Progress Process And Prospect Of Green Hotels Environmental Sciences Essay

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1st Jan 1970 Environmental Sciences Reference this

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Shortage of natural resources and environmental pollutions are considered as signs of global warming and serious world climatic threat in the last few decades. Hence, environmental conservation has been increasing important to all sectors of the economy for the countries. Though there are many tourism authorities that have created the standards or certifications for environmentally sustainable hotels, very few Malaysia hotels have policies addressing the issues. This study aims to define the progress of Malaysian hotel Industry and proposing the effectiveness and prospect for Malaysian environmental hotels.

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Research Objective

As green becomes the color of the day, the big unknown, however, is whether the rest of the industry will follow suit as well as the uncertainty demand for green hotel. Green hotel always close related to sustainability. A sustainable hotel should have as small a footprint (calculation the sum of a building’s environmental impact) as possible. However, it is nearly impossible to achieve a zero footprint in reality. Most hotels could become truly “carbon neutral” only by purchasing green credits or carbon-offsetting (e.g., paying a company to plant trees to counteract the hotel’s carbon-dioxide emissions). In fact, it requires considerable of money for a hotel moving theirs step towards green practices by conserving energy, water and solid waste management, etc. Therefore, the objectives in this study are:

To investigate the main factor that influence regular hotel change into green hotel

To discover the proper ways that make the regular hotel become green hotel

To perceive the future of the hotel after become green

Problem Statement

Recently more people are embracing a green lifestyle. Since existing buildings contribute almost 80% of the carbon emissions in some cities through their energy use, a major focus of these efforts has been on sustainable construction. Hotels use a tremendous amount of energy and water as well as collect a huge amount of waste. By doing their part to conserve, recycle, and reduce, they are protecting the planet as well as providing a great place for eco-friendly guests to stay. The purpose of this research is to examine the current state of green hotel industry. Further this study also makes the hospitality industry taking an initiative or implement for the sake of the environment. The industry is aware of these concerns, and has been investigating environmentally-friendly alternatives that would still prove consistent with guest concerns for at least the last 15 years. 

Theoretical Framework

Green hotel is created to decrease the amount of waste entering landfills and increase the amount of waste that can be recycled. Hospitality industry must change their strategy into “green” movement also they have to searching practical environmental that lead to a better world.  The hotel industry could benefit economically from the green movement, first by attracting guests who wish to adopt a greener lifestyle, as well as saving money through cost-saving energy practices and equipment adjustments. Being green means ‘Green’ hotels are adopting environmentally friendly practices and programs that will reduce energy management (Amy 2009), water conservation (JeongDoo), and waste management (Evans, 2008).






Figure 1 : Conceptual framework of the main practices of being a green hotel








“Green” Hotels are environmentally-friendly properties whose managers are eager to institute programs that save water, save energy and reduce solid waste while saving money to help protect our one and only earth. Recently more hotels are embracing a green lifestyle. Being green means guests, staff and management are healthier. Since existing buildings contribute almost 80% of the carbon emissions in some cities through their energy use, a major focus of these efforts has been on sustainable construction. Many hotels are responding to consumer demands for a healthier and greener lifestyle by making their business more environmentally friendly. Not only consumer demand, financial incentives also like to encourage the hospitality industry to continue developing more environmentally friendly hotel.

Being green means hotel are adopting environmentally friendly practices and programs that will reduce energy, water and waste (Amy, 2009). Green efforts can be as basic as water conservation measures (such as encouraging the re-use of guest linens), housekeepers employing environmentally safe cleaning products or Eco-sensitive spa and bath amenities to grander initiatives such as all-green construction (Kathy, 2007). Among the more pronounced Eco efforts are recently built hotels that weave the use of ecologically sound construction materials and ideas into their very conception.

Expect further greening of hotels as consumer demand increases. According to a survey conducted by the Travel Industry Association and Partnership, most adults say they would be more likely to select an hotel that uses more environmentally friendly products and processes, because environmentally friendly product make them become more healthier.

