, in particular, responds to three categories of
exogenous influences namely (1) coercive influences, (2) normative
Azilah Kasim 41
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
influences, and (3) mimetic influences. Coercive influences are a form
of sanction or threat from sources such as government’s legal mandate
on environmental standards or code of environmental conduct from
supplier (Meyer & Rowan, 1977, cited by Kasim, 2003). Normative in
-
fluences include code of conduct set by professional networks, industry
associations, and academic institutions. In this case, “fear of public em
-
barrassment” is the driver for compliance to established norms and val
-
ues (Hoffman, 1999, p. 353). Mimetic influences are that exuded by a
leading organization’s success, usually in instances where managers are
indecisive on how to respond to competitive situations (DiMaggio &
Powell, 1983).
Given the above contention, many possibilities can be suggested. For
example, to use coercive influences on SMEs in relation to environmental
responsibility, governments need to play a strong role in setting up and
enforcing stringent environmental requirements for the target industry.
The role of national policy in sustainable development has been empha-
sized in a UN General Assembly resolution on Sustainable Tourism:
For sustainable patterns of consumption and production in the
tourism sector, it is essential to strengthen national policy develop-
ment and enhance capacity in the areas of physical planning,
impact assessment, and the use of economic and regulatory instru-
ments, as well as in the areas of information, education and mar-
keting. (Chavez, 1999, p. 4)
Government’s involvement may take the form of a legal mandate or fi
-
nancial support. The legal mandate may be executed by linking the li-
censing of hotels with environmental practices. Of course, one might
argue that in the context of a developing country, such action could be an
antithesis to encouraging the growth of the tourism industry which, to
many developing countries, is a major foreign exchange earner. How
-
ever, it can also be argued that if hotels are given the right entry level to
adopting environmental responsibility, then investors should not get dis
-
couraged by the environmental requirements. One way of giving the right
entry level would be by setting expectation criteria based on hotel size.
For small hotels the criteria should be a minimum standard that include
requirements for garbage separation and recycling as well as initiatives to
save water and electricity whenever possible. Medium size hotels, on the
other hand, could be expected to do more. For instance, they could be ex
-
pected to install basic water and energy saving devices in common areas
42 International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
such as the lobby and public/staff toilets, recycle solid waste and grey wa
-
ter as well as making compost from kitchen waste. All these are basic en
-
vironmental practices that could be good for business as well.
Government can also provide financial support by giving tax breaks to
hotels that fulfill minimum environmental requirements (the requirements
must, however, be determined through consultation with the industry or us
-
ing existing frameworks). Such support, coupled with the legal mandate
mentioned earlier, could enhance the political will of SMEs to adopt a more
environmentally friendly approach in their respective operations.
The second category of influence, i.e., normative influences, requires
a strong commitment from the trade associations. In Malaysia, this
would include the Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners (MAHO), Ma-
laysian Association of Hotels (MAH), as well as the respective state ho-
tel associations. The key idea is to have members “jump into the green
bandwagon,” perhaps by giving training courses on environmental
practices to owners or managers of SMEs at minimum charge, and to
publicize this initiative as widely as possible. Granted, this may be eas-
ier said than done. However, as indicated earlier, involvement of trade
associations in promoting environmental responsibility have been shown
to work in the case of AHMA and HAC. Given strong endorsement and
encouragement by the government, this could work in a developing
country such as Malaysia as well.
