Thursday, September 5, 2019

Strategy Implemented In Starwood Hotels And Resorts Tourism Essay

Strategy Implemented In Starwood Hotels And Resorts Tourism Essay To critically evaluate the strategy implemented in Starwood Hotels and Resorts in responding to the Environmental Concern: A Case Study of Element Hotel ABSTRACT The purpose of this research is to critically evaluate the green initiatives implemented in Starwood Hotels and Resorts by introducing a green hotel chain, Element hotel. The author intend to assess to what extent the implemented strategies are all-encompassing in responding to environmental concern as one of major contemporary issue in todays hospitality industry. As the matter of fact that the global environment is severely affected by todays business, natural resources are predictably running out in next 50 years if no improvement is being made by all business. In the last decade, peoples awareness of environmental protection is significantly increasing. For instance, new emerging market of eco-conscious traveler and pressure from eco-ethic group act as the driven force to urge business companies rapidly launch environmental friendly program to support sustainability development. In this research, green initiatives implemented in Starwood Hotels and Resorts are critically examined basing on ISO 14001 model. The positivism philosophy with deductive approach will be adopted throughout the research. The author will critically review the literature related to environmental management. Secondary research will be used to investigate the green initiatives implemented in Starwood Hotels and Resorts with a case study focused on Element hotel, followed by a critical analyze on the strategies with application of ISO 14001 model. Last but not least, the author will assess to what extent the implemented strategies are all-encompassing in responding to environmental concern. The research has shown that Starwood Hotels and Resorts have successfully implemented comprehensive green initiatives by introducing a green hotel chain, Element hotel. The author suggests that further evaluation and improvement should be continuously carried out to strive be the leader in supporting sustainability development in hospitality industry. Moreover, the author advises that primary research should be carried out for future study in order to gain more generalized and specifically up-to-date result. TABLE OF CONTENTS _______________________________________________________________________________________ INTRODUCTION BACKGROUND INFORMATION Background of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Element Hotel NECESSITY TO RAISE THE IMPORTANCE OF SUSTAINABILITY IN LONG RUN Increasing pressure from ethical consumers New emerging market, Eco conscious traveler The impact of environmental problem onto hospitality industry AIM AND OBJECTIVES Aim Objectives THE ISO 14001 MODEL Environmental Policy Planning Implementation and Operation Checking and Corrective Action Management Review Continual Improvement RESEARCH STRATEGY AND METHODOLOG Proposed Study Design Secondary Research Limitations 3.0 FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS 3.1 Environmental Policy 3.2 Planning 3.3 Implementation and Operation 3.4 Checking and Corrective Action 3.5 Management Review Continual Improvement CONCLUSION 5.0 REFERENCES 6.0 APPENDICES 1.0 INTRODUCTION __________________________________________________________________________ In the past few years, environmental issue has severely plagued hospitality industry (Pasiuk, 2006). The significant changes in global environment and climate definitely draw attention to all business. People start to think about how the mother earth can be saved from harm and the way to sustain hospitality industry. The popularity of eco-friendly hotel is closely related to the growing awareness of global warming (Guitierrez, 2008) and also the new emerging market segment Eco-traveler (Patterson, 2007). According to Forbes (2007, cited in Go Budget Travel, 2007), it stated that traveler with sense of eco-awareness is a new trends nowadays. Hence, many hotels and resorts make effort to launch wide variety of initiatives on green management (Enz, 2010). As a global leader in hospitality industry, Starwood Hotels and Resorts steps forward responding to the trend with action on building up its own culture of sustainability by introducing its innovation Eco-Friendly hotel chain called E lement (Starwood Hotels and Resorts, 2010). The purpose of this report is to critically evaluate how Starwood Hotels and Resorts in responding to environmental concern by introducing a green hotel chain, Element hotel. In order to achieve the purpose, the author first highlights Eco-traveler as one of the mainstream in hospitality industry and identify the importance of taking environmental concern as a corporate social responsibility. Furthermore, the author is then illustrates the theoretical framework of ISO 14001 model and critically evaluates its application to the strategies implemented in Starwood Hotels and Resorts in responding to the contemporary issue of environmental concern. Last but not least, a brief summary and recommendation will be provided. BACKGROUND