Greening Hotels and Fair Labor Practices

TitleGreening Hotels and Fair Labor Practices
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsTufts, Steven, and Milne, Simon
Date Published2011///
InstitutionWork in a Warming World Project
CityToronto, Canada
Keywordsaccommodation services sector, corporate responsibility, environmental sustainability, hotels, labor friendly practices, socially responsible behavior

In recent years, a number of labour union strategic initiatives have been developed which seek to leverage consumer preference against employers in the accommodation services sector. These programs largely focus on rating and certifying hotels based upon environmentally and socially responsible behavior and labour friendly practices. In part, the campaigns are a response to the perceived 'green-washing' of hotels through voluntary, self-reporting rating systems. This paper examines three union campaigns that recommend hotels according to social and environmental criteria: The Fair Hotels campaign (Ireland); the First Star program (Australia); and INMEX (United States and Canada). We find that these emerging campaigns differ in orientation, but all face challenges in their ability to meet their strategic goals. Specifically we find limitations related to the geographic scale of the campaigns and their inability to advocate for any significant shift toward a more socially and environmentally sustainable accommodation services sector.