Finally, the third category of influence, i.e., mimetic influences, also
has the potential to increase SMEs involvement in environmental man-
agement. This, however, requires altruistic involvement from big busi-
nesses or TNCs which admittedly is an idealistic expectation that
requires a “political will” on the part of the TNCs themselves. However,
adopting an optimistic view means that this option should not be ruled
out. In fact, TNCs are essentially in the best position to encourage a
wider adoption of environmental responsibility in hotels. Because hotels
worldwide have become increasingly transnational in their operations
since the 1970s and 1980s (Lea, 1988, cited by Kasim, 2003), they have
control over the development of tourism, especially in developing coun
-
tries. The domination of TNCs takes place in five major ways: (1) own
-
ership or equity investment–where the TNC owns a part or the whole
of the share equity of the hotel. This is the most direct form of TNC
control and domination; (2) management practices–involvement of
TNC through management contracts with local operators. This is most
common in developing countries; (3) hotel-leasing agreements–through
which the TNC pays the owner a proportion of the hotel’s net profits;
(4) franchise agreements–that allow the owner of the hotel to use the
Azilah Kasim 43
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
name, trademarks, and services of a transnational hotel chain in return for
a fee. Through franchising, the hotel is promoted as a member of the hotel
chain and has access to the chain’s world-wide sales, communications
and reservations systems; and (5) technical service agreements-these may
relate to particular aspects of the establishment and management of the
hotel, personnel and staff training and financial or operational manage
-
ment planning, and control systems and security (Vellas & Becherel,
1999). In Malaysia, the involvement of transnational corporations in the
domestic hotel sector is predominantly through ownership or equity in
-
vestment, through management practices, or through franchise agree
-
ments (Malaysian Association of Hotel and Pulau Pinang International
Hotel Association respondents, personal communication, June 15, 2005).
This indicates great possibility for TNCs to play a major role in promot-
ing environmental responsibility within the country.
According to Raynard and Forstater (2002), even in a situation where
a developing country’s local political climate is heavily influenced by
local companies, the scale of operation of TNCs in general do enable
them to have power and influence on relevant organizations in tourism
such as government and to determine the direction of developments in
the industry. Therefore, if TNCs have the tendency to be good corporate
citizen by embracing what is popularly known as Corporate Social Re-
sponsibility (CSR), it should ideally serve as good examples to manag-
ers of SMEs in developing countries. The setting of best practice
standards among the TNCs should not be construed as exuding domina-
tion and control because at the end of it all is the preservation of a
healthy and beautiful environment of the destination. Instead, it should
be emulated whenever possible, to raise the level of awareness and stan-
dard of service provided by SMEs. Similarly, problems associated
with a global certification as discussed earlier could be mitigated by
considering the need to design multiple standards to suit the relative ca
-
pabilities of SMEs to be environmentally responsible.
In essence, SMEs involvement can be enhanced through any or a
combination of all three influences described above. Choosing the best
strategy would entail (1) close consultation with the SMEs; (2) designa
-
tion of an appropriate and effective government agency(s); and (3) close
involvement and support of the relevant trade associations and possibly
an altruistic input from TNCs. The process of negotiation, planning, and
execution involved would no doubt be long and uneasy due to barriers
already mentioned in this paper.
In addition, there has to be a realistic expectation on the responsive
-
ness of the hotel sector, particularly SMEs in developing countries
44 International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
towards emerging issues such as environmental responsibility. As Goodall
(1994) emphasizes, it would be idealistic to believe that tourism estab
-
lishments will be developed and handled at the highest standards of en
-
vironmental excellence, considering the obstacles that exist. This may
be true considering manufacturing business’ responsiveness to environ
-
mental responsibility issues, which took three decades to evolve. Thus,
pervasive improvement of environmental standards in hotel business is
impossible. Rather, it is a gradual process (O’Riordan & Voisey, 1998)
of adaptation and adjustment of organizational culture and resources.
The speed by which each hotel undergoes this process depends on its
degree of commitment. The degree of commitment, in turn, depends on
the strength of exogenous influences that exist.
CONCLUSION
As a key trading partner in tourism, hotels form an essential fragment
of the industry and therefore must play a role towards sustainable tour-
ism. Hotels’ expanding role is also linked with the sector’s environmental
impacts as has been highlighted in this paper. The existing responsive-
ness to environmental considerations is positive but limited to that of a
few TNCs that are based in North America and Western Europe. There is
not much evidence to indicate a wider acceptance of the environmental
responsibility concept, particularly among the SMEs in developing coun-
tries. Three possible fundamental barriers have been proposed in the
paper to explain the lack of indicators about SMEs’ responsiveness.
In spite of the setbacks, the relevance of environmental responsibility
in tourism and the hotel sector is clear. Therefore, the hotel sector
cannot escape its role in sustainable tourism. To enhance SMEs adop
-
tion of environmental responsibility, education and the availability of a
good support system are proposed. Various alternatives for educating
and coercing SMEs to be more environmentally responsible has also
been explained. As the ultimate benefit is the preservation of natural en
-
vironments of local destination so important to the sustainability of
these businesses, having a greater awareness and knowledge about the
benefits and costs of being environmentally friendly, and being moti
-
vated to integrate environmental issues hotel’s daily operation are actu
-
ally a step in the right direction.
