How to cite this article:

Wiastuti, Rachel Dyah. (2014). Green Hotel Operations; Perspective from the First Winner of ASEAN- Indonesia Green Hotel Award 2014. Proceeding of The 1st International Seminar on Tourism (ISOT). Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia. October 27-28th, 2014. Bandung. Indonesia



Green Hotel Operations; Perspective from the First Winner of ASEAN- Indonesia Green Hotel Award 2014

Rachel Dyah Wiastuti

ABSTRACT Purpose- The purpose of this paper is to describe green hotel operations, to classify its practices based on sustainable hotel operations and to explore its benefits. Methodology- This is qualitative research with descriptive analysis. Primary data was collected from interview with hotel management representative. Research was conducted at hotel that become the first winner of ASEAN- Indonesia Green Hotel Award 2014. Findings- The result provides description refer to major principles of green hotel operations; environmental policy, solid waste management, energy efficiency and conservation, water efficiency and conservation, air quality management, noise management, waste water management, and hazardous management. Practical implications – The paper suggests that hotel industry must value green practices, not only because the awards nomination, but due to company responsibility for all stakeholder. Indeed many benefits can be gained through implementing green initiatives. Research limitation- First is limitation in the number of selected hotel. Second, analysis is only from hotel management point of view. Thus further research should be conducted for hotels in wider area considering perspective from employee, government and expert perspective. Value- This study contributes to the understanding for hotel industry acknowledgement for their sustainable contribution. As the result, it will be a benchmarking for other hotel to conduct their operations strategic in order to support global sustainable tourism. Keywords: green hotel operations, green hotel award, green hotel, sustainable, hotel

Keywords: green hotel operations, green hotel award, green hotel, sustainable, hotel

INTRODUCTION There is growing global concern about the ability of the earth‘s environment and resources to sustain the continued expansion of economic activity, including from the expansion and explosion of hospitality and tourism industries (Page, 2013, p.3). Sustainability and environmental concerns have become the most critical issues facing many industries as well as the hotel industry (Nelson Zengeni, Zengeni, & Muzambi, 2013, p.1). Sustainable development, including the development of a more sustainable built environment, has thus become a vital priority and a veritable challenge. Hoteliers are increasingly aware that the environment and its protection are crucial to hotel industry development and performance (Bohdanowicz, Simanic, & Martinac, 2005, p.1).

The growth, development and well-being of the hotel industry depend on a constant availability of natural resources (Bohdanowicz, 2005, p.2). At the same time, the natural environment is also the feature most directly threatened by potential over exploitation. Kasim (2004) commented that hotel in particular have recently received much attention, with awareness of the negative impact that they may have on the environment (as cited in Millar & Baloglu, 2011). The hotel industry is among the most energy-intensive sectors of the tourism industry (Bohdanowicz et al., 2005, p.1). Bohdanowicz and Martinac (2007) indicated that 75% of environmental pollution caused by hotel industry was from over-consuming energy, water, and materials while operating business (as cited in Y.C Chen & Chen, 2012, p.1). To address all negative impacts, hotels have voluntarily begun to change their practices that bring benefit both for the environment and for hotel itself (Millar & Baloglu, 2011). Encourage, support and promote the greening of hotel industry is one of the key element to sustain the tourism sustainability thus save the environment (Green Hotel Association, 2014). If green management can be effectively implemented, not only can cost-effective, but also the negative environmental impacts can be reduced. Gustin and Weaver (1996) argued that by promoting the environmental practices they incorporate into their business, hotels will receive great positive publicity and they stand to save money too (as cited in Millar & Baloglu, 2011). If hotel industry can put the idea of green management into practice, not only can it benefit environmental and ecological protection, but it would also reduce hotel operation cost (Chen & Chen, 2012, p.1) According to a survey conducted by American Hotel and Lodging Association, 90% of American hotels have adopted green activities so as to acquire some of the benefits of going green. However in developing countries (such as Indonesia) this has not been the case as some hotels have not yet adopted some green practices and hence they have never enjoyed the benefits of going green (Zengeni et al., 2013, p.1). It is being recognized that hotel must preserve and protect the environment and natural resources to support tourism and global sustainable. Bohdanowicz (2005) stated that even hoteliers admit that hotels have a significant impact on the environment which makes green practices essential rather than optional (as cited in Kim, 2009, p.26). Good for the planet, good for people, and good for profit- these three sustainability explains why hotels are going green and it is not just green- washing (Cook, Yale, & Marqua, 2010, p.322). The objectives of this paper are to describe green hotel operations, to classify its practices based on sustainable hotel operations and to explore its benefits.