INFORMATION __________________________________________________________________________ 1.1.1 Background of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Element Hotel Starwood Hotels and Resorts grow to be a hotel behemoth through every effort made by Mr. Barry Sternlicht (Starwood Hotels and Resorts, 2010). At the present time, Starwood is widely renowned as one of the luxury hotel chain worldwide. Starwoods fleet is currently owns and operates approximately 750 hotels under premium leading brands including Sheraton, Four Points, St. Regis, Westin, W brand, the luxury collection and notably its latest innovation product Element, in 80 countries over every continent (Starwood Hotels and Resorts, 2010). Element hotel is a green hotel chain newly launched by Starwood Hotels and Resorts by the year of 2008 (Starwood Hotels and Resorts, 2010a). The inspiration is induced by travelers eco-etiquette. According to Savage (2008, cited in Press Release, 2008), most of the traveler adopts green routine at home however only a few of them do the same at the hotel. In response, Element hotels take the lead in going green. Element is built green to reduce from the ground up, as the first major hotel brand pursue U.S. Building Councils LEED Certification for every property (Press Release, 2008a), depicting the importance of the environment in todays world. Element is committed to provide the guest with a no-compromise, eco-chic experience and also as an easy way responsible to be eco-friendly without sacrificing guest experience, in addition, the element philosophy is to satisfy guests needs with the environment in mind (Elements hotel, 2010). Nowadays, Starwood is recognized as the environmentally friendly luxury brand within the hospitality industry (Rockmael, 2007). With the recognition of its remarkable green initiatives, the author is intended to critically evaluate the strategy implemented in Starwood Hotels and Resorts in responding to environmental concern. Green initiatives undertaken by Starwood Hotels and Resorts will be further elaborated in details by focus on the case study of Element hotel. Necessity to raise the importance of sustainability in the long run __________________________________________________________________________ Increasing pressure from ethical consumers It is not surprising to find that a significant growing number of large-scale corporate are experiencing an exerting pressure from consumer activist groups requiring betterment on the performance of both social and environmental aspect. An elevating level of these issues are gradually becoming mainstream and the consumers are commonly raising question about the general performance in terms of ethical, social and environmental of the service and product they consume. More enlightened companies treat these prompting changes as a golden opportunity of embracing social and environmental concerns integrated into their operation (Gupta, M.C., 1995). 1.2.2 New emerging market segment, eco-conscious traveler According to the research conducted by Green Hotel Association (2007), about 43 millions travelers in the United States are concerned about environmental consciousness in the hospitality industry. Meanwhile, referring to the survey done by USA Travel Association (2008), 54 million peoples search for companies that are concerned with the protection of local environment and incline to book travel arrangement with these companies. Korman (2008, cited in Press Release, 2008: 2) also agree that Todays consumers including guests who stay with us, corporate customers who select hotel providers and the development community who build our hotels are increasingly demanding green options when they select hotel brands. At the present time, eco-awareness is very popular in travel trends (Harding, 2010). And Chemla (2007, cited in Vora, 2007:1) also argued that now upscale travelers want to do whatever they can to be eco-conscious. The characteristics of eco-conscious traveler (refer to Appendix 1) can be concluded as lack of knowledge about environmental issue, however, they are keen to learn. Element hotel is tailor-made for eco conscious traveler, as Savage (2008: 1) stated that We know our guests want to be eco conscious, it is our job to make it easy for them. Eco-conscious traveler is defined as a person who yearns for making positive contribution while travelling with the companies that sustain development on environmental practices (Eco media group, 2010). With the emerging segment of eco-conscious traveler, in response many hotels and resorts started to launch green management program to emphasize their concern in environmental sustainability. Green initiatives are implemented into the hotel s operation to maintain brand image (Grant, 2007), reputation and remain competitive in the marketplace (Schulz, 2009). As Ryan (2006 :1) stated that Going green isnt necessarily about saving the environment, rather its about saving the business. All the undertaken green initiatives are viewed as marketing strategies helps to boost up the sales as well as the occupancy rate (Honey, 2008). According to the research conducted by Watkins (1994), the findings shown that about 71 percent of respondents would likely or extremely likely to stay in a hotel implemented with environmental strategy. Furthermore, in the case of The Sol Elite Falco Hotel, they recorded a significant growth of 15% in business after the adoption of environmental practices (Honey, 2008). 