Azilah Kasim 45
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
NOTES
1. On May 12, 1999, the United Nations, International Hotel & Restaurant Associa
-
tion (IH&RA) and the World Travel and Tourism Council jointly led a delegation of
more than 20 high level hotel and tourism professionals to put forward the industry’s
interest in relation to Agenda 21 (Hotel Online Special Report, 2000). This is perhaps
the triggering factor for the increasing involvement of big hotel corporations in envi
-
ronmental (and to a certain degree, social) issues.
REFERENCES
Belau, D. (2003). The impact of the 2001-2002 crisis on the hotel and tourism industry.
Geneva: International Labour Organisation.
Brown, M. (1996). Environmental policy in the hotel sector: Green strategy or stratagem?
International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 8(3), 18-23.
Brown. M. (1994). Environmental auditing and the hotel industry: An accountant’s
perspective. In A. V. Seaton, C. L. Jenkins, R. C. Wood, P. U. C. Deike, M. M.
Bennet, L. R. Maclellan et al. (Eds.), Tourism: The state of the art (pp. 755-764).
Chichester: John Wiley and Sons.
Business Social Responsibility. (2001). Retrieved January 27, 2001, from http://www.
bsr.org.
Cater, E. (1993). Sustainable tourism in the third world: Problem for sustainable tour-
ism development. Tourism Management 14(2), 83-93.
Chan, N. W. (1999, July). Water conservation, reuse and reduction of water use. Paper
presented in the workshop on Sustainable Management of Water Resources. Organ-
ised by Global Environment Centre; Department of Irrigation and Drainage; Na-
tional Hydraulic Research Institute of Malaysia; The Malaysian Water Association;
Environmental Management and Research Association of Malaysia; and Selangor
Water Work Department, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Chavez, R. (1999). Globalisation and tourism: Deadly mix for indigenous people.Re
-
trieved July 8, 2001, from http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/chavez-cn.htm.
Checkley, A. (1992). Accommodating the environment: The greening of Canada’s
largest hotel company. Proceedings of the ISEP Conference on Strategies for
Reducing the Environmental Impact of Tourism (pp. 178-189). Vienna: Interna
-
tional Society for Environmental Protection.
Cheney, J. & Barnett, S. (2001). The greening of accommodation: Stakeholders per
-
spectives of environmental programs in New Zealand hotels and luxury lodges. The
Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 1 (Spring 2001), 115-126.
Clelland, I. J., Dean, T. J., & Douglas, T. J. (2000). Stepping towards sustainable
business: An evaluation of waste minimization practices in US manufacturing.
INTERFACES, 30(3), 107-124.
Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies. Corporate Outreach Commit
-
tee. (2000). Green Hotel Initiative: Overview. Retrieved April 25, 2004, from
http://www.ceres.org.
46 International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
DiMaggio, P. J. & Powell, W. (1983). The iron cage revisited: Institutional iso
-
morphism and collective rationality in organizational fields. American Sociological
Review, 48, 147-160.
Eber, S. (Ed.). (1992). Beyond the green horizon: Principles for sustainable tourism.
Surrey, UK: World Wide Fund for Nature.
Forsyth, T. (1996). Sustainable tourism: Moving from theory to practice. London:
Tourism Concern.
Goodall, B. (1994). Environmental auditing: Current best practice. In A. V. Seaton,
C. L. Jenkins, R. C. Wood, P. U. C. Deike, M. M. Bennet, L. R. Maclellan et al.
(Eds.), Tourism: The state of the art (pp. 655-664). Chichester: Wiley.
Green Globe 21 Asia Pacific. (2000). Introduction to green globe standard. Retrieved
March 2, 2001, from http://www.ggasiapacific.com.au.
greenhotelier: Magazine of International Hotels Environment Initiative (1999), Issue
No. 16, October.
Greenontario Provincial Strategy. (2002). Ontario needs effective environmental strate
-
gies. Retrieved May13, 2003 from http://www.greenontario.org/strategy/hotels.html.
