3rd Edition of Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: Principles of Sustainable Operations

The 3rd edition of our textbook Sustainability in the Hospitality Industry: Principles of Sustainable Operations available globally.

Moving from 15 to 18 chapters supported by 75 industry case studies and information boxes, this new edition is an essential reading for all interested in hospitality management, in business strategies and in the management of the environmental, social and economic pillars in hospitality operations and business strategies.

The update was necessary to reflect the many advances in sustainability, whether discussing third- generation solar cells, energy payback time, energy-water nexus calculation or strategy for decarbonisation within the chapter on Energy or the management of fats, oils and crease and the use of circular approach within the chapter on Waste. Similarly, new chapters were introduced to include the management of Accessibility in Hospitality and Tourism, Certification and Ecolabels as well as the internalisation of Externalities & Environmental Accounting for example.

Thanks to Arnfinn Oines at Soneva Resorts, Residences and Spas for the cover page photograph (by Jörg Sundermann) of the Starlight Table at Fresh in the Garden Restaurant, Soneva Fushi, Maldives.

Below is a preview/summary of each chapter.

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1 The rationale for sustainable development

Chapter 1 looks at the concept and roots of climate change. It develops further by addressing the linkages between the economy, the carrying capacity of the planet and the management of natural resources. The chapter closes by clarifying the links between the global issues and the relationship between economics, people and the environment.

2 Sustainable development and the hospitality industry

Chapter 2 introduces the general concept of sustainability and sustainable development. Definitions of ‘sustainable development’ and ‘sustainable hospitality’ are discussed. The chapter explores the development of ‘sustainability-thinking’ from a historical perspective and explores the dimensions of a ‘sustainable hospitality’ using best practices examples.

3 Energy management

Chapter 3 reviews the importance of energy for the hospitality industry. The chapter provides an analysis of a typical hotel’s energy usage and carbon footprint and describes the water-energy nexus. The concepts of renewable and non-renewable energy sources are explained, followed by a detailed analysis of the possibilities and application of the different forms of energy used in hotels: solar, wind, geothermal, wave, hydro and biomass. The chapter also discusses the use of energy-efficient technologies in hotels, the process of decarbonisation and carbon offsetting as well as the activities involved in installing an energy management programme.

4 Waste management

Chapter 4 starts by defining and describing the various forms of waste and explaining the impacts of waste on the environment and communities. It follows with a discussion on waste management strategy, including waste avoidance, waste reduction, waste recycling and waste disposal methods in the hospitality industry. It concludes by introducing the concept of eco-procurement and exploring the ‘circular approach’ as methods to avoid or minimize waste.

5 Water management

Chapter 5 focuses on the issues surrounding water usage, water quality, water availability and water conservation. The chapter explores the linkages between water, the ecosystems and sustainable development. The water footprint in food is also discussed. Techniques for water conservation and use of water efficient technologies as well as the implementation of a water management strategy are discussed.

6 Eco-design and facilities development

Chapter 6 begins by explaining the impacts buildings and hotels have on the natural and societal environments. The chapter continues by underlying the principles of eco-design in construction and architecture as well as site selection. It also explains the theory of embodied energy in construction material and discusses the waste created and resources used in the construction of a hospitality operation. The chapter reviews the leading construction certification systems available and concludes with a discussion on the value of sustainability in the definition of luxury.

7 Food security

Chapter 7 starts by analysing factors related to the world food crisis and challenges as well as the impacts linked to conventional agriculture and food security. Food production systems and food scares are discussed. The linkages between agricultural inputs and the Western diet are examined.

8 Agriculture and sourcing

Chapter 8 continues from Chapter 7 by introducing issues in sourcing the most important input of hotel and restaurant operations. A brief insight into agriculture to pave the way for a deeper understanding of the effects of sourcing food is given with definitions of the following terms: conventional, integrated, organic and biodynamic farming. The chapter also defines the concept of food miles, sustainable food and a comprehensive analysis of regional food systems as well as organic labelling schemes.

