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Sustainability in the Hotel Industry

Discuss about the Sustainable Environment Of Hotel Industry.

Green and luxury are relatively important words for a hotel industry to maintain together. Presently, hotel industries and tourism are facing problems because of global warming. It is important for us to know how such factors effects positively and negatively. Nowadays hotel industry is very much concern about environment-friendly places. They demand eco-friendly places and products to attract tourism (Mensah, 2013). But it is becoming difficult to convince the guest to use this recycled product because they think if they are paying such a high price for the accommodation then why to compromise with products and facilities. For example, if they pay thousands of money as a room tariff they deny to use the same bed sheet or towel for two days and this comes in customer experiences (Mensah, 2013). This is all about sustainability. After some years literature and planning will change sustainability. Sustainability is not all about the environment but this is of four types- economical, environmental, social and human. UN defines as ‘' meetings requirements for a present generation that to without negotiation needs of future generations (Mensah, 2013). By keeping environmental protection in mind it maintains an equilibrium between Economical and social development. For our tourism industry, it is very imported to maintain a sustainable environment, it perfectly manages the area and it can become effective instrument towards environmental conversation. The sustainable hotel helps in decreasing society and natural environment.

During the 20th century, the concept of the sustainable environment came to the hotel industry. Later, it became agenda by the United States to run programs related to sustainable development (Ayuso, 2007). There first submit discussed global warming issues. They launched a product under this agenda known as ‘sustainable salen’ the main aim was to have to overcome the threat to erosion, waste management and also waste water treatment. Now almost every hotel takes steps towards the environment-friendly atmosphere (Ayuso, 2007). Hotels are promoting energy conservations, waste management , Eco-products, recycling, reusing etc. hotels work on green team theme which minimizes the organizational waste and conserve resources like energy, water, food etc. natural resources are vanishing because of pollution, therefore, saving them is need of future.

  • To impose the requirement of  environmental management and policies
  • To calculate the current situation in reference to environmental policies in the hotel sector
  • To get rid of barriers to improvement in waste
  • To assess the contribution that waste management make to environmental sustainability
  • To make rules how waste material management can improve the hotel industry

There is a numeral of environmental threats which are generating risk for the future generation like-Greenhouse effect and depletion of ozone layer. Environment management manages by reducing the negative impact on the environment by protecting it for future generation. Environmental management improves by various methods like waste reduction, recycling, conserving natural resources, raising awareness, reduction of pollution (Ayuso, 2007). It also helps in cost control. Recycling policies like office paper, printer, glass etc. also in many places they have given recycling container for better work. Water conservation is another very significant step towards its management (Ayuso, 2007). Hotels are reusing water by training their staff with the method. Also, it encourages guest to build a green choice program.

Balancing Green and Luxury in Hotels

There is always a conflict between green and luxury. It is important to know how green practice can be compatible with luxury, recent all the hotel designers are bringing new and unique ways to bring out what is the main ingredient required to make it go together. Green hotels are basically those who adopt policies which are healthy, environmentally friendly, and safe, use green environmental policies, protects resources and ecosystem. In addition, if we have a look over the definition of sustainability than it tells to compromise present needs for future but this is not suited in hotel industry because hospitality should not compromise but rather satisfying needs and comfort (Ayuso, 2007). Therefore, if we form a definition of sustainability in the hotel industry - it is fulfilling guest's present dreams and desires without sacrificing and affecting future generations (Aynalem Aseres, 2015).. Green practices can be used without disturbing the guest experience only when a synergy between guest good experience and hotel's sustainability goals meet. Also, some studies have proved the green hotels are becoming guest's perfect stay as it is balancing luxury and green environment together. Most of the hotelier's goals are different but two of the major common goals are- Trying to create, implement and establish environmental hotel policies and other is pampering guest by all luxuries facilities like unlimited hot water, ample supply of towels and foods, high-pressure showers (Aynalem Aseres, 2015).

