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Responsible resource management in hotels: attitudes, indicators, tools and strategies
KTH, School of Industrial Engineering and Management (ITM), Energy Technology.
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

Hotels constitute one of the main, and still expanding, pillars of the tourism sector and are highly unique among other commercial buildings. Resource intensive and frequently inefficient systems and operational routines applied in the sector, result in considerable environmental impact and indicate an urgent need for more environmentally sound practices and products in the hotel industry. A certain level of activity in the area of reducing resource use has been observed for quite some time but the motivation for this was related to cost-benefit issues rather than the environment. Furthermore, most of the initiatives are still considered to be best practice case studies and not daily routines. The constantly increasing prices of basic commodities, such as energy resources and water, encourage the implementation of energy and water efficiency and conservation measures in hotel facilities. To this end, numerous guidelines and initiatives have been produced by hotel-related organisations.

The study of attitudes among 610 European hoteliers indicated that, at the moment, the level of environmental awareness among hotel managers is not high enough to introduce significant changes, although attitudes differ depending on the country of origin and the corporate policy. The prospects of significant cost savings, as well as customer demand were identified as the most likely parameters to enhance environmental responsibility among hoteliers. The popularity of CSR reporting and sustainability indices, especially among the larger companies, leads the author to believe that the industry is preparing to change.

Many of the companies running hotels are also reporting their environmental management goals and indicators of environmental performance, while benchmarking and all types of comparison league tables are gaining popularity. There is, however, no system or methodology of data collection and monitoring that is universally accepted or applicable throughout the hotel sector. Furthermore, the accuracy and validity of the published performance indicators and benchmarks is widely debated due to large variations in the figures reported.

The analyses performed on data from over 180 upscale and mid-market European chain hotels (Hilton International and Scandic) indicated that even among relatively uniform (service-wise) hotels the amenities offered did influence consumption, further complicating the concept and applicability of uniform benchmarking and resource consumption modelling. It was thus concluded that, creating a uniform model for all hotels is almost impossible, or would require a significant amount of very detailed input data, and that the results could still be highly inaccurate. Instead, it was suggested that it might actually be more accurate to develop models for individual hotels. Such an approach would allow for the modelling of the behaviour of all types of hotels with no size, type of services or standard limitations. Multi-variate step-wise regression analyses performed on individual Scandic hotels in Sweden indicated that energy consumption was dependent on the outdoor air temperature/actual heating degree days, while water consumption was mainly influenced by the number of guest-nights sold.

Experience gained by the author during the process of the Hilton Environmental Reporting system upgrade allowed for the formulation of a set of rules of thumb that ought to be followed in the design of similar schemes. The experience of various regions and numerous companies also suggests that well designed and implemented environmental and resource management programs bring significant benefits at an individual as well as a corporate level. This study provides an indication of the strategies that can be used by various stakeholders in the process of development and implementation of such programs.

This research further suggests that future developments in environmental performance indicators and benchmarking may best be served by disaggregating hotels into modules (such as guest-rooms, catering outlets, conference centres) and developing consumption models and best practice indicators for these particular components. The individual efficiencies/performance indicators should then be combined and weighted to provide a just overall evaluation of a facility that could then be compared to a benchmark (developed in the same manner). In a similar manner, sustainability assessment schemes and indicators for destinations and communities could be developed. However, more accurate and differentiated knowledge

of the individual performance of sub-systems is necessary to proceed with such an alternative. In addition, the methodologies for data collection and reporting procedures, at all levels of the company and sector, need to be standardized and detailed

