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Sustainability in Hotels Research Paper


Competitiveness is sought by every business throughout the world. Most businesses seek to attract more customers and increase their profitability. This is not an easy task as it involves several processes of growth. Among these elements of growth is their backbone, which is known as sustainability. Sustainability is so essential to Hotels that if wrongly implemented, have the capacity to collapse the business all together. Hotels need guests to survive, and therefore its sustainability is entrenched in their ability to keep attracting enough customers.

This has left Hotels to seek new ways that would ensure their guests are well served, and to be more than willing to return to the same Hotels. To achieve this, Hotels have evaluated several aspects of sustainability that they would pursue. These aspects include innovations, leadership, performance and environment, among others. This paper will explore sustainability in Hotels all over the world and then in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It will as so endeavor to discuss the elements of sustainability that have contributed to growth of Hotel industry in the UAE as well as the world (Schwartz, 2009, p. 1).

Literature Review

Sustainability is essential to every business since it ensures their survival in the competitive business world. Of most concern are Hotels which depend on the number of guests to survive. Their survival is so critical that they would not do without proper plans to implement and enhance sustainability. It is therefore inevitable for Hotels to ignore sustainability and its implementation. Several Hotels worldwide, such as Intercontinental, Hilton, and Carlson, among others have put in place strategies for achieving sustainability.

These have included among others, environmental awareness, as Hotels become eco-friendly. Sustainability is achieved through stages as explained by Bob, Willard. These stages involve value-led strategies that are implemented to not only attract customers but save on cost of these services. Reduction of wastes by recycling recyclable materials, mitigating on energy consumption rates as well as water usage is very instrumental to sustainability of Hotels (Visele, 2011, p. 1).

Many Hotels nowadays incorporate elements that promote sustainability in their businesses to encourage recycling habits, which is essential to conference planners and guests. Cities like Atlanta have taken proactive stance in ensuring sustainability when it comes to recycling of plastics, glass, grease, and aluminum among others. These steps are very important to planners and guests who have considerably grown to be aware of their environment as well as the need for its conservation. Meeting professional international (MPI) recommended various elements of sustainability that should be undertaken by Hotels to achieve sustainability.

These include recycling of pallets, plastics and glass, among others, in common areas as well as in the guest rooms, providing for composting, mitigating the use of polystyrene, implementing programs that allow reuse of towels, providing local foods along with sustainable seafood to guests, providing cleaning products that are environmentally friendly and coffee grown in shades, among others. All these aspects are very important in promoting sustainability and hence higher profitability (Tjolle, 2009, p. 1).

It is estimated that Five-star Dubai Hotels lose over $27 million as payment for utility bills. This is mainly because they have been unable to embrace carbon management initiatives as well as poor electricity and water management. In addition, it is believed that this figure is set to rise to unimaginable level, as the agency that controls water and electricity tariffs are set to review it from 2011. This calls for implementation of sustainability in all Hotels in UAE (Presidio Buzz, 2009, p. 1).

Sustainability in Hotels

Every Hotel must be able to sustain itself. This is mainly because several investors have ventured in Hotel business, stirring stiff competition. Hotels such as Hilton and Intercontinental, among others, have branches worldwide and therefore provide great competition to upcoming and already established five-star Hotels. This is quite good for service delivery and awareness for customer needs, as they fight to provide all these services. In the process, significant world issues like global warming and the need to save our environment have taken center stage in Hotels’ work towards sustainability. Most customers like visiting hotels that offer solutions to global and environmental issues as opposed to those that continue to pollute the environment (Terracurve, 2008, p. 1).

Large Hotels such as Hilton, intercontinental and Carlson have embarked on strategies, which are aimed at reducing environmental wastes. These programs include switching to green technology, which is eco-friendly, saving energy and water consumption, among others. In this regard, several hotels worldwide, such as Hilton worldwide, Intercontinental Hotels Group, Four Seasons and Fairmount Hotels and Resorts, among others, have entrenched environmental policies on their mission statements so as to promote sustainability. For instance, Intercontinental Hotels Group have made an ambitious environmental policy which is clear as well a aggressive in implementing Green engage program, which is one of the leading environmental schemes aimed at achieving efficiency and hence sustainability (Thompson, 2008, p. 1).

