World Panel
Viewpoint27 May 2020

Hygiene and Sustainability: How to make both work?

Sustainability in Hospitality

— 17 experts shared their view

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Hygiene and Sustainability: How to make both work?
This viewpoint was created by
Franziska Altenrath, Co-Founder at TUTAKA
Arjan van Rheede
Senior Research Fellow in Sustainability at Hotelschool The Hague

I remember the first time I came across the word “oxymoron" in an article by Weick and Westley.

 “Organizing and learning are essentially antithetical processes, which means the phrase 'organizational learning' qualifies as an oxymoron. To learn is to disorganize and increase variety. To organize is to forget and reduce variety..” (Weick and Westley, 1999, p. 190).

Are 'circular hygiene measures against COVID-19' also an oxymoron? I don't think so. The so-called R9-strategy on circularity can still be applied, even in this time where additional hygiene measures are needed for safety and hoteliers want to make sure their guests trust the hygiene measure.

To regain this trust perhaps more than before 'single-use items' will be used, but the choice which item to use can still be designed with these - in a decrease of preference - principles of the circularity:

  1. Smart design and use;
  2. Reuse products and parts:
  3. Recycle and recover.

Hoteliers do not need to order a large volume of plastic cups, but can go for biodegradable coffee cups: so to use the most circular alternative without jeopardizing the safety of your guest.

It remains essential to make sure that hoteliers - in cooperation with all stakeholders, e.g. suppliers and staff members - have insights in all impacts on the triple bottom line (including safety!) when choosing 'circular hygiene measures' that help them prevent infections with COVID-19!

Stay safe and continue to strive for the highest -feasible- form of circularity

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