Besides providing a positive effect, green hotel also give some problems. Hotel must pay more to get friendly product, also they have to looking for a new place to develop their green hotel. It means that they must cutting down a forest to build their green hotel. And that makes our environment become more diminish.

Literature Review

The Origin of Green Practices

The hotel industry, like many other did not entertain the concept of saving energy for many years, as oil prices were at an all time low in the 1980’s and the early part 1990s (Hirschland, Oppenheim and Webb, 2008). The chemical and oil industries were the first to come under investigation by environmentalist due to the visible nature of their environmental impact. The hospitality an industry took a long time to come under scrutiny and as a result was slow to take responsibility in reducing the impact of their business were having on the environment. The concept of green or friendly hotel has become a very serious and profound topic within the hospitality arena in the past decade. Bowman (1975, p.74) states that a “series of widely publicized environmental catastrophes signaled the globalization of environmental concern and that society has entered the last stage of a process that has taken humans from fearing, to understanding, to using, to abusing, and now to worrying about the physical and biological world around them

Hospitality providers are now been forced to take responsibility for the impact their services are having on the environment. In 1996, Agenda 21 for the travel and tourism industry made hospitality providers aware of the need to enhance sustainability development. There is evidence in today’s literature to suggest the implementation of environmental practices is widespread across the hospitality industry as the benefit are infinite, the most important being financial sustainability. Pizman (2009) believes that many hospitality organizations are not interested in environmental sustainability for altruistic or ethical reasons, but are purely investing in environmental practices for selfish profitable reasons.

Houdre (2006), Brown (2006) and Stark (2009) have made it clear that the prime reason for implementing environmental practices is geared towards profitability. Cotton (2007) believes that the purpose of running any business is to make a profit and so it is alarming the number of hospitality organizations that are not adopting green practices in order to drive long term profitability. This suggests that there are barriers and obstacles with regard to the implementation of environmental practices in the hospitality industry.

Green Hotels in Malaysia

Over the past decade many organization, both in the private and the public sectors have recognized the value of a systematic approach to the management of their organization (Abdallah, 2007). Superficially, it might be argued that environmental management is not important issue in the Malaysian hotel industry. Comparing with the other environmentally developed hotel industry from other countries, Malaysia hotel industry appears lacking in the awareness for environmentally policy (Azusa, 2009).

There is a realization among many hotels that environmental management does not solely mean preventing their surroundings from being polluted. Daily operational activities and consideration, which range from the use of recycled papers to minimizing the use of heavy chemicals also provide a significant cost saving measure for hotels (Hong and Parker, 2004). Therefore, it is not true to state that investment in environmental management practices will result in the escalation of operational costs and erosion of profit margins (Foster, Sampson and Dunn, 2000)

According to the five hotels in Malaysia have been chosen as the new recipients of the ASEAN Green Hotel Award 2010, bringing the total number of such hotel in the country to 10.the five hotels are The Andaman Langkawi in Sedah, Shangri-LA’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa in Kota Kinabalu. Mines Wellnes Hotel in Selangor, Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort in Tuaran and Renaissance Kuala Lumpur Hotel. The ASEAN Green Hotel Award 2008 recipients which managed to retain their status were Hotel Melia Kuala Lumpur, Nexus Resort Karambunai in Sabah, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa in Penang, Shangri-la’s Hotel Kuala Lumpur and The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa. The ASEAN Green Hotel Standard is an essential tool to support ASEAN as a world class quality destination.

Zero Waste Approach – Going Beyond Best Practices

This report discusses several topics that illustrate ways hotel are becoming greener. Although implementing the best practices saves money, this report shows how to go beyond best practices. The goal being a friendly hotel is to eliminate as much as possible the negative impacts on the environment both by reducing consumption of resources and by changing the practices so that the waste hotel produce can be used as raw material. Achieving zero waste may or may not possible in the foreseeable future. What matters is working towards zero waste by continuing to implement programs as new opportunities to use previously wasted materials become available. Nowadays a few leading hotels are striving to become zero waste brands, which does not necessarily mean the elimination of all by-product. It means using resources efficiently, using renewable resources and when generation of by-products is unavoidable, using those by-product as raw material for other processes. Besides implementing zero waste, energy conservation and water conservation also important to practices the green hotel.

