Impact of the Hospitality Industry on the Environment

Certificate III in HospitalityWith the recent renewed interest in global warming and heightened concern for environmental degradation, many people have started to pay attention to the impact of the hospitality industry on the environment. Sustainable work practices are now part of the equation; these practices involve looking at ways the business can reduce their impact on the environment.

There are a number of key areas within a hospitality establishment that need to be considered when reducing negative environmental impacts.

Energy Management: The hospitality sector is a huge consumer of energy. Methods for managing energy in hospitality establishments can include:

Reduction in energy consumption, i.e. switching off air-conditioning units when not in use, blocking sun with window tinting and/or blinds, installing solar hot water heaters

 Replacement of old equipment, i.e.  purchasing of high energy efficient equipment

 Regular maintenance of equipment, i.e. enforcing a fixed maintenance schedule to keep equipment running appropriately

Replacement of fossil energy sources with renewable ones available locally, such as wind or sun (solar power)

Phase out of CFCs (chlorofluorocarbon) in refrigeration products and replacement with internationally accepted agents

Resource Management:

Reduction in use of paper products and increased use of recycled paper (e.g. 20 cases of recycled paper substituted for non-recycled paper save 17 trees, 1476 litres of oil, 264986 litres of water, and 4100 kWh of energy)

Reduction in use of plastic/products and increased use of recycled plastic/other packaging material

Recycling all waste material – To facilitate disposal and recycling, waste should be separated into the following areas and disposed to establishment standards:

  • Paper:

Cardboard, paper, containers, packaging

  • Plastic:

Packaging, bags, bottles wrappers

  • Glass:

Bottles, broken glass, containers, jars

  • Food Waste:

Unusable waste scraps, trimmings, old oils, etc. (used oils and fats should never be poured down drains, they should be poured into drums and collected by a contractor)

  • Metal:

Aluminium cans – an aluminium can saves energy to run a television set for three hours

Chemical Waste – should be handled according to the manufacturer’s instructions and in compliance with local government and environmental regulations. Toxic chemical waste should not be poured down sinks, and used bottles or containers will require special disposal procedures. Refer to the procedures in place at your workplace in relation to the safe disposal of these products

Composting yard and kitchen waste that can then be used as alternative source for gas

Water Management:

Water-efficient technology, i.e. low-flow showerheads and taps fitted with flow restrictors, which reduce water wastage, check for leaking tap

Rainwater harvesting, i.e. utilising rainwater from the roofs to supply water for toilets, laundry and gardening, minimising wastage of rainwater

Grey water system, i.e. treating water with low pollutants from sources like the laundry room, sinks and showers and then diverts it for other uses like watering of gardens

 Whether you are cleaning the bar area, bar equipment or public areas, all staff need to be committed to reducing the negative impacts on the environment. Wherever possible, ‘Earth Friendly’ cleaning products and sanitisers should be used.

A  Certificate III in Hospitality will assist you in ensuring your workplace practices are undertaken in a responsible and sustainable manner.