What is the Project About?
You are learning in this class about the Triple Bottom Line and the 3Ps of Sustainability (or EES). Your are learning about Facility Management through understanding Housekeeping and Engineering operations in hotels. For this project, I want you to combine all of these aspects of our course and look to the future.
You could start your project by first researching a sustainability topic or you can start by first researching a hotel company.
If you start with sustainability, you’re going to begin by researching what is new in the sustainability world, looking at it from the perspective of one of the 3Ps, or potentially all three. As you learn more about the 3Ps, you’ll see how often two of them are integrally connected. An important part of researching is to make sure your sources are credible, recent and valid for your area of interest. I want you to research new initiatives, meaning that none of your sources should be more than 7 years old. You can look for initiatives that could connect to a hotel operation but they don’t have to come from a hotel setting and in fact, I encourage you to look outside the hospitality industry. I want you to look at other industries and see if you can find some new technology, some new ideas that are taking hold in other fields that could be applicable in hospitality.
In these times of COVID and concerns about cleanliness, there could be many technologies or procedures being used or developed for airlines, hospitals or other public places that could be applicable in a hotel setting. Your job will then be to show how it could become valuable for a hotel. And once you’re ready to do that, you’ll need to figure out which hotel company you want to suggest this initiative for. After researching your chosen hotel/chain, be prepared to explain how that hotel or company would benefit from the initiative you have researched. Be prepared to justify how you know they are not already using this particular initiative in your chosen hotel.
Your research, both on sustainability and on the hotel, will have to be secondary research using resources that are accessible online. The GBC library has many resources as does the world wide web!! You may have access to some industry partners within certain hotel chains but I do not expect that level of research given the current conditions. You will likely have to rely on hotel websites and other sources of information about the company to obtain that data.
An example of what I am talking about, and I’m going to use an example that is an old one so that I don’t steal a possible topic from anyone, would be recycling (which is another way of saying, you WON’T be choosing recycling as a project topic). Let’s say you were me, going to school when I was in university, way back when. You might have researched and found that more and more cities were requiring their residents to recycle instead of throwing paper, glass and metal cans in the garbage. Recycling connects very obviously to the Planet, but it also has an impact on Profit in a hotel and you could argue it impacts People too (and as we work further in Module 2 and 3, you will be able to make those distinctions). You might have realized that Fairmont Hotels was not yet done anything about recycling. You could propose a recycling plan, how it would be initiated, what impact it might have on which of the 3Ps within the context of the Four Seasons chain or just for their Toronto location. A current example that involves recycling is the process that is happening the make producers of packaging waste, responsible for the recycling. ” On August 15, 2019, the Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks issued direction to RPRA and Stewardship Ontario to begin transitioning the management of Ontarios Blue Box Program to producers of plastic and other packaging”, according to Resource Productivity and Recovery Authority (RPRA). While I’m not sure 100% what this means to us who recycle in our homes, I would assume part of the hope is that it will motivate the producers to create less packaging waste since it would cost them less to then have to recycle it.
Obviously the above example is very simply laid out and your research assignment would require more research and explanation to justify why your initiative was an important one and why it was a good fit for a chosen hotel company.
The other option for approaching your assignment is to start with a hotel company (or a single hotel), research how they are approaching sustainability, and then when you identify some gaps, go and find an initiative out in the rest of the world/industry that would help fill in that gap. This direction requires that you have a bit of an idea of where you’d like to go in terms of addressing one of the 3Ps but you’d still have to do some serious research to back up your idea.
If it would help for you to frame this research, you could pretend that you work for your chosen hotel/company in a relevant department (either Housekeeping or Engineering). In your role in that department, you are presenting your ideas as if you were trying to convince your General Manager or Owner of the need for your suggested improvements. This may seem more relevant in a presentation but it could also provide you a way of thinking about writing your report too. I could see the approach working for whichever format of project you choose.
If you choose to write a report, it must be 5-8 pages plus your reference list. Standard font size of 10 or 12 pt in a san serif font. You should have 1.5 spacing for legibility.
If you choose to do a presentation, all members of your group must participate as equally as possible, within a 8-10 minute presentation. You may use some graphics or PPT but only sparingly – I would like to be able to see you present as much as possible.