Hawkes, S. & Williams, P. (1993). The greening of tourism from principles to practice:
A casebook for environmental practice in tourism. Burnaby, BC: Simon Fraser Uni-
versity, Center for Tourism and Policy Research.
Hoffman, A. J. (1999). Institutional evolution and change: Environmentalism and the
U.S. Chemical Industry. Academy of Management Journal, 42, 351-371.
Holden, A. (2000). Tourism and environment. London: Routledge.
Hong, E. (1985). See the Third World while it lasts: The social and environmental im-
pact of tourism with special reference to Malaysia. Penang: Consumers Association
of Penang.
Hotel Online Special Report (2000, March 1). Business enterprises for sustainable
travel formed to encourage the travel and tourism industry to develop/promote sus-
tainable practices. Retrieved March 1, 2001 from http://www.hotel-online.com.
Hotel Online Special Report (1999, September 3). 82 “Green Hoteliers” entered in the
Annual Environmental Award of the International Hotel & Restaurant Association.
Retrieved September 2006 from http://www.hotelonline.com/News/PressReleases1999/
Sept99_IHRAEnvironAwards.html.
Hunter, C. & Green, H (1995). Tourism and the environment: A sustainable relation
-
ship? New York: Routledge.
International Hotel & Restaurant Association. (1996). Environmental good practice in
hotels: Case studies from the IH&RA Environmental Award. Paris: IH&RA and
United Nations Environment Program.
International Hotels Environmental Initiatives (1993), Environmental Management
for Hotels, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford.
International Labour Organisation, Informal Meeting on the Hotel and Tourism Sector
(2001, 25-26 October). Social impact on events subsequent to September 11, 2001.
Chairperson’s summary at an informal meeting of the hotel and tourism sector.
Geneva: International Labour Organisation.
Kasim, A. (2003). Business environmental and social responsibility: Factors influenc
-
ing the hotel sector in Pulau Pinang, Malaysia. Doctoral dissertation, University of
East Anglia, Norwich, England.
Azilah Kasim 47
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
Kirk, D. (1995). Environmental management in hotels. International Journal of
Contemporary Hospitality Management, 7(6), 3-8.
Knowles, T. (1996). Corporate strategy for hospitality. UK: Longman.
Kolodner, E. (1994). Transnational corporations: Impediment or catalysts of social de
-
velopment? (Occasional Paper No. 5). Copenhagen: World Summit for Social De
-
velopment.
Ludgren, M. (1996). The whitecollar business ecological footprint. Sweden: Stolkholm
University, School of Business.
Meade, B. & Del Monaco, A. (1999). Environmental management: The key to success
-
ful operation. Proceedings of the First Pan American Conference. Latin American
Tourism in Next Millenium: Education, Investment and Sustainability, May 19-21,
1999/Panama City, Panama. Retrieved 29/09/2003 from http://www.hotel-online.
com/Trends/PanAmerProceedingsMay99/EnviroManagmt.html.
Mowforth, M. & Munt, I. (1998). Tourism and sustainability: New tourism in the Third
World. London: Routledge.
Murphy, P. (1994). Tourism and sustainable development. In W. Theobald (Ed.),
Global Tourism in Next Decade (pp. 274-298). Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
O’Riordan, T. & Voisey, H. (1998). The political economy of the sustainability transi-
tion. In T. O’Riordan, & H. Voisey (Eds.), The transition to sustainability: The poli-
tics of agenda 21 in Europe (pp. 3-30). London: Earthscan.
Orwin, A. (1999). The privatization of water and wastewater utilities: An international
survey. Retrieved November 18, 2002 from http://www.environmentprobe.org/
enviroprobe/pubs/ev542.html.
Pacific Asia Travel Association. (2002). APEC/PATA code for sustainable tourism.
Retrieved May 1, 2003 from http://www.pata.org.
Pleumarom, A. (2000). Tourism, globalisation and sustainable development. Retrieved
July 8, 2002 from http://www.twnside.org.sg/title/anita-cn.htm.
Raynard, P. & Forstater, M. (2002). Corporate social responsibility: Implications for
small and medium enterprises in developing countries. Vienna: United Nations
Industrial Development Organisation.
Socioeconomic & Environmental Research Institute of Pulau Pinang. (1999). Eco
-
nomic Briefing to Penang State Government. 2(6), 1-5.