1.2.3 The impact of environmental problem onto hospitality industry In the past few decades, as a matter of fact that global population is dramatically escalating, it is not surpirsed to find that both rural and urban area are densely-populated. It leads to accelerating demand on not only living space but also resources to accommodate peoples physical need for basic living. Besides, with the promising stability of global economy, at the present time vast majority of people are capable to lead a better living, to pursue a quality of life. Driven by that reason, many businesses habitually utilize limited resource to fulfill the unlimited needs and wants from the consumer. In the meantime, the consequence is commonly neglected. Overusing resource on the mother earth, many negative impacts and problems can be severely affecting the society such as occasion of global warming, pollution and climate change. As Aldunce and Leon (2007:33) stated that disaster risk does not only exist because of the presence of a physical hazard, and it is compounded by the pr esence of vulnerable populations. In that sense, both direct and indirect impacts are possibly brought to hospitality industry. Greenhouse gases are the driven force to the elevating average level of temperature on the planet (Tisdell, 2008). It is resulted as rising sea level that leads to drastically changing of water availability geographically. Thats the reason why the weather is in instability correlated with the harvest of agricultural and the phenomenon of natural disasters happen more frequently in last ten years (Mckibben, 2007). Above mentioned circumstances are inevitably threaten hospitality and tourism industry (Kirby, 2007). For instance, in 2004, tsunami in Phuket (BBC News, 2009) brought relentless damage to the local community. The infrastructure and the landscape were completely destroyed. Phuket is as a renowned tourist destination with approximately 7 millions of tourist annually (TourismThailand Org, 2010). Tsunami was harshly hit the hospitality industry which is the mainstream sector in Phuket. Tsunami caused the local communities and business to spend large sum of money on reconstruction of the environment and infrastructure including numerous hotel property and facilitates. As mentioned, the changing climate is associated with the harvest of agricultural. It impacts on the reduction of the availability of agricultural thus the food cost raise up correspondingly. Likewise, due to water pollution, reduction of water supply leads to increasing price of water. As the result, hotels are undoubtedly affected with larger expenditure on acquiring water supply and food materials from the suppliers. To conclude, water and energy are the necessity to hotels daily operation. In the viewpoint of hotel, they would acquire this necessity to sustain the business at all cost. Consequently, hospitality industry should not hesitate and to take proactive measures to against the potential challenge and also encourage the sustainable development incorporated with environmental concern. Natural disaster is inevitably takes place, however, hospitality industry could strive to launch environmental management program to at least minimize the probability of its occurrence. 1.3 AIM AND OBJECTIVES __________________________________________________________________________ 1.3.1 Aim To critically evaluate the strategy implemented in Starwood Hotels and Resorts in responding to environmental concern by introducing Element Hotel 1.3.2 Objectives To identify the environmental concern as a contemporary issue affecting Starwood Hotels and Resorts To review the literature related to environmental management and ISO 14001 model To identify the associated challenges and factors of environmental concern in hospitality industry To critically investigate and evaluate the strategies implemented in Starwood Hotels and Resorts in responding to environmental concern by using ISO 14001 model THE ISO 14001 MODEL __________________________________________________________________________ Source: EnviroManager (2009) Environmental Management Software; ( According to Latham (2007), an appropriate theoretical framework can be guidance for the research study thus enhances the efficiency. ISO 14001 model is renowned as a global green standard, therefore, it is being chosen by the author as a tools to critically evaluate the strategy implemented in Starwood Hotels and Resorts in responding to environmental concern. In-depth explanations and critical analysis of this framework will be carried out in the following session. ISO 14001 is recognized as one of the most noteworthy initiatives on sustainable development. It is an Environmental Management System (EMS) providing any organization a theoretical framework for effectively managing environmental responsibilities to facilitate its efficiency and better integration into business operation (Hansen, Mowen Guan, 2007). This model is clearly