Sustainability in Hotels (UAE)

Dubai is one the most visited tourist destination and business hubs in the world. Its location is ideal for commerce and summer holidays. Hotels that flourish in Dubai are among the best in the world. For instance Taj Hotel is among the best Hotels in the world. As much is this predestines UAE as a potential tourist hub, its future depends on sustainability strategies. The average carbon dioxide emissions by an average Dubai-Hotel as at 2009 were estimated to be 65000 tonnes.

If all Hotels are combined, then this came to 500 thousand tonnes, which is almost equals over 120000 flights to London from Dubai. This has increased interest in saving the environment to add to its sustainability. In 2009, the government of Dubai through the Department of Tourism and Commerce marketing announced its plans to launch its first environmental initiative aimed at reducing carbon emissions. Dubai Hotels were thus encouraged to embrace sustainability schemes that would improve their competitive edge on a global scale (S.H.K. Infortech, LLC., 2011, p. 1).

It is estimated that Five-star Dubai Hotels lose over $27 million as payment for utility bills. This is mainly because they have been unable to embrace carbon management initiatives as well as poor electricity and water management. In addition, it is believed that this figure is set to rise to unimaginable level, as the agency that controls water and electricity tariffs reviews it to a higher level from 2011. This raised concern and companies like Farnek Avireal have taken the initiative to facilitate sustainability management throughout the region by developing energy benchmark assessment systems that uses online software known as “Hotel optimizer” to enable hotels manage their energy consumption rates and hence achieve sustainability. Among the Hotels that have attained Green globe status in Dubai following their investment in sustainability includes Dubai Deira Creek. Other hotels pursuing sustainability in UAE include Taj Hotels, which presented its sustainability report the United Nations in 2010, and all Abu Dhabi Hotels (Hard, 2011, p. 1).

Significance of sustainability

Sustainability is very essential in ensuring survival of Hotels, where there are several competitors. Hotels that have achieved sustainability make good grounds for conference planners as well as guests who emphasizes on environmental awareness and reduction of obvious global warming causes. Sustainability is therefore important in maintaining and improving profitability. Moreover, for Hotels to gain competitive edge in this increasingly competitive world, they need to achieve sustainability (Berry, 2009, p. 1).


The business world is becoming eco-friendly and this does not exclude Hotels, their emissions have been credited with unacceptable amount of carbon emissions as well as their high rates of energy and water consumption. These are integral elements of sustainability that requires attention. This has caused Many Hotels seeking competitive edge to focus on environmental initiatives that would reduce carbon emissions. UAE Hotels, for example releases over 500 million kilos of carbon to the environment, this is disturbing and it continues, then global warning and sustainability would be neglected. Most customers are focusing on sustainable Hotels and this has helped foster sustainability in Hotels. Sustainability is therefore very essential towards the measure of competitive edge of Hotels (Europe Real Estates Publishers, 2010, p. 1).


Hotels are seeking competitive edge over others, and this cannot be achieved without sustainability. Conference planners as well as guests are continually seeking sustainable Hotels and this has helped in conserving the environment as more Hotels implement Green Hotel programs. Sustainable Hotels are therefore essential for environmental awareness and a better world (Courtland, 2010, p. 1).

Reference List

Berry, J. (2009). . Web.

Courtland, M. (2010). . Environmental Leader. Web.

Europe Real Estates Publishers. (2010). Dubai’s First Five-star Hotel Acquires Green Globe status. Europe Real Estate. Web.

Hard, R. (2011). Incorporate Elements of Sustainability and Recycling into Hotel Vendor Contracts. Web.

Presidio Buzz. (2009).The Business Case for Sustainability: Intercontinental Hotels. Triple Pundit. Web.

S.H.K. Infortech, LLC. (2011). Farnek Avireal to focus on hotel sustainability at FM Expo. Web.

Schwartz, A. (2009). Fast Company. Web.

Terracurve. (2008). Carlson Hotels launches Sustainability Program. Web.

Thompson, C. (2008). Hilton Hotels Sustainability Plan. Why Go Business. Web.

Tjolle, V. (2009). . Travelmole. Web.

Visele, N. (2011). . Web.

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