Over the past twenty years, it has become more and more widely accepted that business must play its part in looking after the environment. It is essential that business activities are environmentally as well as economically sustainable so that the needs of the present generation are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Hotel managers now face the challenges of creating a balance between economic growth and the preservation of environmentally and socially sustainable processes.
What is sustainable development?
Sustainable development is very important as it has become a priority to save the environment. Sustainable development means to fulfill all the needs of the present without compromising the needs of future generation. There are so many scarce resources that need to be utilized in a very effective manner. It is important to sustain the business with all the growth and profit for a long- term without harming the environment in any way. Hospitality or hotel industry has also so many aspects in respect of sustainable development. Hotel managers are facing a very critical situation because they have to focus on both economic growth as well as sustainable development. They have to emphasize on key areas to maintain healthy environment. In hotel industry, there are different areas where they have to make sure that activities are done without harming the environment like dispose of garbage.
1. Sustainable development is a very growing concern as there is a lot of business development in present era. Sustainable development basically refers to the maintenance and sustainable utilization of all the goods and services belong to natural ecosystem and biosphere process. It is necessary to use the natural resources in limit or in an efficient way. Sustainable development is a very broad concept. Sustainable development helps in maximizing the biological goals and economic goals. It provides assistance in improving the quality of human life within the capacity of the supporting ecosystem. It basically creates a relationship between environments, social as well as economic sustainability. In the current era, especially for the developing countries, they are facing a crisis related situation in economic and environmental aspect (Haugen, Musser & Lovelace, 2010). There are some people who are responsible for creating policy and programs that work in the present situation in escalation of population. The environment exploitation results in weakening of economy and result in social integration. This concept is interpreted in different ways but basically it is related to the awareness about the environment, the social and economic limitations available in the society. The development in the society is impacting present as well as future needs. Already there is a visible damage due to large financial crisis due to irresponsible banking nature, changes happening in the global marker due to the dependence on fuel based resources. This is the high time to take the action because it will directly impact the future generation and their needs and wants. It is directly related to the compromises of future generation. It has several consequences that related to people’s lives. Sustainable development is a methodology to create good decisions on the concerns that affect the lives of the people. Government is also taking different initiatives to maintain healthy environment and to safeguard the needs and lifestyle of future generation (Cartwright & Colbourne, 2002). There is a set of rules and regulations that is launched by government that needs to be followed by all the businesses. There are different areas where hotel can improve their operations for growth and better customer service without harming the environment (Brown, 2018). It is necessary for hotel industry to focus on sustainable development as it is really a major concern with the changing requirement of present population. Hotels can easily find out the areas or techniques for implementing better ways of operations according to the changes in the environment. There are various strategies related to recycling, reducing and reusing the waste that helps in increasing the profitability of the hotel. Hotel industry always tries to provide a good experience to their guests so they cannot compromise the quality of the services they provide to them so they spend a lot in the lighting, furnishing, interior and other things that can attract the consumers (Terry & Hill, 2016).
- Lower Environment impact- The main concern or objective of sustainable development is to initiate the ideas that can shape into the development of the economy without harming the future of next generation (Liburd & Edwards, 2010). It involves different things like minimization of emission of gages that results in creating phenomena like acid rain as well as global warming. It directly helps in thinking of an alternative that can be considered as a clean and effective form of energy. In a similar manner, there are different human activities that are harming the environment. It is necessary to take certain actions in order to reduce the pollution and bad practices. This can help on improving the air quality and the preservation of biodiversity.
- A better future- As per the current scenario, there is a bad condition of the environment as it becomes a necessity to take actions in order to improve the same. There should be practices to reduce the warming of the land or melting of the poles and to change the climatic situations. There should be practices that assure the wellbeing as well as an adequate life of future generation. There are limited natural resources in this planet and they should be used in such a manner so that there should be sufficient resources for the future generation. For example the wastage of water should be minimized (Grace, 2015).
- Costs- The actions and plans to safeguard the environment is good but it involves a high cost as it is totally related to reduction in the use of energy that is already supplies part of the population , changing the infrastructure and the consumption habits of the people. The whole process considered as very much expensive (Publishing & Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2009). Some developed countries can easily adopt the attest forms of energy but the developing countries cannot do the same as it will become very expensive for them.
- Unemployment- It can also create unemployment as the preservation and safeguarding activities may leads in the reduction of activities belong to some industries. This can result in unemployment for a large number of people. It became difficult for those people who invested their whole life in working in a single market sector (Honey, 2008).
