Sustainability & Environmental Issues in the Hospitality Industry

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  • 0:03 Sustainability & The…
  • 1:22 Issues In Hospitality
  • 2:58 Sustainable Development
  • 5:06 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Allison Tanner
This lesson will discuss some of the sustainability and environmental issues of the hospitality industry. It will also discuss how these issues impact the business and environment and close with some solutions to the problems.

Sustainability and the Environment

Marcy was tired of watching her employers at Environmental Resorts (E.R.) throw out hundreds of pounds of food and waste hours of electricity from lights being 'forgotten' about in the guest rooms. She could hardly bare the thought of the pressure that this was putting on the environment.

Ready to make a change, Marcy came up with a plan to mitigate these risks and took it to her supervisors. She started by explaining that sustainability is the ability of something to endure or sustain. In hospitality, sustainability is often discussed in terms of ensuring that the local environment can endure the pressure induced by the company's operations. In some cases, it might also refer to the organization's ability to endure the rising costs associated with not changing to environmentally friendly operating procedures.

Marcy went on to explain that the resort was associated with a number of environmental issues or environmental problems that arise due to the amount of pressure caused by their interaction in the local environment. She then explained that the water usage and waste was extremely high and the electricity waste was out of control. She explained to the supervisors that the wasted electricity was not only hurting the environment but it was also costing the resort a ton of money! Pointing around the room, she exclaimed, 'Imagine if lights were never forgotten, so much money would be saved!'

Issues in Hospitality

Marcy continues by explaining that there are a number of sustainability and environmental issues that plague the hospitality industry.

  • Water usage -- This is a big one! Many resorts and hotels have a lot of water waste from long guest showers and huge pools. In restaurants, they use water for dishes and often the machines are not efficient at saving water.
  • Energy usage -- This impacts all organizations in the hospitality industry. This includes the electricity of restaurants, hotels, and resorts, as well as the gas used by tourism, ski resorts, and more.
  • Food waste -- Often times foods are not reusable and are then thrown away. This creates problems for the environment, both in the action of throwing out the food and the demand it places on the environment to produce more.
  • Pollution -- This is an issue anytime there are high outputs of oil, natural gas, gasoline, or coal. Whether these are used for energy or they are used for transportation, the amount of pollution caused by organizations in hospitality can be a big problem.
  • Garbage/waste -- This becomes important because items that are not recyclable will eventually clog up the environment and create trash. Anything from cups to the way a company prints agendas and maps, can either increase or decrease the trash produced, which can litter the environment.

All of these issues have become important in all facets of the hospitality industry. Marcy goes on to say that with a global push for sustainability and 'green' operations by customers, pressure is placed on organizations, like Environmental Resorts, to invest in more environmentally friendly operations.

Sustainable Development

Marcy explains to her supervisors that watching Environmental Resorts throw out food, waste energy, and create trash has pushed her to explore sustainable development. She explains that a sustainable development in business is developing operating procedures that meet the organizations needs without compromising the environment or the local culture of the future.

Marcy shows how sustainable development brings together the environmental, social, and economic needs of a community. She explains that all three factors are influencing sustainability and the success of an organization.

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