To: Dr. XYZ
Re: Sustainability in the hotel industry: weak in one pillar!
For my assignment for BADM 798 Spring YYYY course, I interviewed a hotel executive to determine the company’s (i.e. hotel’s) perspectives on sustainability. The business professional I interviewed was Mr. XYZ, the Executive Director of Ramada Inn - American City. Mr. XYZ has Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Management as well as degrees in Software Engineering and Systems Analysis. He has 10 years of work experience in Marketing Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) and 15 years of experience in Hotel Management. The interview occurred on the premises of Ramada Inn – ...view middle of the document...
I intimated to Mr. XYZ that Wyndham’s website mentions the “Wyndham Green” program and as per that website, “sustainability means meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of future generations”. Wyndham does this by delivering Triple Bottom Line benefits that are social, economic and environmental. Mr. XYZ informed me that he was aware of the Wyndham Green program and that Wyndham had started sending its associates a newsletter on a regular basis highlighting such policies and initiatives. Although on paper, the policy mentions social, economic and environmental aspects, in reality, most emphasis is on economic issues followed by environmental concerns. The social aspect is a distant third and comes into consideration only when the above two are well taken care of.
As regards specific sustainability initiatives that the company engages in, the focus is on conservation of resources (with consequent cost savings). The specific initiatives are aimed at decreasing power and gas utilization (without affecting guest services, comfort, décor and ambience of the hotel) and conserving water. This is approached by replacing equipment with more technologically advanced appliances that use less energy or gas and are more productive and/or energy efficient, switching to low flow shower heads and faucets and water conserving toilets. Solar panels have been tested in some hotels (of Ramada Inn) and are being gradually implemented across different Ramada Inn hotels (like Vineland Ramada Inn but have not reached Ramada Inn – Bossier City yet). Other initiatives include switching to eco-friendly chemicals for laundry needs, replacing incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones (CFL), which in turn are being replaced with LED bulbs which are even more energy efficient than CFL. The use of paper for office related work is also being critically reassessed. Increasing use of electronic equipment with availability of receipts, orders, invoices and other information online had decreased the need to print all these things on paper. Smartphone use has taken this even further in the field. Manuals and other information which was formerly necessary to be carried with employees can now be easily be assessed via smartphones. Paper is also recycled. These initiatives result in direct cost savings by decreasing utility expenses and also maintenance costs. As regards the social (people) aspect, there are no clear cut initiatives targeting that pillar of sustainability. Providing employment is a benefit that is not unique to Ramada Inn – American City as most businesses provide employment. They support and facilitate business and vacation travel and offer free perks like free internet-access, free breakfast and free parking. They do offer training to employees as regards the advantages of their conservation approaches and how to use the newer appliances. Employees are also trained in various conserving methodologies. For example, kitchen...