Hospitality and sustainability

History, dimensions, developments

Authored by: Willy Legrand , Philip Sloan

The Routledge Handbook of Hospitality Management

Print publication date:  March  2014
Online publication date:  March  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415671774
eBook ISBN: 9781315814353
Adobe ISBN: 9781317804246


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With the emergence of new social, environmental and economic concerns in every section of society, businesses are confronted with the question of the compatibility of their corporate objectives i.e. economic growth that benefits communities and ensures environmental stewardship. The hoteliers' relationship with environmental impacts and societal concerns is of a rather remote and intangible nature and is still met with varying levels of interest, even though these concerns are starting to shape society. Hotel companies are being prompted by rising energy costs, government legislation, consumer expectations and the competitive landscape to increasingly make sustainability a top priority. In response, the hospitality industry, along with governments and private organizations, is launching initiatives that help hoteliers become more sustainable by becoming more environmentally responsible and by working in harmony with society at large. The objectives of this chapter are threefold: (1) to review the concepts and variables pertaining to sustainability, including a concise historical perspective pertaining to the hospitality industry, and present a framework for sustainable hospitality, (2) to discuss the impacts, solutions and recent developments in the field of sustainable hospitality, and (3) to introduce the management tools available to hospitality businesses which help organize, control and ultimately reduce negative environmental and social impacts.

The global challenge can be simply stated: to reach sustainability, humanity must increase the consumption levels of the world's poor, while at the same time reducing humanity's total ecological footprint.

(Meadows, Randers and Meadows, 2004)

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