The International Business Leader Forum (2001, September), Benchmarking tool identi
-
fies £400 million potential environmental cost savings for hotels. Retrieved July 10,
2003, from http://www.iblf.org/csr/csrwebassist.nsf/content/fle2d3o4.html.
The World Bank Group (1999, January 6). Dominican Republic–Solid waste manage
-
ment in tourism centers project. Retrieved July 7, 2003, from http://web.worldbank.
org/WDS_Ibank_Servlet?pcont=details&eid=000094946_9903191107167.
Theobald, W. F. (1998). Global tourism in next decade. Oxford: Butterworth- Heinemann.
Tilley, F. (1999). The gap between the environmental attitudes and the environment:
Behaviour of small firms. Business Strategy and the Environment, 8, 238-248.
Tourists’ water demands bleed resorts dry. (2001, May 12). Guardian Unlimited.
Retrieved December 12, 2002 from http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/
0,4273,4185503,00.html.
United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (1997, September). Busi
-
ness responsibility for environmental protection in developing countries. Report of
the International Workshop, Heredisa, Costa Rica.
48 International Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Administration
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
Utting, P. (2002). Towards corporate environmental responsibility? In P. Utting (Ed.),
The greening of business in developing countries: Rhetoric, Realities and Prospects
(pp. 1-13). Geneva: Zed Books Limited on behalf of the United Nations Research
Institute for Social Development.
Vellas, F. & Becherel, L. (1999). The international marketing of travel and tourism: A
strategic approach. London: McMillan.
Wahab, S. & Pigram, J. J. (1997). Tourism, development and growth: The challenge for
sustainability. London: Routledge.
Welford, R. (1997). Corporate environmental management: Systems and strategies.
London: Earthscan.
Welford, R. (1997). Hijacking environmentalism: Corporate responses to sustainable
development. London: Earthscan.
Welford, R. & Young, C. W. (2000). Towards sustainable production and consump
-
tion: From products to services. In R. Welford (Ed.), Corporate environmental
management: Towards sustainable development. London: Earthscan.
World Travel & Tourism Council. World Tourism Organization and Earth Council
(1995). Agenda 21 for the travel and tourism industry: Towards environmentally
sustainable development. London: WTTC.
World Wildlife Fund (2003, March).The objectives of the world water forum–water:
The crisis and the challenge. Retrieved July 21, 2003, from http://www.panda.org/
about_wwf/what_we_do/freshwater. . ./index.cf.
World Wildlife Fund (2003, May). Development in the drought: The incompatibility of
the Ebro water transfer with sustainable development in the southern region
of Spain. Retrieved July 5, 2003, from http://www.panda.org/downloads/europe/
developmentinthedrought_5107.pdf.
Worldwatch Institute. (2002). World summit policy: From Rio to Johannesburg:
New paths for international tourism. Retrieved July 5, 2003, from http://www.
worldwatch.org/worldsummitbriefs/20020319.html.
Zadek, S., Puzan, P., & Evans, R. (1997). Building corporate accountability: Emerging
practices in social and ethical accounting, auditing and reporting. London: Earthscan.
RECEIVED: 11/01/04
REVISIONS RECEIVED: 07/17/05
ACCEPTED: 07/29/05
doi:10.1300/J149v08n02_02
Azilah Kasim 49
Downloaded by [Universiti Utara Malaysia] at 09:03 07 April 2015
... As an integral element of tourism, the hotel sector deserves special attention from the viewpoint of planning and management for sustainability (Kim & Barber, 2018). In addition to being a source of economic leakage in developing economies (Mowforth and Munt, 2015), hotels consume large amounts of natural resources (Kasim, 2007), thus potentially posing sustainability challenges to host destinations. For example, the global hotel sector generates 21% of tourism's carbon footprint (UNWTO and ITF, 2019). ...
... This proportion is likely to be higher in developing countries given the immaturity of their national pro-sustainability strategies for tourism planning and development (Salehi et al., 2021). Sustainability governance is not prioritized in developing countries by local hoteliers (Dief and Font, 2012) and hotel administrations remain skeptical about the benefits of environmental conservation and express limited willingness to invest in sustainability (Kasim, 2007;Oriade et al., 2021). ...
