Increasing environmental awareness and an acceptance of accountability by the public and by businesses internationally and locally, could motivate organisations to adopt Environmental Management as part of their operations. The new direction the tourism and related industries are obliged to follow, in accordance with new government initiatives, will require responsibility in terms of the environment, management of the impacts these activities have on the environment and a commitment to the philosophy of sustainable development. Even though international standards and benchmarks for Environmental Management exist for the hotel industry, standards and guidelines do not yet exist for the South African environment. Furthermore, guidelines for an Environmental Management System in accordance with ISO 14001 have not yet been drafted for this industry, either internationally or locally. The aim of this study is to compile a guideline document for the implementation of Operational Environmental Management in accordance with the requirements of an ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. Three South African hotels, belonging to a local group of hotels but with international exposure, were researched as case studies to establish the impacts hotels may have on the environment. Literature on Environmental Management was studied to extract the requirements for Environmental Management, and combined with the requirements for the establishment of an Environmental Management System as prescribed by ISO 14001. The research confirmed that hotel activities, facilities and services impact on the environment. Environmental Management procedures previously documented for hotels have not been incorporated into an ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. The study successfully combined Environmental Management procedures for the environmental impacts identified for hotel activities, facilities and services with the procedures of establishing an ISO 14001 Environmental Management System. In summary, hotels have activities, facilities and services that impact significantly on the environment, but these significant impacts are site-specific. Detailed site-specific assessments should be undertaken when implementing this guideline for specific hotels, to establish the significance of each of the environmental impacts in relation to the site that is studied. Further studies should adapt this guideline document to the different accommodation types offered in the hospitality industry to ensure that an ISO 14000 Environmental Management System can be implemented at each of these accommodation types.
Dissertation (ML(Landscape Architecture))--University of Pretoria, 2004.