The cost savings and environmental benefits of the zero waste initiative more important and it takes to launch such a program. The process of reaching zero waste takes several months to complete with most organizations seeing viable results after the first year (Thayne, 2010). The zero waste process must involve every member of the hotel, with a core team or steering committee overseeing the initiative. To achieve zero waste hotels must identify how much waste exists in the organization past to the initiative and work together with the each member of the department to determine the amount of waste created in each category.

A few leading hotels today are determined to become zero waste brand, which does not necessarily mean the elimination of all by products. It means that using resources efficiently, using renewable resources and when generation of by product is unavoidable, using those by products as raw material for other processes (Abhinav and Rajeshwari, 2001).

Environmental Management Practices (EMP)

Over the past decade many organization, both in the private and the public sectors, have recognized the value of a systematic approach to the management of their organizations. Apparently, it might be argued that environmental management is not an important issue in the Malaysian hotel industry. After all, certain groups might argue that it is impossible for the hotels to be environmentally aware due to high investment cost involved. However, upon deeper examination of the subject might reveal that hotels in Malaysia cannot avoid confronting this issue for long if they are to remain competitive (Ahmad, 2007). There is a realization among many hotels that environmental management does not only mean preventing their surroundings from being polluted. Daily operational activities and consideration, which range from the use of recycled papers to minimizing the use of heavy chemicals also provide a significant cost saving measure for hotel (Hong & Parker, 2004).

Environmental management is a management framework for reducing environmental impacts and improving hotel performance overtime. In other words, environmental management provide hotel of all types with a structures approach for managing environmental and regulatory responsibilities to improve overall environmental performance (Vandermerwe & Oliff, 1990). Environmental management practice initiatives consist of several practices such as having an environmental policy, training and rewarding workers to find opportunities to prevent pollution, setting corporation wide internal standards, undertaking internal environmental audits and adopting the philosophy of total quality management in environmental management (Khanna & Anton, 2002). In general, environmental management practice would include the extent to which a company has defined its environmental policy, developed procedures to establish environmental objectives, to select and implemented environmental practices assessed the outcomes of such practices and has allocated environmental responsibilities (Klassen & Whybark, 1996).

Such an pressure in the hotel industry would mean that environmental management should be studied from all technical and organizational angles so as to reduce the environmental impact caused by a hotel’ business operations. The benefit of adopting Environmental Management Practices is multifarious. For instance, of the streamlining of a hotel’s operational activities to be consonant with environmental needs will accrue savings (Rondinelli & Vastag, 1995) through the prevention of environmental degradation in turn leading to reduced cost of production and higher profit (Pava & Krausz, 1997; Russo, Fouts & Paul, 1997; Waddoek & Graves, 1997). Ultimately, the implementation of Environmental Management Practices’ may provide hotels with unique environmental resources operation, capabilities and benefits that may confer a competitive advantage to practitioners (Hart, 1995; Klassen & Whybark, 1999). Such benefit may obtain from image benefit, embracing of eco-tourism and cost saving (Aalders, 2002; Holland & Foo, 2003; Kollman, 2001; Prakash, 2002).

Energy Efficiency

Hotels are the largest consumers of energy not only in building construction but also as establishment with complex installations, which provide guests with high level of multi-faceted comfort and exclusive amenities, treatment and facilities. Many of the services provided to hotel guests are highly resource intensive whether it concerns energy, water or raw materials. A significant amount of the energy used is wasted leaving sample for intelligent measures of energy efficiency and conservation (Joseph, 2009). Since the installation of energy, water and raw material saving techniques in hotels can achieve environmental progress and offer competitive advantages to hotels in outperforming their counterparts, many new energy saving facilities have been introduced by the hotel sector in the past few years following technological advances (Willy, 2009).

