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Sustainability in the Kitchen – Food & Drink

Categories: Food & Beverage, Management, Monitoring & Evaluation, Private Sector, Return, Supply Chain
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Sustainability in the Kitchen – Food & Drink

Photo Credits: Green Hotelier

A growing population puts increasing pressure on the Earth’s finite resources. Sustainability is about finding ways of providing food that will last for future generations and have less of an impact on the environment

Eating according to the seasons has for many people been largely consigned to the past now that you can buy produce, such as strawberries and asparagus, year-round thanks to refrigeration, heated greenhouses and global transportation. These methods create “food miles” (the distance the food has travelled from producer to consumer); every single mile adds to the food’s carbon footprint.

To achieve sustainability, food should be sourced “locally” wherever possible, so minimising the energy used in production, transport and storage. It must also support farmers, sustainable agriculture and local communities, and give farmers in developing countries a fairer deal. Minimising packaging and food waste is also key. According to a recent report in NGF Next Generation Food, the food thrown away by the US and Europe could feed the world three times over. The catering and hospitality industry is responsible for a large part of this waste.

Sustainable operating practices include using tap water not branded bottled water where possible. It is estimated that 1 billion people in the world don’t have access to safe drinking water, 2.5 billion people lack access to basic sanitation services and four children die every minute as a result of water-related illnesses. Hotels and restaurants with a growing social conscience are eliminating bottled water from the menu and donating profits to help fund access to sanitary tap water in the developing world.

Read more at Green Hotelier!

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What is a Green Meeting

Categories: Case Study, Management, Planet, Supply Chain
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What is a Green Meeting

Photo Credits: Green Hotelier

A “green” or sustainable meeting “is one designed, organised and implemented in a way that minimises negative environmental impacts and leaves a positive impact for the host community”, says the Green Meeting Guide, published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

A sustainable event should:

  • minimise greenhouse gas emissions, including CO2, and compensate for unavoidable emissions;
  • minimise natural resource consumption and adapt demand to local supply;
  • avoid waste generation where possible and reuse/recycle remaining waste;
  • protect biodiversity, water, air and soil resources;
  • allow the local community to benefit economically, socially and environmentally;
  • encourage local sustainable development; and
  • increase the awareness of sustainability issues among participants, staff, service providers and the local community.
  • Despite pressure on businesses and organisations to cut costs, planners are increasingly being asked to minimise the impact of a meeting or event.

This trend reflects:

  • the growing demand by consumers, stakeholders and investors to see more responsible behaviour;
  • the rise in government incentives for businesses to reduce their carbon footprints; and
  • more organisations finding that green and CSR (corporate social responsibility) practices can save them money and strengthen the bottom line.

Read more at Green Hotelier!

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Sustainable Interior Design

Categories: Accommodations, Case Study, Planet, Private Sector, Return, Supply Chain, Visitors
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Sustainable Interior Design

Photo Credits: Green Hotelier

As consumers become more environmentally and socially aware about the choices they make so hoteliers are responding by creating eco-aware hotel interiors that they hope will attract a new generation of responsible guests

As well as meeting customer demand, the move to low-impact interiors reflects hoteliers’ desire to cut operating costs, create healthy and productive places to stay and work, and pass rigorous standards in order to achieve accreditation from one of the internationally recognised “green” building certification schemes, such as BREEAM (the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) or the US Building Council’s LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

Professor Rebecca Hawkins, research and consultancy fellow at Oxford Brookes University and director of the Centre for Environmental Studies in the Hospitality Industry (CESHI), says it’s essential that hoteliers carry out a full lifecycle analysis when furnishing a property. It means establishing the cradle-to-grave impact of purchasing and installing fixtures, fittings and equipment (FF&E), from sourcing the raw materials (cradle) to their disposal (grave), whether it is new curtains or carpets, mirrors or vases, tables or chairs.

That includes considering any relevant socio-economic factors in the manufacture of the products, such as the use of child labour or poor working conditions. A hotel’s interior style should also blend with the local environment: “Hospitality facilities are often located in fragile environments and can be built with little or no consideration for the beauty and integrity of their surroundings, whether from the environmental or socio-cultural perspective,” says Hawkins. “The resulting effects can be highly visible and undermine the environmental quality of the destination.”

Read more at Green Hotelier!

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Responsible Procurement

Photo Credits: Green Hotelier

What is Responsible Procurement?