- Fragile commitments- As per the conversion to the environment free techniques adopted by the industries, it becomes more costly and difficult because there is a risk that the commitment that has been made to the society is not very serious. There can be a lot of inconvenience to them because the result can be generated only in long term and in developing countries it is not possible to wait for a long time period (Pedercini, Zuellich, Dianati & Arquitt, 2018). There are some other disadvantages too because it is not possible for everyone to follow environment free techniques and in simple words it is difficult to meet the requirements without compromising in the quality and efficiency in work.
Why is sustainable development important?
3. Hotel industry always focuses on providing the best quality experience to their guest without compromising the quality of services due to any of the reason. They are adopting the best operation practices for long term growth and profitability but there are few concerns that are directly or indirectly harming the environmental factors (Rauschmayer & Frühmann, 2012). For them, it is a big challenge to protect the environment and at the same time to provide quality services to the customers. There are some sustainability issues that they are facing-
- Water usage- It is very big concern in hotels as they provide big swimming pool facilities and fancy showers to their guests that increase water consumption a lot. In hotel, dishwasher is used for cleaning the dishes and it is not efficient in saving water. It leads in wasting a lot of water that is not good in respect to sustainable development.
- Usage of energy- It creates an impact on various areas in hospitality industry. They use a lot of electricity in their restaurants, resort and hotel. A high amount of gas is also used by them in carrying huge activities (Ostoji?, 2015).
- Food Waste- This is a very common issue and frequent as well. People always waste food in hotels and restaurants. Food is not reusable all the time so it had to be thrown in dustbin. This creates a big harm to the environment. It is not good to waste the food.
- Pollution- In hotel industry, there is a high output of natural coal, gas, oil and gasoline. There is a lot of energy used in transportation services that is creating a huge amount of pollution that is providing harm to the environment.
- Garbage- There is so much of waste is hotel industry that is not recyclable. It actually clogs up the environment and converts into trash. There is a lot of garbage and the way of disposing the same is not correct. Although, some hotels actually care about the environment but some are just providing pollution and harm to the environment (Otting, 2013).
All these issues are creating a lot of problems in hospitality industry. There are some campaigns started by government like ‘Go green’ that motivates to adopt healthy practices.
4. There are different action plans that can actually environment friendly. These plans can provide the same or better experience to the customers without harming the environment (Hanss, Böhm, Doran & Homburg, 2016). It is important to adopt these plans as the situation is becoming worst day by day and this is the high time to get awareness about the same. Some of the action plans for safeguarding the environment are-
- Better Guest experience- Hotels can make an investment in the environmental technologies that can create a very positive impact on the guests. Hotels are always concern about the entire interior, furnishing and lightning of the hotel because it attracts the customers and make them feel good. Some guests are also really concerned about the environment so it is the best way to impress such kind of customers (NT, 2017).
- Cost efficiency- Hotels can easily manage to maintain efficiency by implementing better methods of operations by reducing the4 cost. It can only be possible by developing environmental friendly technologies. They can easily develop strategies for reusing and recycling of waste. It can help the hotel in increasing the growth and profitability for a long run. They can also start focusing on improving the air quality and usage of cleaning products as it helps in increase in employee satisfaction.
- Brand Image- By adopting sustainable business practices, a business can create a big difference in attracting the customers and retaining them for a long time period. There are young people who always look for a job that provide benefit to the community. They always want to work with the companies that are doing something different or we can say that which are creating a difference (Egelston, 2014).
- Economic incentives- Government always encourage such organizations who think about the good of the society. They provide economic benefits for creating environmental improvement and construction of ‘Green buildings’. These economic benefits are tax leverage, financial grants, special approvals and premium discounts.
- Regulatory Affairs- At present, the environmental regulation basically focus on the hospitality industry in relation to handling hazardous material, environment safety and storm- water management. They all create an impact on the operation and construction methodologies of hotels in coming future (Doyle & Von Windheim, 2014).
Sustainable development is a very serious concern as environment is degrading in a faster manner and it is important to save the environment for the wellbeing of the upcoming future generation. The activities undertaken by various businesses is one of the big reason for this harm to the environment but it is not that much easy for them to convert their operations with the usage of new power resources without compromising the quality of products and services. The usage of other sources of power is also not a cost- friendly option because it involves a high cost. In hotel industry, they provide some extraordinary services to their guests in order to create something different that provides a big harm to the environment. These kinds of activities can be controlled in an effective manner as these are not the necessary services. Sustainable development is very necessary for the present as well as future generation and actions should be taken to safeguard the environment.
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