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Sustainability in the global hotel industry

Sustainability in the global hotel industry Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide an exploratory review of how the global hotel industry publicly communicates its approach to sustainability. Design/methodology/approach – The paper begins with an outline of the growing importance of sustainability within the hospitality industry and a short discussion of the characteristics of sustainability. The paper draws its empirical material from the most recent information on sustainability posted on the world's leading hotel chains' corporate websites. Findings – The findings reveal that while there is considerable variation in the information the leading hotel chains provided publicly on their sustainability commitments and achievements, they embrace a wide range of environmental, social and economic issues. More critically, the authors argue that these commitments are driven more by the search for efficiency gains, that they are couched within existing business models centred on continuing growth, and that as such the global hotel industry is currently pursuing a “weak” rather than a “strong” model of sustainability. Practical implications – The paper suggests that although the leading global hotel companies are well placed to take a leading role in promoting sustainability, they may need to extend their sustainability reporting and to introduce external assurance procedures. Originality/value – The paper provides an accessible review of the sustainability agendas currently being pursued within the global hotel industry and as such it will interest academics, students and practitioners interested in both the hospitality industry and corporate sustainability strategies. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management Emerald Publishing

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References (39)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
0959-6119
DOI
10.1108/IJCHM-10-2012-0180
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide an exploratory review of how the global hotel industry publicly communicates its approach to sustainability. Design/methodology/approach – The paper begins with an outline of the growing importance of sustainability within the hospitality industry and a short discussion of the characteristics of sustainability. The paper draws its empirical material from the most recent information on sustainability posted on the world's leading hotel chains' corporate websites. Findings – The findings reveal that while there is considerable variation in the information the leading hotel chains provided publicly on their sustainability commitments and achievements, they embrace a wide range of environmental, social and economic issues. More critically, the authors argue that these commitments are driven more by the search for efficiency gains, that they are couched within existing business models centred on continuing growth, and that as such the global hotel industry is currently pursuing a “weak” rather than a “strong” model of sustainability. Practical implications – The paper suggests that although the leading global hotel companies are well placed to take a leading role in promoting sustainability, they may need to extend their sustainability reporting and to introduce external assurance procedures. Originality/value – The paper provides an accessible review of the sustainability agendas currently being pursued within the global hotel industry and as such it will interest academics, students and practitioners interested in both the hospitality industry and corporate sustainability strategies.

Journal

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Feb 4, 2014

Keywords: Hospitality; Sustainability; Global hotel industry

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