ISO14001: The Challenges in Establishing Environmental Management Systems in Tourism and Hospitality Establishments

ISO14001: The Challenges in Establishing Environmental Management Systems in Tourism and Hospitality Establishments

Hanafi Hamzah (Universiti Putra, Malaysia), Shahrim Karim (Universiti Putra, Malaysia), Angelo Camillo (Woodbury University, USA) and Svetlana Holt (Woodbury University, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 10
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8606-9.ch002
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In the last decades, the tourism and hospitality industries have increased their awareness toward environmental sustainability and the application of Environmental Management Systems (EMS). However, research into EMS application and its challenges in the hospitality industry has been left out of sight. In fact, it appears that most hospitality and tourism organizations have neglected to adopt and implement EMS and have failed to recognize the benefits EMS can offer. Perhaps this may explain mixed findings on EMS success adoption and implementation to date. This conceptual paper investigates the challenges and opportunities within the concept of sustainability and aims to sum the existing knowledge on EMSs and the opportunities for its successful implementation in tourism and hospitality establishments. The findings will raise awareness of the importance of EMS and stimulate changes in the way management puts its effort toward enhancing the value these establishments put on adoption and implementation of EMS.
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2. The Concept And Theories

Current literature shows evidence that tourism and hospitality industries have focused their environmental attention toward understanding and motivating and adapting environmental management practices in organizations. Within the scope of EMS implementation, researchers have identified various areas where tourism and hospitality industry could focus and benchmark, and on factors that organizations should consider for successful implementation of ISO14001 (Sambasivan & Fei, 2008). Literature also exists on creative financing techniques in setting up EMS in the organizations (Chan & Ho, 2006), and on barriers, benefits and critical issues in ISO14001 implementation (Chan & Li, 2001).

Many researchers (Chan & Wong, 2006; Chan & Hawkins, 2010; Quazi, Khoo, Tan & Wong, 2001; Lawrence, Andrews, Ralph & France, 2002; Pun, Hui, Lau, Law & Lewis, 2002) agree that the concept of environmental management, which leads to sustainability of the business, is still relatively new for some tourism and hospitality organizations and has a multitude of meanings and connotations. The concept of environmental sustainability has become a very serious and profound topic within the tourism and hospitality arena in the past decade. This is primarily due to the accelerated pace in which customer needs and expectations are changing.

Key Terms in this Chapter

EMS Framework: Consist of five basic principles: Environmental policy, Planning Implementation and operation, Checking and corrective action, Review and improvement.

Environmental Audit: Is a general term used to describe the evaluations for environmental compliance and management system implementation.

Sustainable Development: Is a process that deals with human development goals to preserve the natural systems that provides the natural resources and ecosystem services to support human existence.

Environmental Management Systems (EMS): A set of processes and practices that enable an organization to reduce its environmental impacts and increase its operating efficiency.

Environmental Performance Indicators: Commonly used by businesses, governments and non-governmental organizations they are developed, validated and used to track changes to the quality and condition of the air, water, land, and ecological systems. Performance indicators monitor whether goals and targets will be met or not, and can communicate the need for additional measures.

ISO 14000: Is a family of standards related to environmental management that exists to help organizations minimize the negative effect on the environment.

Sustainability: The term sustainability derives from the Latin sustinere ( tenere , to hold; sub , up). Sustain can mean “maintain”, “support”, or “endure”.

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