During December 2013 and January 2014 approximately 65 hospitality professionals were contacted and invited to provide their personal opinions on environmental sustainability know how requirements for F&B professionals. The festive season as well as the busy nature of hospitality professionals resulted in a respondent number of 16 people. This represents approximately 25% from the total sampling seize of 65 contacted professionals. The survey was anonymous and the results and analysis can be found following here:
Question 1: A total of 68% or 11 out of 16 respondents have been moderately or very frequently confronted with food related, environmental sustainability in the past 12 months.
Question 2: The average rating of the importance of food related environmental sustainability of the immediate managerial subordinate is 6 (one point higher than somewhat important) 2 Respondent consider this knowledge of their immediate subordinate as “very important and a key asset”.
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Question 3: 31.25% or 5 respondents consider food related environmental sustainability education as “extremely important” from a professional viewpoint. 12 out of 16 respondents consider it “important” to “extremely important”. (rating 8,9,10)
Question 4: 13 our of 16 respondents privately consider food related environmental sustainability knowledge important to extremely important. (rating 8,9,10). One higher than when consider the same question, professionally.
Question 5: 35,7% or 5 respondents note that food related environmental sustainability activities have an elevated impact (rating 8&9) on their expenses and margins. 10 out of 16 respondents (62.5%) give it a rating of 6 or higher. 2 Respondent did not venture their opinion, though.
Question 6: Only 50 % answered this question. Out of the 8 provided answers, 6 (75%) think a 200 US dollar cost per day and person is an adequate price for food related environmental sustainability education.
Please note below the 7 additional comments to Question 6, they are ranging from 1000 THB (33US$ to 80 USDollar to 100 US Dollar)
Question 7: What would positively influence your purchase decision?
Certificate from a globally recognized sustainability certification label 50%
An action plan applicable to my operation, which helps to reduce food waste and water consumption. 50%
A risk assessment of my current operation status 37.50%
A post course training plan for my kitchen team 31.25%
A post course certificate of attainment 18.75%
A certificate from a hospitality focused sustainability certification label 12.50%
Question 8: What topics are of particular interest to you?
Topic of interest % Respondents
Food waste and how to reduce it 87.50% 14
Energy consumption reduction 62.50% 10
Food related environmental sustainability know how 56.25% 9
Food related health and well being aspects 50.00% 8
Basic environmental management system know how 43.75% 7
Water foot print of food 37.50% 6
Cutting edge market trends 37.50% 6
Question 9: What is the contribution of your kitchen to the hotel’s overall waste?
25% (4 pers) or the respondents do not know the kitchen contribution to the hotels overall waste creation.
12.50% (2 persons) think its 0% – 10%
31.25% ( 5 persons) think its 11 – 20%
0% ( nobody ) thinks its 21 – 30%
25% (4 persons) think it is 31 – 40%
6.25% ( 1 person ) think it is more than 40%
Question 10: What is your kitchens contribution to the hotels overall water consumption?
31.25% (5 pers) of the respondents do not know their related water consumption.
18.75% (3 persons) think its 0% – 10%
18.75% ( 3 persons) think its 11 – 20%
25% (4 persons) think it is 21 – 30%
6.25% ( 1 person ) think it is more than 31 – 40%
It appears as highly interesting that 68% of all respondents have been frequently or very frequently confronted with environmental sustainability aspects related to Food in the past 12 months. A sure sign that mid level and senior level F&B professionals are more and more required to be able to include environmental sustainability aspects in their daily decisions.
One can be certain that the aforementioned percentage will increase with every natural disaster – of which we had several in only the past weeks. (written on February 18th 2014). The recent cooperation between China and the USA to fight climate change will certainly increase the awareness as well as the recent “straight talk speech” of US Senator Kerry, comparing Climate Change to weapons of mass destruction. This authors prediction is that Climate change will be “the” major topic of the 2016 US presidential election campaign.
A concern is the not being aware of the Kitchen departments overall contribution to a hotels waste creation respectively overall water consumption. 25% respectively 31.25% of the respondents stated that they did not know this. Hotels are very vulnerable to water related risks. What if the water is suddenly absent or worse, increases drastically in price? Is this a consideration worth postponing until it is staring in ones face?
It is apparent that many F&B professionals are very interested to reduce food waste (more than 85% of all respondents. How creative and aggressive a F&B professional is willing to drive this point? Ideas are ranging from canceling “all you can eat buffets” to perhaps starting to monitor daily food waste creation by kitchen station or outlet? Is it fair or realistic to expect that a F&B Manager or Director is driving such a decision by him or herself? Support from facts as well as his/her superior certainly makes such a decision easier.
It is obvious, that this author’s conviction is that environmental sustainability considerations are useful, pay for themselves and can be the reasons for increased revenues. This has been confirmed nay, solidified, after more than 15 executed audits of environmental management systems in 5star and luxury hotels and resorts.
I invite you to get in touch with me if you are considering to start to drive environmental sustainability considerations in your operation. Its worth it – because the planet deserves more than half measures !