Definition of Green Hotel According to the Green Hotel Association, green hotels are ―environmentally-friendly properties whose managers are eager to institute programs that save water, save energy and reduce solid waste—while saving money—to help protect our one and only earth‖ (2014). Tourism Council Australia (1998) proposed that the idea of green hotel is ―to provide natural accommodation and facility including green services, green products, and fresh and comfortable environment‖. Lee Ni (2002) also suggested that a green hotel is ―a hotel which provides both facilities and services with the idea of environmental protection‖ (as cited in Chen & Chen, 2012, p.2). Kasim (2004) defined green hotel as ―incorporates socio-economic factors where the hotel operates in a responsible manner towards its employees, the local community, the local culture, and the surrounding ecology‖. While Watkins (1994, p.70) defined green hotels as those that ―show concern for the environment‖ (as cited in Millar & Bongulo, 2011, p.10)
―Green hotel is a hotel which is environmentally-friendly and adopts energy conservation measures‖ (ASEAN Tourism Standard, 2007, p.5). Iwanowski (2003) defined green hotel as an ―environmentally sensitive hotel that operates its business in a manner that minimizes degradation of the environment‖ (as cited in Zengeni et al., 2013, p.2). Manaktola and Jauhari (2007) defined green hotel as ―lodging facility committed to ecological practices such as saving of water, energy and waste‖ (as cited in Zengeni et al., 2013, p.2 and Kim, 2009, p.22). To conclude above, a green hotel‘s goal is to introduce the idea of environmental protection. The core spirit of green hotel aims to reduce environmental impacts and energy consumption while providing products and services to customers.

Award and Certification of Green Hotel

Green practices in Indonesia conducted as compliance from Peraturan Pemerintah Republik Indonesia No 27 tahun 2012 that construct about Environment Permit of AMDAL (Analisis Mengenai Dampak Lingkungan) or Indonesian Environment Feasibility Assessment. There are so many certifications in either green practice, sustainable, or environment subject. Here are two awards and two certifications that will be explore furthermore.

Green Hotel Award, issued by ASEAN Tourism Council on two year basis, initiated in 2007 as a form of appreciation and recognition give to hotel industry whose operations are based on environmentally-friendly principles and adopt energy conservation measure refer to ASEAN Green Hotel Standards. The primary objective of the award is to provide the well-deserved recognition to hotels that go beyond conventional practices and embark on green and environment friendly measures supporting responsible tourism ( National Green Hotel Award, issued by Indonesia Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy on two year basis, initiated in 2011 as a form of appreciation and recognition of Indonesia‘s hotel industry whose apply the concept of green hotel (

PROPER Certification (Program Penilaian Peringkat Kinerja Perusahaan Dalam Pengelolaan Lingkungan Hidup), issued by Indonesia Ministry of Environment. PROPER is a certification of recognition for industry that adopts environmental practices ( Eco-Hotel Management System Certification, issued by PT TUV Rheinland Indonesia, a recognized certification body for tourism industry by Indonesia Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy in the aspects of food hygiene sanitation, energy audit and eco-hotel & resort management system (

Fundamental or Attributes of Green Hotel

Green hotels, also called eco-friendly hotels, ecologically friendly hotels, or environmentally friendly hotels, are defined a variety of ways (Millar & Bongulo, 2011). The specific areas of focus are energy efficiency, recycling, water conversation, and clean air practices (Bohdanowicz, 2005; 2006 cited in Zengeni, 2013, p.2 and Kim 2009, p.22). Refer to Page (2013, p.176) green hotel must practice three basic criteria which are educating the tourist, purchasing activities, and management system.

