Sustainability in the global hotel industry

Jones, Peter ORCID: 0000-0002-9566-9393, Hillier, David and Comfort, Daphne (2014) Sustainability in the global hotel industry. International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, 26 (1). pp. 5-17. doi:10.1108/IJCHM-10-2012-0180

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The purpose of this paper is to provide an exploratory review of how the global hotel industry publicly communicates its approach to sustainability. 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. 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. 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. 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.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is © Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Hospitality, Sustainability, Global hotel industry; REF2021
Related URLs:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > HD60 Social responsibility in business
T Technology > TX Home economics > TX901-946.5 Hospitality Industry
Divisions: Schools and Research Institutes > School of Business, Computing and Social Sciences
Research Priority Areas: Applied Business & Technology
Depositing User: Susan Turner
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2016 17:13
Last Modified: 01 Aug 2023 11:47

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