An Assessment of Hotels and Resorts Use of the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System as a Tool to Achieve Environmentally Sustainable Operations

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Glenn Baxter
Panarat Srisaeng


This study used an in-depth qualitative instrumental case study research approach to empirically examine the hotels and resorts located around the world that have implemented an ISO 14001 certified environmental management system (EMS) as a tool to manage their operations in an environmentally sustainable manner. The study period was from 1990 to 2021. The qualitative data was analyzed by document analysis. The case study revealed that hotels located in Australia, throughout Europe, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, and the United States have implemented the ISO 14001 based environmental management system. The earliest adoption of an ISO certified environmental management system by a case firm dated back to the late 1990s. Over the study period, several major hotel chains, such as Hilton Worldwide, ibis and Swissôtel, have certified their environmental management systems in accordance with the ISO 14001 standards. The case study found that individual hotels have also implemented ISO 14001 certified environmental management systems, this was especially so in Europe. Since the release of the ISO 14001:2015 environmental management system standard, seven hotels or hotel groups have adopted this standard. The use of an ISO 14001 certified environmental management system underpins the hotel and resorts environmentally sustainable operations. The case study showed that as part of their environmental management policy, many hotels are focusing on energy optimization, energy saving measures, water consumption minimization, and sustainable waste management. Many hotels are now recycling or re-using wastes

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