According to ASEAN Tourism Standard (2007, p.5) there are 11 major criteria to provide and a key for ASEAN Green Hotel Standard which are (1) Environmental policy and actions for hotel operations, (2) Use of green products, (3) Collaboration with the community and local organization, (4) Human resource development, (5) Solid waste management, (6) Energy efficiency, (7) Water efficiency, (8) Air quality management, (9) Noise pollution control, (10) Wastewater treatment and management and (11) Toxic and chemical substance and disposal management (

National Green Hotel Awards classified green hotel into two criteria; 25% green building (eco friendly material) and 75% green management system (tools, equipment, electricity and waste efficiency) as cited in ( and

PROPER assess based on two category; obliged compliance and beyond compliance. Obliged compliance criteria are (1) Document report, (2) Control for water pollution, (3) Control for air pollution, (4) Management for B3 (Bahan Berbahaya dan Beracun), (5) Control for seawater pollution. Meanwhile PROPER beyond compliance criteria are (1) Environment management system, (2) Energy efficiency, (3) Emission reduction, (4) Implementation of reduce, reuse, recycle waste B3, (5) Implementation of reduce, reuse, recycle for waste non B3, (6) Water conservation and pollution reduction, (7) Natural diversity conservation, (8) Community development (

California Department of General Services (2014, p.1) for California Green Lodging Program in the subject of Green Best Practices for hotel classified into 10 criteria, which are (1) Commitment to environmental practices, (2) Recycling and reuse, (3) Energy efficiency and conservation, (4) Lighting, (5) Water efficiency and conservation, (6) Landscape, (7) Pest management, (8) Hazardous and Toxic substances, (9) Transportation, and (10) Purchasing (

Earth Check Certification uses 10 key performance based platform of green hotel which are (1) Greenhouse Gas Emissions, (2) Energy Efficiency, Conservation and Management, (3) Management of Freshwater Resources, (4) Ecosystem Conservation and Management, (5) Social and Cultural Management, (6) Land Use Planning and Management, (7) Air Quality Protection, (8) Waste Water Management, (9) Solid Waste Management, and (10) Environmentally Harmful Substances ( From all point above, can be conclude that there are at least five fundamental practice for green hotel operations which are energy efficiency, water efficiency, waste (solid and water) management, hazardous management, and environmental initiative.


This study conducted in a qualitative method with descriptive analysis. Lindlof and Taylor (2002, p.18) mentioned that study using qualitative methods often focus only on a partial set of relationships in a scene. Qualitative researcher seek to preserve and analyze the situated form, content and experience of social action, rather than subject it to mathematical or other formal transformations. As noted by Kriyantono (2012, p.56), qualitative research aims to explain the deepest phenomenon through in-depth data collection. Neumann (2003, p.30) mentioned that descriptive research presents a picture of the specific details of a situation, social setting, or relationship. The outcome of a descriptive study is a detailed picture of the subject. Indonesia Tourism Council and ASEAN Tourism Council were used as main reference in order to obtain which hotel that was selected. As a result, Hotel Borobudur was chosen with main reason as the first winner of ASEAN-Indonesia Green Hotel Award 2014.

As primary data, in dept interview was conducted with Eco Hotel Manager of Borobudur Hotel Jakarta as hotel management representatives. Interview applied in order to obtain detail information required so that open ended questions are used (Oei, 2010, p.43). Monette et al. ―an interview involves an interviewer reading questions to respondents and recording their answers‖ (Kumar, 2011, p.145). Secondary data is data obtained from the second source (Kriyantono, 2012, p.42). In this study, the secondary data was obtained from the literature study and documentation. Researcher conducted a literature study, by using the references that were relevant to this research


In the hotel industry, practices associated with green concerns are diverse; they may encompass a variety of activities from pollution prevention to stakeholders‘ awareness campaigns. However, this research defines green practices from the point of view as internal efforts or activities of Borobudur Hotel. All below information refer to personal communication with Syah (2014). Borobudur Hotel is the only hotel in Jakarta that offers a huge 23 acres of green landscape. Since 2009, Borobudur Hotel start committed to develop its environment program. To be said recognized the importance of sustainability in tourism development. Main objective is to keep on running the business while company operate it business profitably yet in socially and environmentally responsible manner to achieve business sustainability and stakeholder satisfaction, improving environment, improving operations and energy conversation.