presenting the whole procedure towards effective environmental management. Moreover, continual improvement is particularly emphasizes within the process which indicates that it is an essential component contributing toward the success of environmental management. On the contrary, Plan, Do, Check, Act Model known as Deming cycle, is another approach of Environmental Management System. However, it is not adopted by the author as its simplified structure, relatively low accuracy and the process of continual improvement is not encompassed in the model. Most importantly ISO 14001 model is basically built on the Plan, Do, Check, Act model. Hotels that efficiently integrate an Environmental Management System into organizations operation can enjoy so many benefits. Nowadays, majority of consumers seeking guarantee they are sustaining and choosing operations that encourage protection of the environment. An Environmental Management System helps to uplift the hotels reputation, awareness of the public and creates an opportunity to develop new market segment, environmentally conscious consumers (Bill and Monaco, 1999). In general, hotel can facilitate efficiency and achieve reduction of operating costs through setting an unambiguous and realistic performance goals and objectives that hotel can put efforts towards. It also helps to increase competitiveness in global market, expand tactical advantage over non-certified competitors, meet consumer requirement and demonstrate commitment to quality (Anderson, 2000). Moreover, the potential economic benefit is surprisingly far more than enough to launch an Environmental Management Systems in the property (Tibor and Feldman, 1996). Environmental Policy Establishing an Environmental Policy is certainly requiring the participation of top management of the organization to deeply define the policy that is consistent with the span of an EMS and suitable to the organization (Johnson, 1997). According to Moore (2000: 14-6), Environmental Policy is the statement by the organization of its intentions and principles in relation to its overall environmental performance which provides a framework for action and for the setting of its environmental objectives and targets. The Environmental policy should be embodied with an obligation to continual improvement, prevention of all kind pollution and obedience to the legal requirements (Woodside, Aurrichio and Yturri, 1998). Lastly, this policy ought to be documented and published to the public before communicating with all the personnel working for or the representative of the organization. A comprehensible vision of the policy helps the management in planning activities. Planning An effective planning is necessary and a crucial process to determine an assessable organizational goal and offer guidance to fulfill the achievement (Johnson, 1997; Montana and Chamov, 2000). For that reason, the author recognizes the importance of Planning process in ISO 14001 model. Besides, the organization should be pragmatically stipulating the objectives with reference to both direct and indirect impacts deriving from previous management for instance reduction of water consumption. According to Block (1999; 1), Organization shall ensure that environmental aspects related to these significant impacts are considered when setting environmental objectives. Furthermore, environmental activities should be inclusively all-encompassing supplies, waste management and notably obligation of responsibilities (Rao, 2008). From the authors point of view, a comprehensive planning would drive the organization to the right direction on developing its culture of sustainability program in respon ding to environmental concern. Implementation and Operation In this stage, the author suggests that the roles and responsibilities of job task need to be clearly assigned to every employee in order to efficiently implement the environmental management system. Furthermore, senior management must employ a representative especially in charge of environmental management. Representative is responsible to extract report on the performance of EMS and potentially offer recommendation for betterment on a regular basis. Senior management is also responsible to ensure the availability of the materials which is needed for implementation and further improvement on EMS in the property (Tibor and Feldman, 1996). Specific practice is necessarily established to facilitate internal and external communication as regards to environmental issues, For instance, company report of its adopted environmental practice can be issued to the public to maintain continual communication externally thus raise up public awareness to the company (Culley, 1998). Continuous train ing and regular meeting is essentially held frequently to increase awareness of employee on environmental practices and its impact (Cascio, Woodside and Mitchell, 1996) consequentially to ensure that employees are completely understand the system and their roles within the EMS (Sullivan and Wyndham, 2001). Checking and corrective action According to Withcer, Chau and Harding (2007), the significance of checking is in relations to the long-run strategy and effectively manages organizations performance. Checking