9 Sustainable food and beverage management

Chapter 9 continues on from Chapter 8 and explains the emergence of the ‘sustainable food movement’. It explores the opportunities and limitations of sustainable food, taking into consideration aspects such as regionality, seasonality, meat and fish dishes, and vegetarian and vegan food. Issues surrounding genetic engineering are discussed and categories of sustainable food are presented. The chapter concludes by exploring food innovations.

10 Responsible consumer behaviour

Chapter 10 examines the changes in consumer behaviour in relation to sustainable development. The chapter examines the importance for companies in tourism to identify the motives of the responsible tourist and the factors influencing a responsible consumption decision process. The chapter also discusses the techniques used by hospitality operations to involve consumers in sustainable management practices. The chapter closes with a discussion to understand behavioural variances toward consumption.

11 Accessibility in hospitality and tourism

Chapter 11 begins with a discussion on the importance of managing accessibility in the hospitality industry. It provides a definition of ‘accessibility’ and explores guidelines, conventions and regulations pertaining to accessibility. The chapter reviews the principles of Universal Design. It illustrates the challenges in managing accessibility in hospitality using the Tourist Service Chain model and identifies opportunities and best practices in the hospitality industry.

12 Corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship

Chapter 12 identifies the underlying principles of sustainable business management and discusses the concept of corporate social responsibility. It explores the relationship between shareholders’ value and stakeholders’ interests. The factors differentiating corporate social responsibility from corporate philanthropy are presented and the benefits and critiques of corporate social responsibility are discussed. The chapter also identifies and describes alternative forms of corporate governance including creating shared value (CSV) and social entrepreneurship and discusses the relevance of each strategy in the hospitality industry.

13 Responsible marketing and branding

Chapter 13 defines the concept of ‘sustainable marketing’. The chapter identifies the principles of responsible marketing for the hospitality industry and examines the concept of sustainable development in relation to external communication and responsible marketing. It examines responsible marketing as part of a company’s ethical strategy and discusses the four new Ps of green marketing.

14 Environmental management systems, sustainability performance and auditing

Chapter 14 starts by defining ‘environmental management system’ (EMS) and provides examples such as ISO and EMAS. The chapter discusses the benefits and the implementation stages of an EMS. Environmental performance indicators (EPIs) and sustainability performance indicators (SustPIs) are defined and auditing, including online self-auditing platforms are discussed.

15 Certification processes and eco-labels

Chapter 15 defines ‘certification’ and evaluates the various certification schemes available to hospitality managers. The chapter reviews the three ISO labelling types and discusses those in relation to the hospitality industry. It continues with a discussion of the various types of environmental awards used in hospitality. The chapter presents the differences and similarities between process-based and performance-based certification. It discusses the challenges and opportunities in ecolabelling and concludes by introducing the Green Key criteria and Green Globe standards.

16 Investing, financing, performing and decision-making in sustainability

Chapter 16 explores the barriers and motivators to investing in sustainable hospitality. Consequently, the financing schemes available to the development of sustainable hospitality and tourism are explored. The chapter identifies grants, loans and other funding opportunities available to hospitality businesses in regard to environmental impact mitigation. It reviews the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) and Carbon Disclosure Project and identifies performing hospitality organisations. The various methods used by hospitality businesses to make informed decisions on sustainability investment (Payback period, ROI & IRR) are discussed and the ‘sustainability performance framework’ is presented.

17 Internalising externalities and environmental accountability

Chapter 17 defines the concept of ‘externalities’ and explores the role of externalities in decision-making. The chapter identifies and assesses the positive and negative externalities of hospitality operations and introduces the concept of environmental accounting. It also discusses the concept of life-cycle assessment and explores the possibilities in accounting for environmental externalities in the hospitality industry.

18 Benchmarking, reporting and communicating sustainability

Chapter 18 explores the methods used to communicate sustainability performance. To do so, it defines and introduces the purpose of reporting sustainability and discusses the value of benchmarking sustainability performance as well as triple-bottom line reporting. The chapter distinguishes between the many established reporting initiatives (EMAS, GRI, ISO and AA1000) and explores the applicability of established reporting initiatives to the hospitality industry. Finally, the chapter presents the four Cs of sustainable reporting and provides industry recommendations on how to handle the use of claims in communicating sustainability.

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