 Luxury is defined soft and extraordinary living and green includes eco-friendly environment saving resources for the future generation with saving money and protecting our earth. Despite its evolution luxury is still very important part of the new generation. Taking green approach towards luxury we maintain lifestyle and also the uniqueness of the place with a disturbing environment. Luxury hotels are mainly spacious also includes exotic materials, warm lights, bathrooms with luxuries material (Line and Hanks, 2015). These materials of the hotel our little compatible with green hotels which tend towards smaller space, non-exotic material, normal lights, more recycled and reusable things, fluorescent lights which use less energy and also conserve water. Green hotels are usually unattractive and uncomfortable (Ahn and Pearce, 2013). For maintaining the balance between luxury and green practices hotel industry has to build up a bridge between this which can be fulfilled by having some designs features which are favorable to both luxury and eco-friendly. Therefore, presently in Europe, big hotels are getting their designs prepared to meet their goals of the green practice (Picuno, 2016). A new approach of LEED is accepted for green building practice which aims at water saving, indoor environmental quality, less toxin gas emission. This approach has brought a brighter side of luxury and green practice (Ahn and Pearce, 2013). This particularly important for luxury hotels which require more resources to meet their rating standard, for example, they need to increase more furniture to their room to a give a luxurious view of their hotel room (Sekhon, 2015).  This can be practiced without affecting the quality of guest experience.

Examples of Green Hotels

Considering some examples of hotels who are following green practices like The proximity hotel and bardessono hotels, these hotels have recognized the value of sustainability as well as environmental issues and also provide a luxury experience to the guest (Sekhon, 2015).    Therefore, to achieve these goals hotels have to manage and implement green building approach not only by designing and construction but also at the operational stage of the hotel. Later, the hotel was also awarded LEED platinum certification (Shen and Zheng, 2010).

Further to successfully meet sustainability to green and luxury in hotel industry they need to follow some procedures they are-

  • Give clear sustainability goals by the level of cost and by the level of quality.
  • Assign an implemented team for a green building which includes hotel management team
  • Have a consultant for the primary role
  • Establish a collaborative working environment
  • Study green building strategies and technologies
  • Build a joint understanding framework

In respect to the above discussion I totally disagree that luxury and green are goals compatible for the hotel industry because sustainable development refers to complete approach as a whole, in other words it means which meets the necessity and needs of the present generation without adjusting and compromising with the ability of the future generations to meet their needs (Kim and Han, 2010). Further clarifying the approach of sustainable development and referring to what not the sustainable development is, it is not the concept of dream of a political parties that contempt  and consider it as evil (Kim and Han, 2010). It is misunderstanding of people who say that world and human’s life will be improved or better if we try to go back to our natural resources. But referring to sustainable development it is surely moving ahead towards the profitable and the better future as without profit it is very obvious that no business will sustain (Kapferer and Michaut-Denizeau, 2013). The basic purpose of Sustainable Development is definitely too safe and secure social, economic development and environmental protection and it will be much better as the work with good coordination and harmony but also, such goals sometime might work against each other. The quick development towards a better lifestyle, leisure, travel and for the betterment of society has often showcased a less protection towards the environment and people (Kapferer and Michaut-Denizeau, 2013). The players or industries that came together and have signed in favor for Sustainable Development includes governments and non-government organizations, industries and corporations, and also some reputed individuals too (Murphy, 2006). Justifying the above statements, many big brands hotels also have come together in favour of and with sustainable development and also made the sustainable development as a part of its business strategies, however in this the good news is that even if the brands or companies do not comment on sustainable development, they highlight and mention on their responsibility towards nature and environmental, corporate governance, and towards society in their vision and mission statements (Murphy, 2006).  

Procedures for Green Building Approach

In 2008, our very renowned and now privately owned reputed brand Hilton announced their long-term objectives towards implementing sustainable development as the core part of their strategy worldwide (Murphy, 2006). The company highlighted its targets for improvement in its performance system wide keeping in mid the responsibility of sustainable development for their future business, and stated few main points in that such as, reducing the energy consumption from the business direct operations, reducing the harmful gas emissions, reducing the output from waste and also reducing water consumption, discussing on another social example which is positive in sustainable development and is the Taj Group, the group surely has a strong view related to sustainable development, as one of the multi-billion (Kovesi, 2016).  Tata group and also being an Indian company, it has with time developed many endeavours in major areas in sustainable development and specifically helped in building livelihoods and better life of humans and society, referring to 1 extraordinary commitment of the company, the hotel group distributes 30% of its profit after paying all taxes to all kind of community initiatives. The Tata group as a whole and Taj individually also has been applying the principles of sustainable development even much time before it was referred as sustainable development (Borstrock, 2014). As the group was involved in all aspects, including:

  • Governing corporate by a strict
  • Developing employee relations by every city of employee
  • Protecting environment with exhaustive codes
  • Maintaining Community through Initiatives by TaTa council of the community which embraces social development, environmental management, and employee volunteering

