Exploring the Green Key

Sarah Sonne Larsen & Sarah Mee Kolmos Poulsen

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Exploration of eco-labels in relation to the Danish hotel industry is fairly unprecedented and thus new knowledge is created in this thesis. Empirical data is collected from all relevant industry parties; the authorities, the industry organisations, the hotels and the hotel guests. The thesis answers the following research question: What should an ambitious Danish Green Key encompass, and how can this Improved Green Key be utilised by Danish hotels? Out of the 100 Danish hotels surveyed to represent the hotel industry as a whole, 36 percent have an eco-label and expect an added marketing value to be the primary reward. This is even more pronounced for the 27 Green Key hotels surveyed. However, it was found that Green Key recognisability among guests is very little, due to a lack of marketing. A total of 100 hotel guests divided into four segments were surveyed, and they all consider price, location and comfort the primary deciding factors when selecting a hotel. Nevertheless, some guests, and especially the corporate segments, have started to demand eco-labels. The empirical research revealed that 64 percent of Danish hotels do not have an eco-label and the primary reason thereto is expensive investments. Furthermore, it was found that hotels must have some incentive to go green. At present, only indirect economic incentive exist, such as a possibly heightened occupancy rate as and slight decreases in utility costs. The analysis shows that hotels typically consider the Green Key unambitious, un-inspiring and in addition they wish for increased sparring among green hotels. It is believed that a Green Key with an ambitious structure and criteria can create motivation and incentive. It is concluded that the existing Green Key can become more ambitious through increased focus on incentives and encouragement as well as increased marketing. The Improved Green Key can be utilised by Danish hotels to create a strong corporate identity that attracts and retains talented employees. Furthermore, the Improved Green Key can be utilised as an efficient marketing instrument and prepare hotels for the future, which may entail a growth in energy prices and new environmental regulations. The costs connected with the Improved Green Key include a membership fee, a new marketing fee and administration costs. In addition, gradual investments in new equipment and perhaps property renovations can be expected. Costs may be significant, however it is believed that the benefits outweigh the costs, and the Improved Green Key can be recommended to Danish hotels.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2011
Number of pages203