Current environmental issues in the hospitality industry
In recent years, environmental issues have become more and more important for society, governments and businesses across the world – and the hospitality industry is no exception.
Sustainability simply is the ability to maintain processes or states at a certain level or rate into the future, when people talk about sustainability in a social context, they generally mean meeting the needs of the current generation without negatively affecting the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. In an economic context, an organisation is said to be sustainable if it has adapted the ways in which it does business to reduce the impact on the environment. This usually includes practices like using renewable resources, reducing waste, and water use.
In an environmental context, sustainability describes the ability of an ecosystem to maintain its normal processes (e.g. seasons), functions (e.g. weather patterns including rainfall), biodiversity (e.g. the range of different animals and plants) and productivity (e.g. fertile soil) into the future. To be sustainable, regardless of context, the Earth’s resources must be used at a rate at which they can be replenished
Waste management is a big issue for the hospitality industry because hospitality businesses produce a range of waste materials, some in very large quantities. There is a growing need for long term, environmentally responsible solutions to the management of waste products. A good waste management plan today should aim to decrease the amount of waste going to landfill and increase the amount of waste that can be recycled.
Energy use and efficiency
Reducing energy consumption is another way hospitality businesses can become more sustainable. In Australia, coal power stations generate a large percentage of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere, so reducing energy consumption by using energy more efficiently to provide the same services will reduce the impact on the environment. There are a number of different ways in which businesses can become more energy efficient, including fitting energy saver light globes or maximising natural light. Efficient energy use is achieved by means of a more efficient technology or course of action rather than by changes in individual behaviour.
Resource and efficiency
Using a range of resources (e.g. plastics, wood and paper products) efficiently is also important to improve overall sustainability
Water resource management
Another environmental issue for businesses to consider is water resource management. The welfare of our population and environment depend on good management and sensible use of water especially as we have drought and long-term climate change factors to consider. Practices such as hosing down areas late at night or early morning rather than during the heat of the day also ensure that water resource management is efficient
Recycling and re-use
The process of recycling has become more and more important for hospitality business over the past few decades. Recycling includes the collection and sorting of recyclable materials (e.g. glass, paper, plastic), as well as the processing of those materials into new products. Recycling preserves raw materials that manufacturers would otherwise use to produce new products. Recycling also assists in reducing the amount of rubbish going into landfills. This helps reduce the pollution that may result from waste disposal and adds to the saving of resources for our environment. In the hospitality industry,