As a part of Artha Graha Group, Borobudur Hotel was fully supported by its corporate office. First commitment was taken in a term of ―Policy Statement of Environmental Management‖, to summarize this is a management statement concerning to well being and satisfaction of the whole community; guest, employees, suppliers and public. Borobudur Hotel divided their main focus in green program development into ―Ten Element of Eco Hotel Borobudur Jakarta‖, which means there are 10 focus. This program is the basic tools that specifically designed to implement green hotel policy within the hotel and it does always developed throughout times In response to above company statement and focus, an Eco Hotel Team was formed. A total of 22 employees are responsible, consist of 20 employee and one Eco Hotel Manager who directly reporting to General Manager as the advisor. All 20 employees are on coordination organization structure, meaning that only Eco Hotel Manager that hold fix position while others are supplied from broaden department with the minimum requirement from supervisor level. The main purpose of the team is to initiate project and assist operation as well as support all operation related to green hotel program. Eco Hotel Manager was appointed by Hotel General Manager, with no specific duration, it can be throughout a year, two year or even 3 years as on actual condition recently. Eco Hotel Manager holds the same position as Food Safety Manager as well and he becomes the leading ambassador for all eco programs as he should guarantee that the principle resulting from all program detail are respected and properly applied. Eco Hotel Team do meeting on monthly basis in order to ensure the coordination run smoothly.

Since Eco Hotel Team is not an integrated department, thus it has no specific budget allocation. Instead, each focus in ―Ten Element of Eco Hotel Borobudur‖ is in line with each hotel department, so that the budget will be allocated to that particular department. For example focus number 3 (Surrounding communities, culture heritage and social responsibility) will be allocated to human resources department, focus number 4 (Purchase and Supply Management) to purchasing department, focus number 6 (energy management) and number 7 (water management) to engineering department. This is how Eco Hotel Team obtains fund to run the program. In the case that it is over budget, then it will be allocated on the next consecutives period. Eco Hotel Team and green program development in Borobudur Hotel is not only written on a paper basis, but indeed it was well applied, well coordinated, and even until today onwards. It does in fact establish. But as of now Eco Hotel Team still try to figure it out the most appropriate punishment and rewards system to each department that fail to conduct its green practice.

Eco green hotel program employ PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) for its operations. Plan; identify aspect and impact by implementing goals and objectives, establish the baseline, documentation and records. Do; implement, including training and operational control measures, determine strategy. Check; assess the measurement and report results to decision maker, management review, monitoring, analysis, internal audit. Act; decide on changes needed to improve process, continuous improvement, identify barrier, established future gap, new strategic goals, optimization. The implementation of the program will be monitored on an ongoing basis. On periodically basis Eco Hotel Manager indicated the entire implemented program to be compared with prior-year outcomes, served as a management tools as well as a reporting system. ―Ten elements of Eco Hotel Borobudur Jakarta‖, in practice, this means that hotel is committed for 10 focuses as explained below;

Policy, Organization and Suitable Management

This focus means to achieve continual improvement and to focus on effective planning and operation, customer satisfaction, increase safety and reduce negative impact to the environment as well as responsible care for the local community and culture heritage. Accomplishments through (1) company commitment to support sustainable development, (2) corporate support to environmental policy, (3) put allocation to have eco green hotel program explanation during new employee orientation induction session, (4) construct a well solid eco green hotel team and implied its coordination, (5) distribute eco sticker and poster for hotel employee to boost green awareness, (6) allocate wall poster in employee corridor, employee dining room, employee locker and washroom to boost employee awareness

Customer Relation Management

This focus means to make environmental policy or objective visible communicate to customer and invite actively and to evaluate customer (guest, corporate customer, tour operators) expectation and require full fill by analyzed guest complain and suggestion through corrective action take. Accomplishments through (1) set up guest questionnaire specified for inquiring guest perception and expectation of green hotel program. This questionnaire is specially designed with distinctive 8 questions that only concern to green practice, and totally different with other guest questionnaire, (2) encourage the guest to involve themselves in the hotel‘s environmental initiatives and are offered advice on how to use towels, linen, electricity and water more efficiently during their stay, (3) initiate to make video project about green hotel program. It cost a lot of money, but the main objective is to share to all shareholders about the importance and to raise the awareness of all viewers refer to green program run by Borobudur Hotel. This particular video placed in sales kit and displayed in guest room television, with total of 8 minutes duration

