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Title: Evaluation of environmental initiatives by hotels in Hong Kong with special regard to ISO 14001 certification
Authors: Chan, Suk-han Angela
Keywords: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Hotels -- China -- Hong Kong -- Quality control
Hotels -- Environmental aspects -- China -- Hong Kong
ISO 14001 Standard
Issue Date: 2002
Publisher: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Abstract: As one of the most important sectors in the tourism industry, the Hong Kong hotel sector needs to offer high quality facilities and services to continue to attract and satisfy the needs of the millions of visitors each year. However, almost all hotels, no matter how small, place a burden on the environment. Nowadays, the moral, ethical, social and political arguments for taking action on environmental issues are becoming more persuasive and more widely accepted, so hotels in Hong Kong are also taking various environmental initiatives, either for the sake of the environment, for economic reasons or to engender a positive image. Although there are studies and published literatures on the environmental action taken in hotels elsewhere, no comprehensive study has been conducted to study the present environmental practices undertaken by the hotels in Hong Kong, in particular with regard to ISO 14001 certification. This research aims to provide more evidence of the added value of ISO 14001 certification to hotels as well as to the environment. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the environmental initiatives by hotels in Hong Kong with special regard to ISO 14001 certification. The study has determined the environmental initiatives implemented within the Hong Kong hotel sector from the perspective of General Managers (GMs) as well as the new staff members through conducting questionnaire surveys. The perceived incentives and disincentives, from the local GM's perspectives, of implementing the three levels of environmental Initiatives (ie. Environmental Green Practices [Informal], Environmental Management System [Systematic] and ISO 14001 certified Environmental Management System [Certified]) have also been identified. The survey results revealed that over 90% of the responding hotels are taking measures to conserve energy, water, reduce waste, as well as implementing a purchasing policy to seek and buy environmental friendly products. In general, enhancing environmental performance; reducing operating cost / increasing profit; and ensuring regulatory compliance; reducing accidents/ risks are regarded as very important incentives for undertaking the three levels of actions. Whereas, the additional cost is considered as the most important factor for not taking action. With regard to ISO 14001 certification, detailed case studies of two ISO 14001 certificated hotels in Hong Kong were conducted. The case studies have shown that an ISO 14001 certified EMS is a good vehicle to promote environmental actions by hotels. It can provide a structure and close any gaps by identifying missing initiatives. However, the effort and time required from staff to set up the EMS is significant especially in EMS documentation. In addition, a cost-benefit analysis of ISO 14001 certification for hotels was made. It was found that the internal cost (excluding staff time) of EMS establishment and implementation is not high, only accounts for 3% of the total cost of ISO 14001 certification in a hotel. Yet, the financial benefits from the EMS can still be gained even without the ISO 14001 certification. Besides, two surveys were also carried out in order to determine hotel guests (travellers and potential corporate clients) opinions on hotels taking environmental actions and whether it will affect their choice of hotels. It is somewhat disappointing to note that less than half of the responding travellers and potential corporate clients considered the 'hotel's green image' and 'hotel attained the environmental awards like ISO 14001' as very important and important. The overall results of this study indicated that the attractiveness of ISO 14001 certification in Hong Kong hotel industry is not strong at present. Hence, recommendations from the author are provided while opportunities for future research are suggested.
Description: xiii, 217, [80] leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
PolyU Library Call No.: [THS] LG51 .H577M BSE 2002 Chan
Rights: All rights reserved.
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