Webster at Hospitality Conference

The business & management department's own Dr. Pernille Eskerod and MBA-student Jovana Djuric presented the results of their research on green certifications in the hotel industry at the 3rd International Tourism and Hospitality Management Conference, which was held in Belgrade, Serbia, from the 13-17 Sept. 2017. The presentation was very well received. Dr. Eskerod also served as a session chair at the conference

Dr. Eskerod and Ms. Djuric, who has a merit-based trainee scholarship in the business and management department, are researching how hotels participate in third-party green certification programs to minimize their environmental footprint and to attract environmentally-conscious customers and employees.

Paper Title 

GREEN CERTIFICATIONS WITHIN THE HOTEL INDUSTRY

Abstract

A blooming hotel industry has the downside of an increased negative environmental impact. At the same time, many hotel guests and employees have become conscious of eco-friendliness and green practices. In addition, 2017 has been declared for International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development by United Nations with the emphasis (among other elements) on resource efficiency and environmental protection. A hotel that has green certification(s) promises more green services, products, and operations, and has thereby (potentially) an important strategic asset, when it comes to attracting customers and employees. Many green certifications are offered within the hotel industry, such as for example Green Globe and Green Key. However, which certificate(s) to choose, is a strategic choice for the hotel management. In this paper, we examine green certifications in order to determine similarities and differences among them. As part of the research, we analyze the usage of the certificates in different regions (e.g. Southeast Europe). Even though, many of the certifications are offered internationally, clear differences in dissemination across regions are identified. In addition to region, the belonging to a hotel chain/brand seems to highly influence the choice of certificate(s).

Further Data Collection

On top of the conference participation, the two researchers conducted interviews on green practices and certifications at Hotel Prag and Radisson Blu Old Mill Hotel, which are both among the leading business hotels in Serbia. Hotel Prag has been certified by the ISO 14001 standard on Environmental Management, whereas Radisson Blu Old Mill Hotel was the first hotel in Serbia to be Green Key certified. Additionally, it received a sustainability award from the Serbian Chamber of Commerce in Sept. 2017.

For more information about this research, please contact Dr. Eskerod: pernille.eskerod@webster.ac.at