... Nearly 80% of all tourism trips are made by the Iranians (WTTC, 2018). Tourist behaviour is an important factor in hotel administrations' decision on whether or not to conserve the environment (Kasim, 2007). In fact, limited control over how tourists behave has often been cited as one of the barriers for hotels to invest in environmental sustainability (Dolnicar et al., 2017). ...
Article
Tourism can drive positive, transformative changes in modern societies, but also becomes a source of significant environmental externalities. This is often the case for developing economies where the problem is exacerbated by immature national sustainability agendas. Targeted research, accounting for the local context, is necessary to enable transition of developing countries towards more sustainable patterns of tourism development. This study targets the hotel sector in Iran, one of the most energy inefficient hotel sectors around the world, to explore its pathway towards environmental sustainability. The dominance of domestic ownership and control and the prevalence of international economic sanctions are the distinctive features of the Iranian hotel sector. The study pinpoints reconfigurations in technology, knowledge, legislation and behavioural norms as the determinants of the sector’s environmental sustainability quest. Domestic hospitality companies should champion transformative pro-environmental changes in the Iranian hotel sector until international economic sanctions are lifted.
... Researchers are more willing to relate destination quality in context to some countries. (Ennew et al., 1993;Gronroos, 1984;Kandampully & Butler, 2001;Lau et al., 2005;Petrova et al., 2018), Infrastructure development (Bookman, 2007;Henderson, 2003;Kasim, 2007;Mandić et al., 2018;Pocock & Phua, 2011;Wong, 1997) and practices which includes recreation, culture, and nature (Durbarry, 2004;Leung et al., 2018;Liu & Liu, 2009) over tourism development. Creators of policy in context to tourism frequently emphasize on encouraging tourism by offering the fundamental requirements for the development of tourism, along with the finding that tourism usually has a major association with the surroundings, and also dynamics, social and cultural structures (Coccossis & Mexa, 2017). ...
Article
Full-text available
The study aimed to examine the impact of nature activities, cultural activities, recreation activities, and infrastructure development on tourism development along with the moderating effect of destination quality in context of tourism industry. The quantitative approach using purposive sampling was used for collecting data that was further analyzed using PLS-SEM. The current study had helped in a wide range and provided various theoretical and empirical findings for the advancement of research regarding tourism development and destination quality affects its development. This study had provided in-depth knowledge regarding how different tourism activities could help in enhancing the experience and tourism-host interaction was also highly identified. The results showed that destination quality negatively moderates the relationship between policy for cultural activities and tourism development while destination quality does not moderate the relationship between policy for infrastructure development and tourism development. Moreover, the results also showed that the relationship of policy for nature activities and policy for recreation activities with tourism development has been positively moderated by the destination quality. The paper in the end included the policy implications along with limitations and future recommendations.
... Towards Green Pilgrimage: A Framework For Action in Makkah, Saudi Arabia Elgammal & Alhothali Extant literature has emphasised the benefits of pursuing green practices as implemented by both lodgings (Kasim, 2007), and meeting and conventions (Mair & Jago, 2010). Green event practices are evidenced in prior case studies where the organisers have developed strategic goals to implement the green method in mass events. ...
Article
Full-text available
The great Islamic pilgrimage (Hajj) to the Holy places in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, is considered one of the largest annual mass confluences of people in the world. Hajj takes at least four-days and attracts more than three million pilgrims who perform specific steps to fulfil the requirements of this unique journey. However, Hajj presents an extraordinary challenge to the Saudi government for ensuring safety during such a large-scale mass gathering, and stakeholders are overwhelmed by managing the logistics of this event. Despite prior studies’ efforts to explore attitudes towards pilgrimage safety, and to investigate ways to minimise carbon footprints on the environment, research on how to move towards greening this massive event is scarce. Hence, this paper provides a holistic overview of the challenges facing the Saudi government and involved stakeholders towards achieving the greening of this pilgrimage. This exploratory study uses a qualitative approach; data were collected via a semi-structured interview, six focus groups, and participant observation (on-site observation) in the city of Makkah during the Hajj season of 2018. Results show that the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah put various elements in place, such as recycling, solid waste management, and environmental protection. However, limited communication among stakeholders involved in the event makes it difficult to go further in achieving green goals. In this study, opportunities and challenges for green pilgrimage are divided into seven main groups: initiatives towards green pilgrimage, waste management, energy efficiency and transportation, greening water resources, greening food, green rituals, and promoting green awareness. A framework of action for developing sustainable green pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia is suggested and also, implications for the Saudi government and stakeholders are discussed in the light of extant literature. Recommendations are provided for better application of green pilgrimage initiatives in Saudi Arabia, with a particular focus on the Holy City of Makkah
... Carbon Emission of the Hotel Buildings: A hotel operation requires and uses energy on a daily basis for 24 hours, irrespective of seasonality, number of guests and its location (Kasim, 2007). The energy consumed by hotels is used for space heating, cooling, ventilation, hot water, lighting, laundry, kitchen, recreation and miscellaneous uses (Dascalaki, 2007). ...
