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Concept of Sustainable Development


1. Explain the concepts of sustainable development.

2. Discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of adopting sustainable development principles.

3. Analyse and explain key sustainability issues.

4. Describe the course of the action plans for the preservation of the environment to enhance sustainability, competitiveness, and profit of your organization.

Sustainable development refers to not to compromise environment so that its consequences cannot be obtained economic growth and globalization of an organization (Griggs et al., 2013). Sustainability can be of different types- environmental sustainability, social sustainability and economic sustainability. Holden et al. (2017) moreover depict that environmental sustainability illustrates not to use environment as an inexhaustible source; while social sustainability refers to the development of people and culture. Lastly, the economic sustainability is to generate wealth for community for generating equal economic growth without hampering the environment. 

In this business report, the concepts of sustainable development will be explained related with the current happenings in Malaysia. The organization considered is Mandarin Oriental Hotel and advantages and disadvantages of adopting sustainable development principles for this organization will also be explained. The key sustainability issues will also be identified based on which recommended action plans for the preservation of the environment to enhance sustainability, competitiveness, and profit.

Pearce et al. (2013) defines sustainable development as fulfillment of present need of people or organization without compromising the resources and ability of the next generation to satisfy their needs. Sustainable development can be obtained through different ways- production of good on a regular basis in order to maintain or meet the government or external debt, avoiding over-exploitation of renewable resource and maintaining atmospheric stability, other ecosystem functionalities and biodiversity (Wheeler & Beatley, 2014). Folke and Kautsky (2014) furthermore stated that though distributional equity, political accountability, providing health and education sustainable development and valuing gender equity can also bring sustainable development. There are some basic kirk  principles of sustainable development:-

Futurity- The Mandarin Oriental Hotel monitor water consumption and protect local resources by rationalize the uses. The hotel also reduces atmospheric pollution by controlling energy. Moreover, for maintaining the purchasing policy, the concerned hotel reduces the impact of consumption from the environment and promotes the development of local, social and ecological flows. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel has also take initiative for limiting noise pollution by establishing noise-free zone, improve air quality within the premises and reduce the impact on the local landscape.

Kirk Principles of Sustainable Development

Inter-generational equity: Recycling the products used by customers to formulate new objects saves other resources for the future. There are gardens in the hotel premises that saves much raw resources taken from outside. Moreover, the hotel authorities are associated with government for protecting the ecology in Malaysia.

Participation- The Mandarin Oriental Hotel follows all the government legislation. The hotel follows “The National Plan of Action for Nutrition of Malaysia III 2016–2025 (NPANM III)”, “Health Human Resource Master Plan”, “National Policy on Women 1989”, “National Renewable Energy Policy and Action Plan 2009”, “National Energy Efficiency Action Plan 2015”, “National Green Technology Policy 2009”, “Occupational Safety and Health Master Plan 2016–2020’, “National Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities 2016–2020”, “Minimum Wage Policy”, “National Urbanisation Policy 2006–2020” and “National Policy for Biological Diversity 2016–2025” (, 2018). Thus, they collaborate with political and social groups for taking decisions for the hotel. 

Balancing of economic and environmental factors- The Mandarin Oriental Hotel obtained Economic sustainability through natural capital, human capital, produced capital, financial capital and social capital. In order to overcome the pollution, the hotel use green technology and renewable source of energy and by not dumping the waste in open water bodies and fields.

Environmental capacities- In order to protect the environment and ecological balance, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel have implemented eco-friendly heating and energy technology through the energy management system that calculates total energy consumed throughout the premises. They have also invested financial resources on waste reduction technology and sustainable laundry system. Some of the waste reduction tools used in the hotel are- Close-Coupled Pulping Systems, Table Mounted Pulpers, Hydra-Extractor and Dehydrator System. Sustainable laundry system is obtained through the use of polymer laundry beads that not only keep linen looking new but also reduces the labor.

Emphasis on quality- Mandarin Oriental Hotel has opted for the High Quality Environment certification (HQE) for developing their infrastructures to save 20 to 30% in energy consumption (, 2018). The hotel also develops environmentally friendly drip system through garden inside the hotel that has hundred different trees and shrubs (, 2018).

Compatibility with local ecosystems- In Malaysia, the infrastructure is formulated in such a way so that no biodiversity gets hampered. The raw material for the food is supplied by the local farmer, who follows the National Agricultural Policy. The hotel is also associated with the protection of the breeding of improved varieties of rice and cereals. Moreover, they also have installed two rooftop beehives in cooperation with local organization for supporting pollination cycle and with the mission to develop a pesticide free-zone.