process helps to identify and ensure the environmental performance in terms of quality and standard of ISO 14001 model is on the right track and facilitate betterment to meet the purposed organizational goals. Corrective action should be undertaken appropriately to the magnitude of the problem as immediate measurements (Rao, 2008). Management review It requires senior management of the organization to evaluate the EMS to make certain the continuous capability, aptness and effectiveness. Evaluation is necessarily undertaken to promote further improvements. Also, management review can benefit an organization to experience more extraordinary environmental performance (Rao, 2008). Continual improvement Continual improvement is the methodical approach to recognize the potential problem, seek opportunity, establish measurement, collect data, and make comparison to the trend purposing to verify if the progress is smoothly ongoing toward the set objectives embodied in the environmental policy and planning (Johnson, 1997). According to Rao (2008:87), continual improvement helps to achieve the fulfillment of the urge for contributing toward sustainability. RESEARCH STRATEGY AND METHODOLOGY __________________________________________________________________________ This section provides the reader with better understanding on the research method that the author has been adopted throughout the research. The research design and data collection method is justified in this chapter. Proposed study design The purpose of this research is to find out how Starwood Hotels and Resorts is responding to the challenge of environmental concern, therefore the author will adopt positivism as research philosophy for this study. And the author will use deductive approach to test whether the organizations strategy is all-encompassing with the theoretical framework of ISO 14001 model. In order to achieve the research purpose, the author conducted secondary research to collect information on environmental issues theories and the strategies that the Starwood Hotels and Resorts put on practice. Primary research is not conducted for this report, because the author recognized there is a bulk of data was published online that is sufficient for the author to make analysis. The author decided to analyze the strategy the organization adopted by using a theoretical framework and academic theories related to green management.. Since the author can easily access the information required for the research, therefore, only secondary research is conducted. Secondary research Veal (2006) stated that secondary research enriches the reader with existing information which has already been collected. The author collected both quantitative and qualitative data on the organizations environmental-friendly strategies and literature of environmental issues. Information was sourced from the SHMS-UC library; where textbooks with hospitality-related topics are available; in addition, online articles and journals were sourced from the online database such as Emerald. Through the use of internet, the author can access a wider range of up-to-date information about environmental issues. 3.0 FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS __________________________________________________________________________ In this section, an in-depth evaluation on how the Element Hotel responds to environmental concern with the application of ISO 14001 framework will be carried out. The green initiatives launched by Element Hotel will be elaborated and categorized into the process of ISO 14001 model. 3.1 Environmental Policy According to Element Hotels official website (2010), Element embrace the responsibility for continual environmental stewardship and are committed to integrating leading environmental practices and sustainability principles into the core business strategy. Element has focused on the conservation of natural resources, reduction on waste and pollution, betterment and enhancement of indoor environmental quality and raising awareness of environmental concern between employees, guests and local community (Element Hotels, 2010). Moreover, Element is committed to develop an economically responsible LEED-certified hotel concept that is promising a more sustainable future (Paasschen, 2008:1). In authors opinion, the statement of Element environmental policy is clearly showed the intentions and principles related to environmental practices by Element hotel and evidences of complying with legislation requirement. To contrast with the ISO 14001 model, Element hotel has developed a statement which is committed to green environment. The principles of the hotel are all about green. In addition, employees and customers can have a better understanding about the green strategies undertaken at the Element. In this section, the author strongly agrees that Element hotel has implemented the environmental policy successfully. Planning Element hotels are primarily introduced to the public by Starwood Hotels and Resorts as a strategic plan to against the challenges in environmental concern. The element philosophy is to satisfy guests needs while keeping the environment in mind (Element Hotels, 2010a). Element is actively make