Evaluating the above meaning and benefits of sustainable development and also referring to the vision and mission of companies in hotel industry it would not right to say that luxury and green are not compatible goals for the hotel industry because such initiatives which are practised by the hotels can be used as a crucial marketing tool, also working with same values and co-operation among different hotel companies may help them to easily succeed and achieve their motives (Nickel, 2015). Keeping this in mind, luxury is not under reasonable price which is also one of the most major factors which are affecting people to make their choices for eco-certified hotels (Nickel, 2015). Also on the other side most of the companies in hotel industry are concerned about the environment and planning for the implementation of initiatives which is in pipeline may be due to minimal advantages as compared to costs and not incentives from the government to promote the implementation of sustainable development of green practices. Lack of knowledge about the different methods that can be used for protecting the environment and care for society in an effective way (Nickel, 2015).


Hence for the hotel companies to operate and change its methods takes time and the ability to look back with the expectation those are working on sustainable development are costly and has a lower rate of investment which is not true as any hotel can start with its green hotel process by starting with something as normal as setting out recycling bins or informing guests or customers to switch off the lights and electrical equipment in the rooms when they are not in the room. The hotel industry and companies have a high room to create awareness and promote sustainable development. They can arrange for training programs (Aynalem Aseres, 2015). A crucial factor towards becoming green building is to realize no steps towards this are same but every small step is important. Also, setting systems which are aimed for monitoring waste of energy, water or solid or other waste, this can be useful if for example if a hotel wants to check and evaluate that where the major part of energy was being used in the property (Aynalem Aseres, 2015). Setting goals and targets are great tools for observing the hotel’s progress in energy uses as well as their declining energy costs, therefore planning with sustainable development and focusing on luxury and green might help in hotels increasing business but also this may create awareness among the society about nature protection and good governance also such other factors and promote good living and enhance towards better world and society (Line and Hanks, 2015).


Ahn, Y. and Pearce, A. (2013). Green luxury: a case study of two green hotels. Journal of Green Building, 8(1), pp.90-119.

Aynalem Aseres, S. (2015). Potentialities of Community Participation in Community-based Ecotourism Development: Perspective of Sustainable Local Development a Case of Choke Mountain, Northern Ethiopia. Journal of Hotel & Business Management, 04(01).

Ayuso, S. (2007). Comparing Voluntary Policy Instruments for Sustainable Tourism: The Experience of the Spanish Hotel Sector. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 15(2), pp.144-159.

Borstrock, S. (2014). Do contemporary luxury brands adhere to historical paradigms of luxury?. Global Fashion Brands: Style, Luxury & History, 1(1), pp.231-248.

Green, M. (2008). Are international medical conferences an outdated luxury the planet can’t afford? Yes. BMJ, 336(7659), pp.1466-1466.

Kapferer, J. and Michaut-Denizeau, A. (2013). Is luxury compatible with sustainability? Luxury consumers’ viewpoint. Journal of Brand Management, 21(1), pp.1-22.

Kim, Y. and Han, H. (2010). Intention to pay conventional-hotel prices at a green hotel – a modification of the theory of planned behavior. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 18(8), pp.997-1014.

Kovesi, C. (2016). The Aura of Luxury: Cultivating the Believing Faithful from the Age      of Saints to the Age of Luxury Brands. Luxury, 3(1-2), pp.105-122.

Line, N. and Hanks, L. (2015). The effects of environmental and luxury beliefs on intention to patronize green hotels: the moderating effect of destination image. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 24(6), pp.904-925.

Mensah, I. (2013). Hotel Energy Efficiency towards Sustainable Tourism. Journal of Hotel & Business Management, 03(01).

Murphy, W. (2006). Air Conditioning—A Luxury or a Necessity in Green Buildings?. Journal of Green Building, 1(3), pp.69-81.

Nickel, P. (2015). Haute Philanthropy: Luxury, Benevolence, and Value. Luxury, 2(2), pp.11-31.

Picuno, P. (2016). Use of traditional material in farm buildings for a sustainable rural environment. International Journal of Sustainable Built Environment, 5(2), pp.451-460.

Poliakoff, M., Licence, P. and George, M. (2018). UN Sustainable Development Goals: how can sustainable/green chemistry contribute? By doing things differently. Current Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry.

Sekhon, Y. (2015). Sacred and Treasured Luxury: The Meaning and Value of Luxury Possessions amongst Second-generation Asian Indian Immigrants. Luxury, 2(2), pp.71-89.

Shen, H. and Zheng, L. (2010). Environmental management and sustainable development in the hotel industry: a case study from China. International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development, 9(1/2/3), p.194.

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