Advantages of Adopting Sustainable Development Principles

One of the advantageous aspects of adopting sustainable development principles is getting continuous support from government. Reid (2013) stated that when an organization follows sustainable principle, local governing bodies and government of nation supports the organizational operations. Following all principal also allow the company to gain a trust and effective partnership with government. Sachs (2015) depicted that this will help the organization to expand their operations and brand in future. Another advantage is obtaining satisfied customers and greater brand recognition. According to Warburton (2013), adopting sustainable development principles allow the company attracts more customers towards their brand. It is a general tendency of the human to obtain services that worth their money but they also prefer an organization that cares about community people and invests financial resources in philanthropic work. People will be happy to experience the service of an ethical organization and may promote the brand through word-of-mouth approach (Ahmad & Tahar, 2014). In this way, the concerned hospitality organization can obtain greater brand recognition. Moreover, Joseph (2013) stated that adopting suitability principle also allow the organization to drive the interest of those customers, who intends to invest in green technology and experience. Thus, the more people attracted towards the company, the greater will be the profitability.

The disadvantage of adopting sustainable development principles is involvement of greater financial resources. Developing eco-friendly objects through the method of recycling and reusing need more time and monetary resources than developing new substances. Shaikh et al. (2017) stated that not all used materials are recyclable and omitting the non-recyclable materials also needs huge time investment. I addition to that, since green technology is a recent initiative, thus, it is difficult for a mid-income country like Malaysia to adopt all these technologies. Another drawback is the inability to follow all sustainable principle. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel suffers from two major environmental issues- waste management and water resources management. Samari et al. (2013) stated according to the definition of sustainability development, all the resource should be used in a way so that future generation do not have to make any compromise to fulfill their need. However, it is not possible to satisfy every policy of the sustainability and some gaps should always be remained.

The two issue that the Mandarin Oriental Hotel faces are managing waste and conserving water. The organization has also developed the plan for reducing carbon emissions by 50% by the year 2035 (Joseph, 2013).

Disadvantages of Adopting Sustainable Development Principles

Mandarin Oriental Hotel offer shampoo bottle, soap, tooth brushes and other accessories to their customers. Sometimes, clothes and non-degradable waste are also gathered. These materials are rarely fully consumed by those consumers and often thrown in the open space. Moreover, the materials used for the packaging of these items are also not recyclable. In the year 1993, the Solid Waste Management privatization bill was initiated but it was implemented from August, 2007 (Ho et al., 2013). Another statistics shows that in Malaysia, municipal solid waste (MSW) has been increased by 95% over the past 10 years (Joseph, 2013). The contribution in waster generation is also done by urban population, who are liable for generating more than 70% of the total waste. However, the government off Malaysia formulated Solid Waste and Public Cleansing Management Corporation (PPSPPA) for public cleansing management (Tolba, 2013).

It is found that in Malaysia, the water management system depend mostly on water supply management approach and fulfill the user’s demand (, 2018). Ahmad and bin Mat Tahar (2014) stated that this method is unsustainable as water demand will overtake water supply and people may suffer insufficient water. Samari et al. (2013) highlight another issue that Malaysia lacks a central agency to handle the water supply and its resources. Moreover, due to sectoral management in politics, there is no head agency to manage this aspect (, 2018). Thus, too many agencies have jurisdiction of water management which also results in conflicts. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel also faces the water management issue due to the high rates of water wastage in domestic, agricultural and industrial sector. However, the concerned hotel has to communicate with government for the water supply. In recent time, the government of Malaysia announced to privatize water supply for every states. The private sector lacks transparency and accountability with the organization they are associated even though the privatization did not produce desirable results. In Malaysia, about 68% of total water is used in Agriculture; however, only 50% is best used and there is no recycling of irrigated water. Thus, sometimes, there is shortage of water resources in many places including Mandarin Oriental Hotel. The hotel thus, has the problem of water conservation and management related with their organization.

Lastly, the carbon dioxide emission in Malaysia was 247.59M in 2015 and 263.85 M in the year 2016 and is increased from them in recent time (, 2018). The concerned hotel is also suffering from the same problem as more customers are visiting in the hotel due to their unique experience. It is also found that Malaysia was placed at top ninth global tourism destinations in the year 2017 and as a result more tourist use vehicles and transportation that results in high carbon emission, energy and water wastage.  

Sustainability Issues and Recommendations

Image 1: Malaysia Carbon Dioxide Emissions Chart

(Source:, 2018)

In order to overcome the problem of waste management, two actions can be done- creating a waste audit team and give training to the staffs. The initiative for waste management requires auditing how much water the hotel is obtaining every day. Depending on the quantity of the waste and impact of the water obtained the audit team should suggest effective strategies. This creation of water audit team need 2 months of time and can be initiated after the formulation of team. The training to the staffs address the topic of disposal of different type of garbage, recording quantities of waste and reviewing invoices for the waste. This training to the staffs create awareness and management of waste from the initial phase. The residue of this waster management should be dumped in municipal garbage for ultimate waste management procedure.

