G.R.E.E.N. Hospitality Industry Briefs

G.R.E.E.N. Briefs help disseminate findings of our research work that we publish in industry reports and case studies. They also serve to complement our efforts of knowledge sharing and capacity building within the industry and drive good practices. Through the Briefs, we aim to educate by highlighting the key points of our reports, which is a more accessible approach for stakeholders to absorb science-based data.


Waste is our backstory. It says how we live, what we buy, how long we use it… Waste can be discarded and hidden, or it can be considered as a resource. It tells the story of who we are as a society, and in today’s society, waste ends up in the sea or in nature, creates air pollution, and even highlights inequalities. Waste is also what systematically comes with GDP growth, increase in population and urbanization, and so far, it is the only way to go.  In East Asia and Pacific region (EAP), growth is fuelled by the travel and tourism sector (T&T), which accounts for 8.8% of the region’s GDP. It is the part of the world that produces the most waste, and it will still be so in 2050 if nothing is done. It is also a region with gaps in its waste management systems, and this is why the region needs responsible tourism. Discover the impacts of waste within the tourism and travel industry through our new report and in this brief talk with us!

What comes to your mind when we ask about how much waste we produce? Plastic, glass, paper or metal? There seems to be a greater focus on these materials. However, food is actually one of the most important types of waste! It always contributes to the highest share of waste, which varies from 32% to up to 56% in developing countries. In 2018 in Hong Kong, food waste accounted for 34.3% of the total municipal solid waste produced, with about 3,600 tonnes per day. But what are the impacts of such a big amount of waste? Is it better because it is biodegradable? How well can current and future infrastructures in Hong Kong tackle the problem? And, with a city that is known to be a gourmet paradise, with an impressive ratio of 1 restaurant or café for every 600 people, what can the hospitality industry do to reduce their food waste? By looking at the food waste problem in the city, our new report highlights local businesses who have achieved significant food-waste reduction targets. This presentation gives you a brief idea of where does food waste come form and its impact on the environment. Learn more about the role of the hospitality industry can play in eliminating food waste while this can actually save money!

Tourism is one of the “Four Key Industries” powering Hong Kong’s economy. One can know exactly how it participates in the city’s GDP growth: about 4.5% in 2018. However, it is impossible to know the volume of municipal solid waste it generates. It is most likely way above 4.5% of the total Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) generated. By looking at the tourism’s waste generation and composition in the city, our new report highlights the responsibility but also the opportunities for the hospitality industry to become one of Hong Kong Key Industry ... in municipal solid waste reduction. We also explain why it is urgently needed in a city where infrastructures are insufficient, recycling is a dream, and where the amount of waste per day per person kept increasing for the past 10 years. This presentation is the follow-up research of the Solid Waste Management in the East Asia and Pacific region. In this Brief, learn more about the role of the hospitality and tourism industry can play in eliminating waste in Hong Kong.

Covid-19 seems to have been a global wake-up call when it comes to sustainability. However, even before Covid, one particular topic was on the minds of a growing number of individuals, citizens and governments: reducing single-use plastics. For several years now, several countries took action against plastic bags. Following this trend, bans of single-use plastic items like cutlery, cups or amenities are becoming more and more mainstream. Some regions like the European Union, Taiwan or in some cities in the USA and China have already taken drastic measures against single-use plastics items in restaurants, hotels or even supermarkets. These decisions are great, but raise another question: what should we replace plastic with? One of the popular replies is bioplastics. But what are bioplastics? When discarded, how do they react compared with regular plastic? And most importantly, is it always the best material to replace the plastic in single-use items? What about using bioplastics in Hong Kong? In our latest report, we dive deep into the subject of bioplastics, explaining in detail what there is to know about this material, and when to consider its use.

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