Environmental quality management in hospitality industry - Case Hotel K5 Levi

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School of Economics | Master's thesis
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The object of this thesis is to find out what ways there exist for non-affiliated hotel in Finnish Lapland to manage environmental aspects of the business and improve environmental quality. The current status of how environmental issues are dealt in the hospitality business is reviewed in the beginning of this thesis and also concept of environmental quality is defined. The theories and concepts that were chosen to be reviewed were Total Quality Environmental Management (TQEM), formal Environmental Management Systems (EMS) such as ISO 14001 and European Union’s Environmental Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) and certified eco-label schemes, mainly the Nordic eco-label Swan. All of the approaches were reviewed in general and then more specified in the scope of hospitality industry. In addition to these environmental management theories also environmental cost and the way to manage, classify, estimate and compare them were considered. Based on the theories a model was created for building an environmental management for Hotel K5 Levi located in skiing centre Levi in Finnish Lapland. The model consists of three parts that together form the environmental quality of a company, or in this case, a hotel. “Physical parameters” part of the model is about having proper data on energy, water, waste and chemicals consumption at hotel. The following parameters were chosen because Nordic eco-label Swan offers corresponding limit values, which makes comparison easy. These limit values among other indicators form the “Performance indicators” part of model in which each parameter is translated to an indicator that tells the current status of the parameters consumption in comparison to some measure, mostly hotel ground surface in m2 or number of guest nights. Third part of the model, “Operating scheme”, describes the qualitative and strategic aspects of environmental quality management that should be considered. In empirical research the model was used for analysing the current status of hotel K5 Levi’s environmental management and environmental quality. The analyses revealed that Hotel K5 Levi is actually quite environmental friendly hotel already in the extent of energy and water consumption. However, for the analysis of environmental impact of waste management and use of chemicals some measurement systems should still be developed. In the case study some guidance was also given how to further develop environmental management on strategic level at the hotel. As conclusion can be said that none of the reviewed environmental quality and management theories offer ready solution for a hotel to start managing environmental quality. The Nordic eco-label scheme seems to be most comprehensive yet it does not consider environmental costs. Therefore creating an own model was the answer to the research objective on what ways there exist for a hotel to have proper environmental management system.
EMS, TQEM, hospitality industry, environmental quality
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