Moreover, for overcoming the problem of water supply management, developing supply and demand-side management for water supply handling, collaboration with government and less use of water and water purification is suggested to implement. In Malaysia, people need more water for their daily use and thus it has to be managed. The Mandarin Oriental Hotel has planned to utilize Water Demand Management (WDM) to produce additional quantities of water for fulfilling the current need of the people. This process also formulates virtual quantities of water by conserving some water by increasing industrial production per unit of water. This require 1 year of time to be accomplished. Moreover, collaboration with government for formulating the virtual water results in improvements in the conservation system through adequate government policies. This collaboration with government need less than a year time as Mandarin Oriental Hotel has a good reputation in Malaysia. Lastly, Malaysia has national average rates of Non-revenue Water (NRW) of 40% (, 2018). This is equal to loss of 40 liters of water for every 100 liters of treated water. Thus, taking initiative for purifying the waste water should be implemented. The purification system takes 6 months to be installed and executed.

In addition to that the problem of carbon emission can be overcome by using recycles materials and developing electric vehicles. It is evident that the total carbon emission cannot be reduced completely. However, the use of the carbon materials can be reduced. This can be done by implementing the recycling plant to recycle all the plastic bottles and cotton fabrics that customers used and then throw. This implementation need 7-8 months time and need proper maintenance. Moreover, in order to lessen the impact of the carbon emission emitted from the vehicles used for transportation, electric vehicles should be initiated. Battery driven cars and vehicles can also be developed that is solely owned by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. This steep needs 5-6 months of time to formulate electric vehicles for their customers.



Thus, it is concluded that, the Mandarin Oriental Hotel offer many facilities to their customers and also follow many sustainable approaches. These approaches can be witnessed from their initiatives of garden formulations, creation of bee hives and High Quality Environment certification (HQE). However, carbon emission, waste management and water supply management are some issue that can be implemented for attaining competitive advantage from other hotel in the market. Moreover, from the discussion it is also found that in order to overcome the problem of waste management, creating a team for waste audit and offering training to the staffs are two planned solution. Additionally, for overcoming the problem of water supply management, the solution of developing supply and demand-side management for water supply handling and less use of water and water purification is selected. Lastly, for overcoming the problem of carbon emission, use of recycles materials and development of electric vehicles will be taken into consideratin.

Reference List

Ahmad, S., & bin Mat Tahar, R. (2014). Using system dynamics to evaluate renewable electricity development in Malaysia. Kybernetes, 43(1), 24-39.

Ahmad, S., & Tahar, R. M. (2014). Selection of renewable energy sources for sustainable development of electricity generation system using analytic hierarchy process: A case of Malaysia. Renewable energy, 63, 458-466.

Folke, C., & Kautsky, N. (2014). The role of ecosystems for a sustainable development of aquaculture.

Griggs, D., Stafford-Smith, M., Gaffney, O., Rockström, J., Öhman, M. C., Shyamsundar, P., ... & Noble, I. (2013). Policy: Sustainable development goals for people and planet. Nature, 495(7441), 305.

Ho, C. S., Matsuoka, Y., Simson, J., & Gomi, K. (2013). Low carbon urban development strategy in Malaysia–The case of Iskandar Malaysia development corridor. Habitat International, 37, 43-51.

Holden, E., Linnerud, K., & Banister, D. (2017). The imperatives of sustainable development. Sustainable Development, 25(3), 213-226.

Joseph, C. (2013). Understanding sustainable development concept in Malaysia. Social Responsibility Journal, 9(3), 441-453. (2018). Sustainability | Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Paris. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].

Pearce, D., Barbier, E., & Markandya, A. (2013). Sustainable development: economics and environment in the Third World. Routledge.

Reid, D. (2013). Sustainable development: an introductory guide. Routledge.

Sachs, J. D. (2015). The age of sustainable development. Columbia University Press.

Samari, M., Ghodrati, N., Esmaeilifar, R., Olfat, P., & Shafiei, M. W. M. (2013). The investigation of the barriers in developing green building in Malaysia. Modern Applied Science, 7(2), 1.

Shaikh, P. H., Nor, N. B. M., Sahito, A. A., Nallagownden, P., Elamvazuthi, I., & Shaikh, M. S. (2017). Building energy for sustainable development in Malaysia: A review. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 75, 1392-1403. (2018). Sustainable Development of Malaysia. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018].

Tolba, M. K. (2013). Sustainable development: Constraints and opportunities. Elsevier.

Warburton, D. (2013). Community and sustainable development: participation in the future. Routledge.

Wheeler, S. M., & Beatley, T. (Eds.). (2014). Sustainable urban development reader. Routledge. (2018). Issues. [online] Available at: [Accessed 11 Feb. 2018]

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