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Published: Friday 23 August, 2013

new michael kors watches new michael kors watches ´╗┐Agreeing to go green

Can the contradicting agendas of tourism and environmental preservation be reconciled? The Conference on Environmental Management Practices in the Hospitality Industry, jointly presented by the Nilai International University College NIUC and Oxford Brookes University, UK, at the Equatorial Hotel in Kuala Lumpur recently, explored this relevant question. Stop the destruction: A dead coral reef in Sibu Island, Sabah destroyed by pollution and human interference. IBRAHIM MOHTAR/The Star

Oxford Brooke Universitys research team from its Centre for Environmental Studies CESHI pointed out that in Europe, environmental legislation is aimed at preventing pollution rather than penalising polluters after the fact. In the UK, the government charges Landfill Tax on landfill operators for every tonne of waste disposed. This helps to reduce the amount of waste dumped in landfills, promote reuse and recycling, and provide funding for research into more sustainable ways of managing waste. The Climate Change Levy, on the other hand, taxes energy consumption in the nondomestic sector industry, commerce and the public sector and encourages these sectors to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. In comparison, environmental legislation is lacking in Malaysia. This sentiment was surprisingly shared by the local hospitality industry in a survey conducted by the Malaysian Association of Hotels MAH on 100 four and fivestar hotels in Malaysia, 82% agree that legal restrictions are the only way to control damage to the environment. Herbert LaubichlerPichler, who presented the results of the survey, believes lax legislation in developing countries encourages foreign corporations to exploit the legal loopholes even as they meet the stringent environmental standards in their home countries. This practice of double standards is exemplified by news reports last year that exposed how companies in Europe and America were dumping their wastes in Africa. Last year, the Hilton Hotels Corporation and Hilton International was accused by UKbased tourism watchdog, Tourism Concern, of shortchanging local communities and contributing to habitat destruction in Bimini in the Bahamas and Mandhoo Island in the Maldives. Closer to home, we hear disturbing news that more than two years after the tsunami, local communities in Sri Lanka, Thailand and India remain displaced because they are not allowed to rebuild their homes in coastal land now earmarked for highend tourism development projects. But legislation is not the only operative word when it comes to tourism and the environment. Savings as a result of investments in energy and waste management, as well as a growing concern for responsible tourism, are driving Europe to address the eco agenda. Surveys in Europe have shown that about 70% of holidaymakers claim they would prefer to stay in hotels that dont damage the environment. More than 50% claim they would be willing to pay more for such accommodation, and more than 80% will not return to destinations that are polluted. This trend is especially true for highend and experienced travellers who make environmental travel choices because they believe a better environment makes for a better quality holiday experience with the added bonus of a clear conscience. The results of the MAH survey show that local hoteliers recognise this trend too, for 78% agree that being environmentally friendly gives them an edge over their competitors. The downside to this is that some hoteliers cash in on the trend by indiscriminately slapping on the green label while carrying on as usual. As yet, there is no standard for benchmarking responsible tourism in the region. This is why Wild Asia, a conservation group based in Malaysia, is taking the initiative by handing out new michael kors watches Responsible Tourism RT awards to tourism operators, as well as providing RT training to those who want to make a difference. So how does a hotel begin to go green? The research team from Oxford Brookes recommends the following actions: Set up a Green Team to champion the environmental cause. Write an environmental policy statement which will become the bedrock for all environmental initiatives. Set and monitor targets, for example, commit to reductions in energy, water and waste, and check your targets against monthly utility bills. Invest in environmental management technologies but focus on techniques rather than technologies at the beginning. Make it fun and reward employees who get involved. The environmental practices of hotels, no doubt, constitute only a small aspect of the climate change poser facing us. We need forums that bring together academia and representative from the entire tourism industry to solve the climate change problem. As Prof Geoffrey Lipmann, assistant secretarygeneral of the World Tourism Organisation UNWTO, noted during the World Tourism Conference in Kuala Lumpur from June 4June 6, There is growing consensus, political pressure and urgency for action. The tourism sector must play its part in finding solutions to climate change, in the same way as all other sectors. This will mean mitigation and adaptation across the entire tourism chain transport, accommodation, ground services and new michael kors watches the like. Doing good Your hotel can already start applying these simple and cheap techniques to fight climate change and save on bills, even before investing in environmental management technologies: Good maintenance Ensure that all major energyconsuming equipment is wellmaintained and that faults are reported and rectified immediately. This saves 2 new michael kors watches % or more of energy cost. Energy Adjust your thermostat: increase the temperature of the airconditioners of all offices and common areas and increase the default temperature of all guestrooms. This saves up to 2% of electricity cost for every degree you raise. A Switch off campaign: train staff and encourage guests to turn lights and electrical equipment off whenever they are not in use. This saves up to 10% of electricity cost. Energysaving lights: Replace conventional lamps with energysaving equivalents. Energy saving bulbs use 80% less energy than conventional ones and last 15,000 hours. Water Stop leaks: Check pipes and fittings for leaks and seal them immediately. A leaking tap can waste over 12 litres of water a day and a leaking toilet can waste up to 750 litres a day. Cistern dams: Fit cistern dams or bags in all toilet cisterns to reduce the amount of water required per flush while maintaining the adequate level of hygiene, of course. This saves three litres of water per flush. Fully loaded: Train staff to operate dishwashers and washing machines on full load only. This saves up to 20% of water. Bucket wash: Train staff to clean bathrooms using a bucket, rather than allowing taps to run. This saves up to 20% of water. Reuse towels: Encourage guests to hang their towels up if they wish to reuse them. Waste Recycle: Contact local recycling services so they can collect unwanted glass, cardboard, plastic, aluminium and electrical appliances. Multiuse products: Replace disposable products with multiuse alternatives and ask your suppliers to provide items in minimum or reusable packaging. Reduce: Efficient food purchasing, storage and meal planning can reduce food waste. Donate: Donate textiles and furniture to local charities and community groups. Taken from research by the Centre for Environmental Studies in the Hospitality Industries CESHI of Oxford Brookes University, UK. new michael kors watches