Article
This study assesses the environmental impacts of energy consumption of 24 hotel buildings in Enugu Metropolis. Structured questionnaire was administered to the hotel managers in order to collect energy consumption pattern. Measurements were carried out to reproduce the floor plans of the hotels in-order to determine the floor areas. The breakdown of energy consumption showed that diesel and petrol generator sets dominated for regular and 24hours electricity supply. The average Building Energy Index (BEI) of 405.73Kwh/m2 /yr was derived based on unit floor area. The result further showed that average CO2 emissions from consumption of grid electricity to be 2936.06KgCO2e/Kwh/yr, and 294817.44KgCO2e/litre/yr and 1546.69KgCO2e/litre/yr, respectively for diesel and petrol. The study concluded that there is need to reduce dependence on fossil fuel consumption of the hotels and therefore recommends the encouragement of low energy and energy efficient hotel building designs in the study area.Key Words: fossil fuel, carbon emission, hotel buildings, building energy Index (BEI), energy efficiency
Article
In the green marketing literature, environmentally sustainable practices (ESPs), green perceived value (GPV), as well as customer citizenship behavior (CCB) have not received significant attention, particularly in the hotel industry context. The current study aims to examine the effect of ESPs on CCB in a sample of five-star eco-friendly hotels in Egypt. Furthermore, it attempts to identify the potential mediating role of GPV in the relationship between ESPs and CCB and to examine the extent to which GPV directly affects CCB. To achieve the study aim, a self-administrated questionnaire was developed and directed to a convenience sample of five-star eco-friendly hotel guests. A structural equation model (SEM) was applied to 374 forms from guests of the surveyed hotels. The findings of the study reveal that ESPs significantly and positively affect GPV and CCB. The GPV has a positive and significant effect on CCB. The GPV partially mediates the relationship between ESPs and CCB. These findings emphasized that environmentally sustainable hotel properties are rewarded by customers in the form of CCBs (i.e., feedback, helping others, advocacy, and tolerance) directly and indirectly (through GPV). Upon this, some practical implications have been suggested to improve managers’ understanding in order to enable them to better manage their ESPs and to achieve positive and optimum outcomes.
Preprint
Full-text available
Green hotels, the second-largest hospitality industry globally, are becoming increasingly popular with travelers. As a result, hotel employees face climate change, global warming, air pollution, and resource scarcity and are increasingly pressured to adopt environmentally friendly behaviors. This study aims to contribute to the growing body of knowledge on environmental sustainability in the tourism and hotel industry by examining the individual drivers of environmentally friendly behavior, i.e., environmental knowledge, environmental awareness, and environmental concerns. The innovative aspect of this work considers a higher class of observations, namely the aggregate unit at the local level (i.e., the destination), which represents and measures the relevant environment-related variables. In this way, employees' environmental knowledge, awareness, and consciousness can be measured as symbolic data, namely interval data representing the spatial variability of these variables. In this regard, using symbolic clustering, we can understand the spatial distribution of pro-environmental attitudes in several relatively closed tourist destinations in the Campania region (Italy).