Surrounding Communities, Culture Heritage & Social Responsibility

This focus means to take care surrounding communities and culture heritage, eco systems, natural protect area, through continual program of Eco Hotel Management System (EHMS). Accomplishments through (1) social responsibility that works at two levels; first, it initiates project for the Group (Artha Graha Group) called ―Artha Graha Peduli Foundation (AG Peduli)‖ and second, it initiates for the hotel. Both levels provide activities on social awareness, humanity act and environment. AG Peduli establish cooperation with various companies and government officials domestically or on abroad including forest ministry, BNN, BNPB, Indonesia Safari Park, Indonesia Youth Committee, Indonesian National Army, UNDOC (, (2) invite housewife from nearby Kelurahan and Kecamatan to receive training session that can enhanced their skills, (3) funding through scholarship scheme for children, (4) open funding opportunity for neighborhood area to support local economy in small business enterprise

Purchase and Supply Management

This focus means to create awareness and ensure that the purchase procedure include sustainability criteria to prefer reduce, reuse, and recycle, purchasing locally available product and service and life costing calculation for equipment. Accomplishments through (1) allocate first priority to buy product with green label or eco label. But here is the obstacle, not all Indonesia product comes with eco label, only a few and those are more expensive than those without eco label. At least one eco-labeled product for compendium and one for chemical cleaning supplies, for example, paper and laundry chemical, (2) cooperate only with supplier that hold eco certificate for green product, (3) do minimum two supplier assessment on monthly basis, (4) buy reuse wooden furniture

Hazardous Material Management

This focus means to composition and hazardous material and product should be reduced and such materials should be replaced with less no hazardous material. Accomplishments through (1) proper chemical selection, (2) proper storage system for all hazardous material, (3) allocate training manual on how to deal with chemical

Energy Management

This focus means to apply energy efficiency practice and invest in renewable energy technologies as tool as to reduce operating cost, contribute to the conversation of natural resources and reduce green emission. Accomplishments through (1) 60% of all light bulbs is using Light Emitting Diode (LED), and keep on increasing its percentage, it is done on periodically basis until the target of 100%, (2) program LED Television in all guest room into mute mode if it is idle after 10 minutes, (3) program centralized Air Conditioning (AC) in all guest room on 24 degree Celsius for normal condition, (4) program centralized AC in ballroom area to be switch on 3 hours prior to the event, (5) program centralized AC in meeting room to be switch on one hour prior to the meeting schedule, (6) build internal micro turbine machine, in corporation with United Nation Development Program (UNDP) and Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Teknologi (BPPT) to transform water into renewable source of energy. Through all this implementation, management manage to greatly reduce its electricity, water and gas consumption trough the years, (7) socialized slogan program for employee called as ―Say YES to Energy Saving‖, that applied as a guide to ensure continued enjoyment of the good life, that electricity provides today and in the future. This program consist of six element; do not leave lights on in empty rooms, there is no reason for the lights to be on if it is not in use, switch off computer and computer upon finish working, use the power saving feature for computer to switch off computer‘s hard disk and monitor after it had been idle for 15 minutes, keeping blinds open and turning off lights when there is enough daylight or when area are unoccupied, have a switch off list of items that need powering down on evening and make sure all colleagues know about the procedure, reducing paper use by only printing when needed and printing double sided

Water Management

This focus means to reduce water consumption and satisfy guest satisfaction which can be achieved through improved efficiency. Accomplishments through (1) build internal water cycling machine, in corporation with UNDP, to recycle water to its purposes fill up swimming pool and watering garden, (2) program double flush on toilet bowl into single flush on periodically basis, cycling on different floor. Although guest use double flush, but actually it is set as single flush, thus reduce the use of water, (3) provide all with shower instead of hand bucket, (4) build and increase biopori system, with main purposes that raining water will be absorbed by soil water, (5) do plant or garden watering during morning as it best time, (6) educate guest to participate on green staying by informing bedroom linen and bathroom towel policy that will be replaced after three consecutive nights, unless guest ask for not to. This practice straight reduce the use of water, detergent and electricity