effort striving to minimize the environmental impact stemming from business activities and enhance continual improvement and innovation on practices. As McGuinness (2009) stated that elements efforts around green are great for the Earth and great for our guests. Element endeavors to launch green initiatives to diminish the operation cost as well as expend the market share by building up a reputable green image. The planning of green initiatives at Element are categorized into Reducing, Reusing and Recycling (Element Hotels, 2010a). At Element, departmental managers are participated in environmental management planning in order to fulfill different range of needs within each department, and establish a realistic and effective plan on environmental management. The author agrees that an accessible plan is essentials to provide employee a better understanding thus to take action properly following the proposed planning. In the planning process, the author mentioned the planning will establish an assessable organizational goal. The reducing, reusing, and recycling planning could help the hotel to achieve the hotels strategy which is to develop the green philosophy to the employees and customers. In the next section, the operations will be discove red in order to complete Elements planning. Implementation and Operation Element hotels score high marks from U.S. Building Green Council (USBGC, 2010), that indicates the significance of its variety of cost-effective green principle on the improvement of environmental sustainability. Element have launched a responsible business program to staff on seeking feedback. As Potts, Christenbury Wolak (1994: 41) mentioned that The hotel staffs are a key source of information, their input and suggestions for improvement are critical to implementation of a good plan. Feedback can make certain the inaccuracy and errors to be corrected before problem arise once again (Lancaster and Stanhope, 2004). Moreover, meeting holds in a regular basis in order to maintain staff awareness of the implemented environmental program at Element. The author suggests that social activities such as picnics and hikes or competition can be organized to encourage motivation and enhance communication within the workforce. Management can allow people to take ownership of certain project al so a means of motivation. In addition, suggestion boxes and reward staff for success in terms of introducing and educating the guest with on-site green initiatives. At Element hotel, a module on its comprehensive environmental policy is en-compassing in staff induction and also refresher training. Adequate Training is important to endow the staffs with necessary tools in order to maximize the benefits to staff member (Remenyi, 2007). Reduced water consumption According to Green Lodging News (2008), Element efficiency features saving 942,000 gallons of water per guestroom every year through the adoption of water conservation measures. Element implemented Grey water system which is any wastewater has been used within the property except toilet water can be re-used for watering plants and toilet water through filtering treatment. Dual-Flush toilet is installed in all guest room and public area that helps to lower water consumption up to 67%. Low flow shower heads and water-efficient faucet aerators also means to conserve water, all dramatically increase the efficiency and ease the burden of water supplies while giving the guest a great experience. Reduced energy consumption and carbon emissions Element conserve energy by launching energy conservation measures en-compassing an environmental friendly lighting system throughout the property supported by compact fluorescent light (CFL) and Light-emitting diode (LED), Energy-Star labeled appliances in each guest room and high efficiency ventilating and conditioning system. And the roof top is equipped with solar reflect panal that reflect heat from the sun so as to ease the burden on hotel air conditioning systems. Element also encourages the development of renewable energy technology through purchasing credits of renewable energy to compensate partial electricity consumption. According to Element Hotels (2010), 35% of the used electricity comes from renewable sources such as wind power at Element Hotel. Recycling by Element hotel is estimated to have already conserved enough energy to supply approximately 9 million households in United States (Press Release, 2008a). Improved indoor environmental quality measures Element hotel is in partnership with EcoLab for the implementation of Green Housecleaning practices, to encourage using environmental friendly cleaning products and facilitate day-lighting throughout the property by installing oversized window in every guest room (Green Lodging News, 2008). Smoking is strictly prohibited in and around the property to ensure good air quality. Furthermore, element hotel applies low Volatile Organic Compunds paints and carpets made of 100% recyclable materials. Traditional Do Not Disturb sign paper tag is replaced by the environmental friendly magnet (Press Release, 2008). Execution of waste management and Recycling At Element hotel, pa

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