Chapter
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an important consideration in tourism and hospitality management, yet extensive empirical studies on how it is implemented in developing country’s context are lacking. Using qualitative methodology, this article addresses this knowledge gap by exploring CSR practices among hotels and accommodation providers in Malawi. Our findings demonstrate that a broad-based CSR agenda is slowly being pursued by certain firms although corporate philanthropy remains the major area of focus for most of the considered firms. The article further demonstrates differences in the choice of CSR agenda firms pursue can be influenced by the nature of firm’s ownership. Whereas locally owned and managed firms showed a strong orientation towards philanthropic-based CSR agenda, foreign owner/mangers favoured a broad-based CSR agenda.
Article
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) contributions are essential for hospitality companies during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, little is known about how CSR contribution timing during the pandemic might affect consumers’ prepayment purchase intentions. This paper takes a hospitality company as an example, using two experiments to explore (a) the effect of CSR contribution timing on consumers’ prepayment purchase intentions and (b) the potential roles of psychological contracts and distance to the COVID-19 risk center. Study 1 demonstrated that CSR contributions during the COVID-19 outbreak (vs. after its peak) led consumers to have higher prepayment purchase intentions, revealing the impact of CSR contribution timing. This effect was also driven by psychological contracts between consumers and the hospitality company. Study 2 showed that, when participants were in the peripheral area of a COVID-19 outbreak, CSR contributions during the outbreak (vs. after its peak) increased prepayment purchase intentions whereas the opposite effect occurred when consumers were in the risk center.
Article
Full-text available
This paper surveys the economic literature on Corporate Environmental Responsibility (CER). It first defines and illustrates what CER is, and what it is not (namely green washing). It then examines various rationales for firms to implement CER programs: to respond to social pressure, pre-empt regulations, strategically differentiate from competitors, raise entry barriers, retain and motivate employees, lower the cost of capital, promote discipline and good governance, and foster innovation. Whether implementing CER enhances economic welfare is considered next. The paper ends by sketching what appear at this point to be some worthwhile research directions.
Article
Full-text available
This study measured changes in the constituency of an organizational field centered around the issue of corporate environmentalism in the period 1960-93, correlating those changes with the institutions adopted by the U.S. chemical industry to interpret the issue. The article develops the ideas that fields form around issues, not markets or technologies; within fields, competing institutions may simultaneously exist; as institutions evolve, connections between their regulative, normative, and cognitive aspects arise; and field-level analyses can reveal the cultural and institutional origins of organizational impacts on the natural environment.
Book
Tourism marketing has long been considered as a branch of traditional marketing. However, in recent years, tourism marketing has gone through fundamental changes: the pursuit of global strategies based on strategic alliances, the breakdown of commercial borders and advances in new technology have all facilitated the commercialisation of tourism products. This book sets out to examine the changes shaping the international marketing of tourism and travel. The book begins in defining the role of international marketing in tourism and describes the strategic marketing process, from analysis and strategy formulation to implementation techniques. It provides the marketing theory for the rest of the text. Part two focuses on specific issues that are currently influencing tourism marketing. As such, it explains how technology is affecting the way tourism firms operate, the impact and influence of environmental awareness, human resource strategy and service quality on tourism marketing. Finally, it presents the strategic responses of each of the sub-sectors - hospitality, air transport, tour operation, travel agency and the tourism destination - to the pressures of the changing tourism industry. The International Marketing of Travel and Tourism is aimed at final year undergraduate and postgraduate students of tourism providing a strategic approach to marketing within this growing sector.
Article
This paper assesses the two sides to this debate. It specifically examines the relationship between TNCs and social development with respect to their effects on employment, consumer safety and health, the environment and transfer of technology. Furthermore, it discusses the current expansion in corporate rights and suggests some methods by which governments and NGOs can foster corporate social responsibility. Finally, it argues that, as prevailing ideologies shift and transnational corporations extend their global reach, the international community must ensure that the extraordinary economic and political power of these entities is harnessed to the goals of social development. -Author
Article
Society is at a critical juncture in its relationship with the natural environment, a relationship in which tourism has growing significance. Yet, twenty years after the Brundtland Report, environmental policy has to date had little influence upon the workings of the tourism market, the supply and demand elements of which determine the ‘use’ or ‘non-use’ of nature. Inherent to the market is its environmental ethic, that is, the extent of our recognition of nature’s rights to existence. The thesis of this article is that whilst environmental policy may possibly have a greater influence in the future, it is the environmental ethics of the market that will be deterministic to the balance of the tourism-environment relationship.