Air and Noise Management

This focus means to apply proper management practice to help reduce global warning, create a healthier air quality for guest, staff, and the surrounding and to create greens areas where possible for air purification. Accomplishments through (1) allocate all boiler and equipment warehouse located outdoor or outside the main building, (2) provide 23 acres of green lush garden to reduce air pollution, especially in parking area while it is full capacity, to be proven it passed emission test measurement, (3) do well planned renovation and conduct it based as its scheduled, for example floor 10 is under renovation, then one floor below (floor 9) and one floor above (floor 11) will be vacant, to avoid noise disturbed

Waste Management

This focus means to acknowledge the essential of separating waste at the point of origin, to avoid contamination and reducing number of wasted by applying good practice reduce, reuse and recycle. Accomplishments through (1) cooperate only with supplier that hold eco certificate for recycling oil and hazardous waste, (2) build compos system and rumah compos (house of compos) for internal garden fertilization purposes, (3) watering system that utilizes recycled waste water, (4) do sorted and recycled organic waste and non organic waste, (5) build waste water treatment series machine to reduce level of pollution

Safety Management

This focus means to properly utilize and maintain all of safety relevant utilities installation. Have maximum safety standard and responsible management in preparedness for emergency response. Accomplishments through (1) extensive training session related to safety subject, (2) ensure provide and equipped all area with proper fire and safety tools and equipment

By applying above ―Ten elements of Eco Hotel Borobudur Jakarta‖ since 2011, Borobudur Hotel performance on global scale stands out and has been recognized with several awards; First winner of National Green Hotel Award 2013-2015 and first winner of ASEAN- Indonesia Green Hotel Award 2014-2016. Borobudur Hotel was given the highest marks for 2 points; waste water recycling and green cleaning. Recycled water was used to water the hotel’s extensive gardens and to flush toilets, also reduced waste, use of water and battery and economized on Air Conditioning. Borobudur Hotel also decided to assess their environment practice and thus achieved Blue Category of PROPER Certification 2013-2014 and Eco Hotel Management System Certification from TUV Rheinland 2013-2016 With all those awards, achievements and its green practice implications, Borobudur Hotel had gain several benefit (1) energy saving and efficiency, thus employee service charge is increasing and so employee welfare is assured, (2) stronger hotel brand image, thus assist marketing to boost the sales, (3) motivate all management, both hotel and corporate, to always renew and comes up with fresh idea for green program, thus management keep on updating their program and sustainable strategic, (4) competitive advantages while compete with other hotel thus provide more confident for all hotel employee to be a part of hotel management. Despite all the benefit, it is a fact that government, Indonesia Tourism and Economic Creative, support nothing but only award recognition as plakat, document of certificate and publicity. To be said that there is no real and direct support from Indonesia Government itself for Indonesia enterprise. Borobudur Hotel do hope that on the future there will be more precise support, for instance government may give free access for assessment or certification for the winner of national green hotel award. By doing so, it is believe that hotel will be more than happy to participate and to enhance their internal green practice to be a part of global Indonesia sustainable development. Boh (2005, p.14) said that governments should become involved by providing incentives for the industry to adopt environmentally sound practices. The instruments available include ―green financing and ―green investment‖ schemes initiated by governments.


It can be seen that the scale of action towards sustainable development with minor in green practice by Borobudur Hotel is exceedingly above all hotels in Indonesia. Bohdanowicz (2005) said that the potential of implementing more sustainable practices in the hotel sector requires the availability of reliable tools for assessment and benchmarking of hotel environmental performance. Although specifically defining a green hotel is difficult, even with certification programs, managers and employees that decide to green their hotels share common philosophies and goals. The environment is an integral part of their organization and mission. They do it to protect the environment for future generations (Millar & Boluglo, 2011). Borobudur Hotel green practice implementation might be a good benchmarking for all hotel industry in Indonesia that would initiate to develop their environmental sustainable program. Tzschentke, et al. (2004) It is belief that environmental action was not only the responsible thing to do, but it was also ―the right thing to do‖ from both an individual and a business perspective (as cited in Ogbeide, 2012). Further research should be conducted for hotels in wider area considering perspective from employee, government and expert perspective.

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