In today’s business setting, environmental sustainability (going green) becomes more and more important. From a Hotel’s standpoint of view why should they think and act green? What could they do and what would be the advantages and disadvantages of doing so (give some examples)?
The effects of global warming continue generating intense debate among businesses that see it as a major threat to their operations. In this regard the global community is seeking partnerships with governments and other stakeholders to formulate policy guidelines that will act as means of ensuring that they adopt green technology in their operations to counter this threat. Failure to do this will result to irreversible decline in profits, deterioration of people’s health through emergence of killer diseases like skin cancer and closure of businesses.
The hospitality industry has not been left out in adopting green technologies in their operations to ensure they slay this global phenomenon. In doing this they have realized the immense benefits that come with the green technology in almost all areas of their industry. The use of renewable industry like solar energy, wind power and bio fuels reduce the energy costs incurred in the hospitality industry a great deal. Due to their nature of operations they require power throughout; when preparing food, entertaining guests and also when cleaning. This therefore means they incur huge electricity bills through out and this can be reduced by the adaptation of green technology. Installation of solar panels or wind power can reduce these expenses in a great way and this can increase their profits and enable investment in other projects like expansion.
The use of green technology also reduces the pollution of the environment. The damage that is usually done to the environment when hotels use diesel products is very catastrophic. They use the product on large quantities especially in cooking. Diesel products emit a lot of hydrocarbons into the air that cause global warming, which is known to hamper marine life and make some species of the marine bio diversity extinct. This affects the product range available for offer to their clients. They also poison most fish species which make them unfit for human consumption. These diesel emissions are also known to be carcinogenic and cause a lot of cancer related ailments that pose a very great danger to the workers in the industry and to the whole world at large. However all this can be avoided if the industry adopts green technology. There are no side effects of using green energy since they are environmentally friendly and they use ecologically friendly resources.
The industry has also come alive to the fact that ecotourism is a major attraction to many people who want to conserve the world we live in. People appreciate and value those involved in environmental conservation and majority like being associated with them. Many organizations and governments prefer holding their meetings and conferences in venues that are accredited by environmental conservation agencies as compliant to set green standards. The hospitality industry being a major player in this field does not want to be left behind. This is because those who comply and champion these interests will attract wide clientele and this will be a major boost to their businesses. Many players in the industry have sought to comply with the set standards to ensure they remain competitive in the industry. The industry has therefore invested heavily in imparting the required knowledge and skills to its staff and other stakeholders to ensure best practices. They are then seeking certification from recognized regulatory institutions that also continuously monitor their progress through regular visits and checks.
The adoption of green technology by the hospitality industry improves the public image and the perceptions that people have towards the industry. The world today is doing everything to combat global warming which is seen as a major threat to future earnings of almost each sector in the global economy. This will also attract a lot of customers to those who will be seen to be compliant. The hospitality industry is therefore viewed as one of the environmentally sensitive industries and this places it strategically on the global arena of attaining sustainable development.
The players in the hospitality industry must embrace the use of renewable sources of energy like wind power and solar energy. Such installations will ensure minimal environmental pollution and also availability throughout. This is because the sources i.e. sun and wind are naturally available and apart from installation costs and routine maintenance there are no other major associated costs. The electricity bills and the costs of running stand-by generators will be done away with and profits will increase both in the short and in the long run.
The industry players should also minimize the amount of wastes that is usually dumped. This can be done through recycling most of these wastes. For example , a hotel can recycle waste paper into scratch pads, the cartridges used by printers and fax machines can be refilled when empty instead of being dumped, they can also install soap and shampoo dispensers in their facilities to reduce the waste from small plastic bottles, they can also replace toxic and hazardous cleaning agents with good friendlier biodegradable cleaners, they can also donate reusable dishes and other cutlery to charities instead of dumping and also they should install recyclable bins in all areas for collection of waste cans and plastics. When these measures are undertaken, the industry will enjoy the enormous benefits associated with the green technology.
The industry players should also invest heavily in the provision of skills and knowledge to the stakeholders who must be involved in the attainment of desired objectives. The stakeholders are mainly their workers, customers and also their suppliers. They should organize workshops and seminars to educate them on the necessity of adopting the green technology. When they fully understand the benefits they will commit to observe and adhere to the standards set in the industry and this will ensure attainment of desired results.
The adoption of the above measures will nonetheless be an uphill task to most of the players in the hospitality industry. Most of these measures like installing and maintaining solar and wind energy systems require huge budgets and skilled workers. Most of the players in the industry are midlevel enterprises that lack the financial ability to manage such capital intensive projects. Also those who carry out these projects may take a long time to recover and return to profitability.
The green technology should be implemented by all the industries not only the hospitality industry. This will enhance the realization of the aspired results which will guarantee the global population of a better environment to live in. This is because global warming is a major threat to all industries regardless of the area of specialization. Failure by the industry players to implement these policies will be threatening the same businesses they rely on.
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