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2006.
Series
Trita-REFR, ISSN 1102-0245 ; 06/54
Keyword [en]
hotels, energy and water management, energy and water conservation, environmental awareness, environmental reporting, performance indicators, consumption modelling, benchmarking
National Category
Energy Engineering
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4131ISBN: 91-7178-451-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-4131DiVA: diva2:10873
Public defence
2006-10-30, FR4, AlbaNova, Roslagstullsbacken 2, Kungl Tekniska Högskolan, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100818Available from: 2006-10-06 Created: 2006-10-06 Last updated: 2010-08-18Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Attitudes towards sustainability in chain hotels – Results of a European survey
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Attitudes towards sustainability in chain hotels – Results of a European survey
2003 (English)In: Proceedings of the CIB International Conference on Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, 2003Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6216 (URN)
Conference
CIB International Conference on Smart and Sustainable Built Environment
Note
QC 20100818Available from: 2006-10-06 Created: 2006-10-06 Last updated: 2010-08-18Bibliographically approved
2. Attitudes towards environmental responsibility among Swedish, Polish and Croatian hoteliers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Attitudes towards environmental responsibility among Swedish, Polish and Croatian hoteliers
2004 (English)In: Proceedings of the BEST Sustainable Tourism Think Tank IV: Sustainability and mass destinations: Challanges and possibilities, 2004Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6217 (URN)
Conference
BEST Sustainable Tourism Think Tank IV
Note
QC 20100818Available from: 2006-10-06 Created: 2006-10-06 Last updated: 2010-08-18Bibliographically approved
3. European hoteliers’ environmental attitudes: Greening the business
Open this publication in new window or tab >>European hoteliers’ environmental attitudes: Greening the business
2005 (English)In: The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, ISSN 0010-8804, E-ISSN 1552-3853, Vol. 46, 188-204 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Although many hotels rely on the natural environmentto attract guests, a survey of European hoteliers findsthat environmental stewardship has taken a backseatto other operational concerns in many cases. Nevertheless,the surveyed hoteliers recognized that thehotel industry would do well to be more environmentallyconscious. Managers in chain-affiliatedhotels were generally more likely to pay attention toenvironmental issues than were independent operators,many of whom run small properties. The respondentsnoted that fewhotel guests demand that hotelsmaintain environmental programs.

Keyword
hotels; Europe; survey; environmental attitudes; environmental initiatives; incentives; independent hotels; chain-affiliated hotels
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6218 (URN)10.1177/0010880404273891 (DOI)2-s2.0-18144428784 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100818Available from: 2006-10-06 Created: 2006-10-06 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
4. Environmental awareness and initiatives in the Polish and Swedish hotel industries: survey results
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental awareness and initiatives in the Polish and Swedish hotel industries: survey results
2006 (English)In: International Journal of Hospitality Management, ISSN 0278-4319, E-ISSN 1873-4693, Vol. 25, no 4, 662-682 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Despite its importance, environmental stewardship is not always the top priority in the hotel industry in Europe. This study investigates the influence of the geo-political, economic and socio-cultural context of a country on the environmental attitudes and pro-ecological initiatives incorporated in this sector. To illustrate the differences, hotels in Sweden and Poland were targeted and a total of 349 hoteliers participated in an e-mail-based survey. The study reveals that hotel operators generally recognize the need for environmental protection and are involved in a number of activities. The economic situation and pro-environmental efforts initiated by the government were found to have an impact on certain aspects of hoteliers’ attitudes and actions. The survey has further indicated the two major directions that need to be followed when introducing environmental sustainability into the hotel industry. The first involves incorporating responsible technical and behavioural practices in the sector. The second highlights the necessity of initiating greater demand for “green” practices from the customers.