The increase in energy price means that energy conservation efforts should be taken to reduce the effect of energy cost (Weng Wai, Buang and Abdul Hakim, p.58, 2006). As stated by Yukata Mizuta (2003), energy conservation may not only bring reductions in carbon dioxide emission, but may also lead to saving in the expenditure on energy. On a worldwide basis, the energy used in the hotels is predominantly fossil fuel based or comes from nuclear reactors (Philip, 2009). A truly sustainable hotel must not only consider ways to use energy wisely but should also consider the possibilities of enhancing the use of energy from renewable resources. About 40% of the energy used in a hotel is electricity, 60% comes from natural gas and oils fuels (Niki, 2008). These energy bearers are brought in by the hotel. The energy is converted by a number of conversion into the most important internal flows of energy namely heat, cold and lighting. Heat is used in the form of hot water; hot water is used in the form of hot tap water. Cold is used mainly for cooling and drying the ventilation air, mostly cold is produced in the form of ice water.

Figure 1. Energy consumption that use in the hotel

Lighting is one of the largest electrical energy consumers in the hotels, as in many other kinds of utility buildings. Figure 1 shows that some 35% of the total energy consumption in hotel goes to lighting. Lighting installation must provide adequate levels of lighting for each activity. Bright and comfort level are also important for lighting inside the hotels, depending on the area where lighting are required. Lighting levels necessary for each zone are established in the lighting regulations of each particular country. These levels should be reached by the most suitable lamps for each application. When it comes to the energy savings that can be made on lighting, there are two main ways.

Efficient lighting

Required lighting is supplied by light resources, which are made up of lamp and luminaries.

The choice of light source depends on various criteria, e.g.: efficiency color temperature, color representation index, lamp life, emission mode…etc. Lighting in the different areas of the hotels have different requirement, but it is very important that the most efficient lamp is chosen for each application.

Smart switching

Another savings can be achieved with “smart switching” of lighting. Lighting is frequently switched on unnecessarily when there is sufficient daylight or there is nobody in the room.

With manual operated system especially, light tend to be left burning needlessly.

Water Conservation

Water conservation encourage hotel to manage how and when water is being used, handle both the technical and human side of water management issues. It is estimated that by 2010, water use increase to approximately 475 gallons per day for each hotel room (Sarah, 2002).however in other accommodations, water uses still a cost and an important stress on the local environment. In many cases water conservation can be a matter of purchasing and using the proper systems. Factors that consider water sources may include renewability, potential impact on the environment and water supplies as well as economic benefit. Some of developing countries, hotel water use may impact the water supplies of the local people. Any water use reduction program must have full support of the each member of the hotel. Some hotel estimated that only small percentage of water consumed by the guest, the remainder is used by the chambermaids during cleaning. Water is crucial resources for the hospitality industry as it limited resource and needed for number activities as illustrated in figure 2.

Figure 2. Hotel water system and use

Identifying where water use is extreme important to hotel in developing areas. With increasing awareness of cost saving opportunities through water conservation, various related programs have been developed and implemented among hotel companies. According to Marriott International (2007) linen reuse program, encouraging guests to reuse lines and towels during they stay contributes to saving 11 to 17% on hot water. Previous literature also reported that linen and towel reuse programs are well-established practices in hotel in most countries, with more than two-thirds of the respondents in studies conducted in different countries using such program (Bohdanowicz, 2006; Erdogan and Baris 2007; Mensah, 2006). This program saves not only hot water and energy, but also reduces the use of detergents and thereby reduces wastewater.

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Waste Management

Hospitality industry can become important factor in the minimization of waste that is currently disposed of at landfill sites. Waste management has been designed and implemented to reduce the volume and toxicity of garbage (Iwanowski and Rushmore, 1994). Erdogan and Barish (2007) conducted a study to examine environmental practices and found that paper and food waste are the greatest amount of waste generated sources of hotels. Previous research indicates that the level of hotels’ commitment to waste sorting and recycling varies, depending on regulatory pressures and local government’s support.

