Environmental sustainability in small and medium enterprises in the Hawke's Bay region of New Zealand

Singh, Sujata Vijendra
Brocx, Monique
Goodsir, Warren
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Master of International Hospitality Management
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Auckland University of Technology

Most literature on sustainability begins with referencing the ‘Brundtland Report’, issued in 1987 by the World Commission on Environment and Development and formerly known as Our Common Future. This report is considered the main driving force behind all sustainability reinforcement, including the provision of an understanding between economic growth and environment protection. This report revolutionized the business community to adopt sustainable practices. Numerous studies have been conducted in the field of sustainability and its benefits for businesses. The common outcome from these studies proposed that ‘sustainability is not just good for people and the planet, but sustainable business practice make good economic sense’ (Collins, Roper & Lawrence, 2010, p. 481). Sustainability can be interpreted in many ways, and in various industries it is practised differently. Businesses, regardless of their size or management, are taking positive steps to incorporate sustainable practices. Sustainability is further interpreted into social, economic and environmental considerations, forming a triple bottom line of any business. This research specifically explores aspects of environmental sustainability (ES)-related practices that are employed in small and medium sized accommodation providers within the Hawke’s Bay region of New Zealand. A Similar study was conducted with hotels by Ustad (2010) also in the field of Environmental Sustainability but from the hotel managers’ perspectives. The industry in which this research has been conducted is the hospitality and tourism industry. There are many hospitality and tourism operators around the world, such as Hilton and Hyatt properties, that have successfully adopted environmentally sustainable practices and have reaped abundant benefits. These business providers have set an excellent example for others to follow; however, there may be a lapse in understanding in certain parts of the industry, such as in small and medium enterprises. The results of this research demonstrate that the property owners are aware of environmentally sustainable practices but are less knowledgeable about environmental management systems and environmentally sustainable standards and accreditations. The practices are carried out of general knowledge regarding the environment and as a responsibility towards the conservation of the planet.

Environmental Sustainability , Small and Medium Enterprises , New Zealand
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