Responsible procurement (also known as sustainable/green procurement, environmentally preferable purchasing [EPP] or sustainable/responsible purchasing) is a process by which environmental, social and ethical considerations are taken into account when making a purchasing decision.

Looking beyond the traditional parameters of price, quality, functionality and availability, it involves choosing products and services that have a lesser or reduced effect on human health, the environment and society when compared to competing items that serve the same purpose.

One of the principles of responsible procurement is life-cycle costing (see more details below). It is a technique that establishes the total costs of purchasing a product or service, from “cradle to grave”, by asking questions relating to each stage of its life cycle.

It considers the following:

  • whether a purchase is necessary at all;
  • what products are made of;
  • under what conditions they have been made;
  • how far they have travelled;
  • their packaging components;
  • how they will be used; and
  • how they will be disposed of.

Read more at Green Hotelier!

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Sourcing Sustainable Food in Hotels

Photo Credits: Felin Fach (SRA member) vegetable garden

Why more hotels are switching to sustainable food policies and how to create a policy of your own

The importance of sourcing sustainable food may sound like an out of date topic. Surely, everyone knows the impact of food miles and the do’s and don’ts of food sourcing when it comes to fish, meats and seasonal products?

Well even if they do, there are several reasons why it’s important to keep up to date. Firstly, the rules of sustainable food sourcing are constantly shifting. Only recently did the Marine Conservation Society remove mackerel and gurnard from the list of ‘sustainable’ fish, leaving many confused about what fish it is now safe to eat.

Secondly, sustainable sourcing is becoming an increasingly pressing issue for businesses and governments as the fear of food shortages and crops being ‘wiped out’ by extreme weather events become increasing realities. Businesses are increasingly turning to the government for help in consolidating a sustainable and resilient food system by introducing taxes on unsustainable food practices.

And thirdly, customer demand for sustainably sourced food has never been stronger. Trust in food sources is becoming increasingly linked to the notion of sustainable and local sourcing – customers want to know more and more details about where food is coming from, and from this make a judgement about its quality. Customers want real information – not the faux stories about some dining experience – but information that offers ‘food transparency’.

Read more at Green Hotelier!

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In Sri Lanka, home composting is promoted in many municipalities as a simple and low-cost solution to emerging waste disposal problems in the present day society. Produced by Practical Action South Asia, this technical brief is intended to disseminate the technology of concrete composting bin fabrication.

by www.practicalaction.org
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This technical report presents a robust understanding of the major industry scoping study Health Tourism in Australia: Supply, Demand and Opportunities, presenting the research findings in full and supporting the summary developed by STCRC. It provides information and outcomes relevant for future development of the wellness and medical tourism industries in Australia.

by Cornelia Voigt, Jennifer Laing, Meredith Wray, Graham Brown, Gary Howat, Betty Weiler and Richard Trembath

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Health Tourism in Australia: Supply, Demand and Opportunities

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Interface is the first Australian carpet tile manufacturer to achieve Global Green TagCertTM certification, receiving  Level A Green Rate certification and Gold Plus LCA Rate status. Interface products worldwide carry an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) which measures the life cycle impacts of a product and reports them transparently.

by EarthCheck

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Small Tourism Enterprise Planning Simulator (STEPS)

Categories: Case Study, Management, Monitoring & Evaluation, Oceania, Pacific, Private Sector, Return, Supply Chain
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In a recent study conducted for the Australian Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre (STCRC), improved business planning was identified as one of the most pressing needs of Small-to-Medium Tourism Enterprise (SMTE) operators (McGrath 2005).  A further significant problem confronting these businesses was coping with rapid change: including technological change, major changes in the external business environment, and changes that are having substantial impacts at every point of the tourism supply chain (and at every level: from international to regional and local levels). As a result of these findings, the STCRC provided funding and support for a follow-up research project aimed at producing a Small Tourism Enterprise Planning Simulator (STEPS). Briefly, the aim of this project was to produce a business planning aid (STEPS), suitable for use by SMTE operators. The focus of the work was on accommodation enterprises and the broad objective (of what is, essentially, only the initial stage of an ongoing project) was to produce a pre-production prototype.

by G. Michael McGrath, Henk Meijerink and Pramod Sharma

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Presented by the InterContinental Hotels Group, this paper outlines a number of responsible business practices such as reducing the carbon footprint, reducing emissions and energy, and waste management.

by Frank Hubbard, Director, Corporate Responsibility (Australasia)

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