Waste minimization and management involves reduce, reuse and recycling. These efforts combine to minimize the amount of waste disposed and the cost of disposal and help to ensure that final disposal is done in an approved and sustainable manner. Minimizing waste generation begins in purchasing function. Purchasing in bulk, using product manufactured from recycled materials, controlling the usage of product to avoid waste and working with supplier to minimize product packaging are all proven ways to minimize waste generation (David, 2002)

Reuse as a means of waste reduction has been practiced in the hospitality industry for many years; beverage container such as those holding syrup concentrate and beer kegs are typical. Reuse does not have to happen on the property itself; used linens can be donated to shelters or other charitable organizations for reuse (Willy, 2009). Reusing materials is better choice than recycling, burning or landfill. Reusing different from recycling, recycling breaks down an item into the basic parts and makes a new product out of it, but reusing an items keeps the material in its original form and uses the item over and over again for the same or different purpose.

Recycling as a means of conservation can be turned into revenue steam. The price paid for recycled materials varies geographically and over time (Philip, 2009). A recycled product describes a product that is made entirely or partly from secondary material recovered from consumer waste. Some product are reduced to their raw state and remanufactured into something resembling their original state. In the case of recycled paper, the newspaper gathered from guest bedrooms and the used notepaper coming from the hotel copy shop are reduced back to their raw state of paper pulp which is then used to produce more paper. Unfortunately, many products recycled in this manner come back as lesser quality product (David, 2002).

Reduce as a means lessening the amount items or resources that are consumed using the amount that is needed. The example of the reduce task that hotel can do is; reduce the amount and toxicity of trash that hotel discard, possibilities include purchasing durable, long lasting goods, seeking product and packaging that are as toxin free as possible and redesigning products to use fewer raw materials in production, last longer or can be used again after their original purpose.

Hotel activities should be able to be safely assimilated into natural system, thus highlighting the need of solid and liquid management techniques

Figure 3. Wastage that generated by hotel

Solid waste in hotels has many components, including paper, food, various metals, plastics, aluminum and glass. This gives a picture of the variety of waste that can be produces by only a small number of hotels in a city. When looked at with a zero-waste attitude, these figures show the opportunities for both resource recovery and waste reduction. Implementing a solid waste reduction program in a hotel can create significant cost savings in waste hauling fees while creating a more environmentally friendly hotel (Sarah, 2002). This is especially true as solid waste becomes a more significant environmental issue and landfill fees increase.

Often hotels hesitate to establish program in solid management because of the coordination and cooperation needed among management, employees and guests. However the cost benefit is an incentive.

Implementing Green Initiatives

While many companies and individuals talk about ways they can help the environment, it is still only a few that are actually creating a plan of action. Meeting Professionals International or MPI took its first step in 2006 at the Professional Education Conference, a convention of meeting planners from around the world. MPI worked with the convention center to recycle products from the meeting by donating leftover food bank, donating signs to local schools for art projects and using green catering for conference events (Gardner, 2006). These are simple ways to add a green initiative to the hotel and incorporate a no waste practice at little cost.

One way meeting planners can learn what a hotel provides in term of green practice is by placing green request into the request for proposal. Some planners are asking for recycling programs to be in place. Planners are also requesting that hotels have complete green programs in place or their hotel will not be chosen for an event (Gardner, 2006)

Banquet Department

According to Nancy Wilson of Meeting Strategies Worldwide, these are some steps that can be taken to green the hotel:

Use e-mail instead of paper mail

Use an online registration system

Forgo handing out conference bags unless they are made of recycled materials

A really interesting thought is to choose hotels either near the airport or close to all activities relating to the meeting (Gardner, 2006). This will limit carbon dioxide emissions by limiting the need for vehicular transportation from one location to the next.

As for food service, the banquet department should update how food and coffee breaks are presented to the guest. Instead of individually wrapped sweets, honey, jams and creams, the hotel needs to switch to bulk containers that can be reused many times, creating less trash (McPhee, 2006). In addition, instead of throwaway utensils, silverware should be supplied to stir coffee and tea. Refillable water jugs that can be set up sporadically throughout the meeting space with real glasses available should be used in place of bottled water.

