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RESOURCES: PAPERS & PRESENTATIONS
|Author :||Paulina Bohdanowicz, Branko Simanic & Ivo Martinac|
|School/Work Place :||Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden|
|OPA :||2004 Outstanding Paper Award Winner|
Hotels are traditionally geared towards providing a high-level of comfort and entertainment, as well as a broad spectrum of services, often without giving much concern to associated environmental or socio-economic impacts. Hotel companies typically compete on a global market by offering more comfortable and spacious accommodation, diversified foods, more sophisticated services, entertainment etc., commonly leading to the overexploitation of energy and other resources. At the same time, the numbers of customers actively choosing products or companies that are environmentally responsible is constantly growing, especially in Northern and Western Europe. In response to such growing demand, hotel companies ought to change their attitudes and become more environmentally conscious.
The willingness and ability of hotel management to advocate and implement state-of-the-art environmentally responsible behaviour and practices is, however, crucial for the incorporation of more sustainable hotel practices. Hotel corporations/chains, representing 20-29 per cent of all hotels in Europe, and as much as 70 per cent in North America (Johnson & Iunius 1999; Olszewski 2003; WTTC et al. 2002), may play a very important role in changing the image and performance of the hotel sector. Currently, environmental responsibility is often regarded as a corporate issue, and various pro-ecological initiatives originating from central management are increasingly implemented at various corporate levels.
The aim of this paper is to provide an overview of the environmental pro-activeness and ground-breaking work that has been carried out within the Scandic Hotel chain (henceforth referred to as Scandic) over the past decade. This is an account of how environmental responsibility can become a top corporate priority and lead to significantly decreased environmental impacts, excellent economic performance and a considerably upgraded environmental image.