Membership of the New Forest Green Leaf Tourism Scheme

An exploration of the commercial and environmental motivations among tourism and hospitality micro-SMEs

Authored by: Clare Weeden , Nigel Jarvis , Spencer White

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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The purpose of this chapter is to explore the underpinning commercial and environmental motivations of the owner-managers of tourism and hospitality micro-SMEs joining the Green Leaf Tourism Scheme (GLTS) in the New Forest, Hampshire, UK. Previous studies indicate companies engage in corporate social responsibility (CSR) for a variety of reasons. These include opportunities for reducing operating costs and the ability to claim competitive advantage from an enhanced reputation and increase employee motivation (Jahdi and Acikdilli 2009; Kitchin 2003; Middlemiss 2003; Steger et al. 2007). The majority of research into corporate environ mental practices has focused on the activities of large transnational organizations whose individual activities may have significant impact (see for example, Ayuso 2007; Duarte 2010; Fassin et al. 2011; Godos-Díez et al. 2010; Inoue and Lee 2011). However, it is also important to know more about the environmental strategies of SMEs because, while they may have relatively minor importance individually, collectively their impact is much greater (Lawrence et al. 2006). Indeed, SMEs represent 99 per cent of all business in the UK and are reported to be responsible for 60 per cent of British carbon dioxide emissions (Parker et al. 2009). While Thomas et al. (2011) acknowledge the complexity of defining small businesses within the tourism and hospitality sectors, a micro-SME has been defined as an organization comprising fewer than ten employees and with a turnover of less than €2 million (European Commission, 2005). Despite their being a dominant form of business set-up, SMEs remain relatively under-researched (Thomas et al. 2011), especially with regard to their CSR and corporate greening activity (Fassin et al. 2011; Jarvis and Pulido Ortega 2010). Recently, calls have been made for additional research on the strategic decisions of micro-SMEs, not least because they are heterogeneous, with their corporate behaviour being impacted by a variety of structural and personal agency factors (Thomas et al. 2011).

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