Changing the lighting to energy efficient bulbs in the meeting space, fitness center and employee only areas of the hotel will be high priority. Groups have specific lighting needs for the meeting space, but the fitness center and back of house do not need to have many different types of lighting. Fortunately, there are many new efficient bulbs that can now be dimmed and adjusted to the groups’ needs in the event space (Fedrizzi and Rogers, 2002).

The more intense project will be installing motion sensors throughout the meeting space and back of house. These areas are used for a large amount of time each day, but there are times when no one would be in the areas at all. If the sensors could turn the light on and off when someone walks in or out of a room by detecting body heat, then the energy would be reduce in comparison to when the lights are left on continuously (Serlen, 2008).

Guest Room

The guest room is a difficult location to implement changes, as it requires the guest to believe what the hotel would like to change. If the guest wants new sheets each day, then the hotel most likely will oblige the guest to make them happy. That being said, many initiatives can be taken to make it easy for the guest to participate in the new policies.

Another aspect is how to save energy in empty guest rooms. According to Jeff Sobieski (2008), hotel guestrooms are unoccupied approximately 60% of the time. This mean that for 60% of the time, the hotel can be in control of the temperature and lighting of a guestroom and manage how much energy is being used during that time without interfering with the guest’s comfort.

The following are two examples of energy saving scenarios that can take place in guest rooms. The first is to change light bulbs to energy efficient light bulbs that will last long and use less power. The other change is the “turn off’ program. This program will have the Thermostat linked to the hotel database so the temperature can change when the guest check in and out. This system can also reset itself anytime the guest leaves the room (Freed, 2008). Also, if the room has a balcony, anytime the balcony door opens, the temperature will reset itself.

Ran in conjunction with the second scenario, the “turn off” program, hotels can use in-room occupancy detectors. These detectors use body heat sensors to scan the room to check is a guest has entered or exited the room. Once it detects that someone is in the room, the system will return the temperature of the room back to the guest’s preference. The sensors can also be used as a way to keep the lights from being left on all day and night. If there is no movement in a present amount of time, the sensors can report database that it is OK to turn off the lights. While this will save energy, some guest prefers to walk into a room with light. This can be fixed by having a hall light turn on when the front door opens so the guest is not entering a dark room. This can be managed by a sensor or by a connection between the door and the light (Hanna, 2008).


The areas of restaurant and kitchens that are not seen by guests can save energy through a study of how the appliances are used and comparing that to how they are supposed to be used. The main way to save energy in the kitchens is to teach the staff the proper way to use the equipment (Jones, 2002). For example teach the staff to close the refrigerator door when not in use. In addition, keeping the equipment cleaned and maintained will make sure that the equipment is running at its best level; this will help ensure the lowest amount of energy would be used (Lawn, 2008)

The idea of replacing the appliances in the laundry area also can be applied to hotel kitchens. For example, a new energy star steam cooker can be 60% more efficient than the regular models available (Brodsky, 2005). This type of savings can be applied to all the appliances.

Housekeeping or Laundry

The energy saving in the laundry area will require some installing of new appliances and systems. While there will be an initial cost associated with the new appliances, it will save energy in the long run. The first change will be to install new gas dryers that can dry fabric more quickly and use less energy. The other new system is a heat recovery unit that can save the heat from the old water cycle in the laundry and transfer the heat to the clean water being used in the next cycle (Fedrizzi and Rogers, 2002). Both of these options are creating new ways to conserve energy, but not changing the actual process of doing laundry.

The hotel’s housekeeping staff would be responsible for watching for leaks throughout all guest rooms and hotel space. According to Ashwin Patel (2008), a single leak can waste 10,000 liters annually; all sinks, showers and toilets need to be checked for leaks. These are initial step and easy fixes that can be taken while waiting for larger initiatives to take place.

Expectation from Green Hotel

For many

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