Conserving Resources in Tourist Accommodation

There is a pressing need to move global efforts in sustainable business practices from a mere focus on maximising efficiency whilst maintaining economic growth, to a path that genuinely leads to a reduction in the consumption of energy, water and materials. Research undertaken at the Griffith Institute for Tourism combines theories from Positive Psychology with Sustainability-Oriented Innovation to come up with new solutions and systems that help engage visitors in resource conservation. We particularly focus on tourist accommodation where the host-guest relationship allows for the co-creation of experiences that are enjoyable and rewarding for the visitor, and at the same time lead to sustainable outcomes.

Resource conserving offers tourism, and society at large, a new paradigm in sustainable lifestyles. It can involve a variety of deliberate behaviours like choosing to consume less, reducing waste by better planning and applying no/low carbon methods for thermal comfort. Resource conserving does complement technical efficiency, but can also greatly improve sustainable tourism futures in its own right, because guests’ behaviours can be adapted to make more responsible choices at times of consumption. Tourism practitioner Christopher Warren invented My Green Butler, a smart service innovation which promotes resource conserving host-guest behaviours at tourist accommodation. By using meaningful feedback and gamification guests reciprocate to conserve resources, thereby elevating sustainable tourist accommodation from concept to a tangible experience that both host and guest co-create and enjoy. His doctoral research, undertaken at Griffith Institute for Research, found guests both saved resources (20-38%) and found the experience significantly added to their stay (80%). Resource conserving, therefore, provides a durable model for sustainable tourism transitions.

Based on three years of doctoral research by Dr Chris Warren, My Green Butler has been created and is now being implemented with a range of business around the world.

My Green Butler

My Green Butler is a responsible service innovation that empowers guests to co-produce more comfortable accommodation experiences that use fewer resources, and create better holiday memories and a more meaningful stay.

Conserving Resources

How to save money, cut pollution and make guest happier

Research shows behaviour should be at the centre of sustainability innovation for accommodation. Engaging guests will make a big impact on saving money, resources and cutting pollution.

Resources and information

Warren, C., Becken, S. & Coghlan, A. (2016). Using persuasive communication to co-create behavioural change – engaging with guests to save resources at tourist accommodation facilities. Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 25(7), 935-954., 25(7), 935-954.    Read the report here

GIFT Insights: My Green Butler Read the blog here

GIFT Insights: Carbon and Tourism - where to next? Read the blog here

The Conversation: A green happy holiday Read the article here

UN Sustainable Consumption and Production Programme (2018) Richer experiences- less resources.