Keyword
Hotels; Environmental awareness; Environmental initiatives; Survey; Poland; Sweden
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6219 (URN)10.1016/j.ijhm.2005.06.006 (DOI)2-s2.0-33749354156 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100818Available from: 2006-10-06 Created: 2006-10-06 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
5. Environmental education at Scandic hotels: approach and results
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental education at Scandic hotels: approach and results
2004 (English)In: Proceedings of the Regional Central and Eastern European Conference on Sustainable Building (SB04), 2004Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6220 (URN)
Conference
Regional Central and Eastern European Conference on Sustainable Building (SB04)
Note
QC 20100818Available from: 2006-10-06 Created: 2006-10-06 Last updated: 2010-08-18Bibliographically approved
6. Environmental training and measures at Scandic hotels, Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental training and measures at Scandic hotels, Sweden
2005 (English)In: Tourism Review International, ISSN 1544-2721, Vol. 9, no 1, 7-19 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6221 (URN)
Note
QC 20100818Available from: 2006-10-06 Created: 2006-10-06 Last updated: 2010-08-18Bibliographically approved
7. Sustainable hotels: environmental reporting according to Green Globe 21, Green Globes Canada / GEM UK, IHEI benchmarkhotel and Hilton Environmental Reporting
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Sustainable hotels: environmental reporting according to Green Globe 21, Green Globes Canada / GEM UK, IHEI benchmarkhotel and Hilton Environmental Reporting
2005 (English)In: Proceedings of Sustainable Building (SB05) Conference, 2005, 1642-1649 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6222 (URN)
Conference
Sustainable Building (SB05) Conference
Note
QC 20100818Available from: 2006-10-06 Created: 2006-10-06 Last updated: 2010-08-18Bibliographically approved
8. Determinants and benchmarking of resource consumption in hotels: case study of Hilton International and Scandic in Europe
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Determinants and benchmarking of resource consumption in hotels: case study of Hilton International and Scandic in Europe
2007 (English)In: Energy and Buildings, ISSN 0378-7788, E-ISSN 1872-6178, Vol. 39, no 1, 82-95 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper reports on a study of resource consumption in 184 Hilton International and Scandic hotels in Europe. An overview of the characteristics of these two brands (upscale and mid-market, respectively), as well as the collective resource consumption in these hotels is presented (2004 data). This is followed by a more detailed analysis of a number of physical and operational factors that may potentially influence the energy and water use in these hotels. A multiple variable regression analysis indicated that, in the absence of climate data, hotel standard, total hotel floor area, number of guest-nights sold and number of food covers sold all affect the energy and water use in these facilities. The survey results further document significant differences in the energy- and water-utilisation in Hilton and Scandic hotels. This indicates that establishing realistic resource consumption benchmarks or models requires classifying hotels (especially those belonging to the upscale brand) into sufficiently specialised sub-groups representing facilities with comparable properties. It is further suggested that benchmarking of facility components may be necessary. The paper concludes with some recommendations on the procedure and criteria for establishing a useful reporting system and benchmarking model.

Keyword
Hotel; Resource consumption; Physical and operational factors; Benchmarking; Modelling; Hilton International; Scandic
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6223 (URN)10.1016/j.enbuild.2006.05.005 (DOI)000243247300010 ()2-s2.0-33751583652 (Scopus ID)
Note
QC 20100818Available from: 2006-10-06 Created: 2006-10-06 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
9. A study of resource consumption and modelling in mid-market chain hotels in Stockholm
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A study of resource consumption and modelling in mid-market chain hotels in Stockholm
(English)In: Building and Environment, ISSN 0360-1323, E-ISSN 1873-684XArticle in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6224 (URN)
Note
QC 20100818Available from: 2006-10-06 Created: 2006-10-06 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
10. A case study of Hilton Environmental Reporting as a tool of Corporate Social Responsibility
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A case study of Hilton Environmental Reporting as a tool of Corporate Social Responsibility
2007 (English)In: Tourism Review International, ISSN 1544-2721, Vol. 11, no 2, 115-131 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has recently reached the agenda of tourism businesses, and many of the hotel corporations are declaring their environmental and social responsibilities. This article presents a case study of the on-going CSR-related initiative at Hilton International and Scandic—the Hilton Environmental Reporting (HER) system. In order to improve the monitoring of performance of its facilities, Hilton corporate management decided to create HER, an environmental reporting and benchmarking system for all its facilities. This article reports on the history, criteria, and procedures within this computerized reporting tool created by Addsystems. The development and implementation process of the upgraded version of the system is also presented. This process brought to light a number of aspects that need to be addressed while developing such systems (i.e., the need for proper technical and IT support, training, and data verification, as well as strong and continuous management support). This knowledge could be used to help other tourism and hotel businesses develop their own reporting, monitoring, and benchmarking schemes within the CSR concept.

Keyword
HILTON ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING (HER); HILTON INTERNATIONAL; SCANDIC; PERFORMANCE REPORTING; PERFORMANCE BENCHMARKING; HOTELS; COMPUTERIZED SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-6225 (URN)10.3727/154427207783948937 (DOI)
Note
QC 20100818Available from: 2006-10-06 Created: 2006-10-06 Last updated: 2010-08-18Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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  • ieee
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  • Other locale
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Output format
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