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Changes in practices resulting from My Green Butler trainings and tool

  • Published on February 10, 2020
Our goal is for stakeholders to learn and apply change from the output of the intervention 'My Green Butler', a process we call Sustainability-oriented Service Innovation. A project's success should be measured on its outcomes not simply its deployment. As part of our project we undertake action research (informal interviews and observations) to assess the change in attitudes and behaviour of management at tourist accommodation. This is a critical component of our project as it permits use to continuously learn and make refinements to the intervention to improve its performance.
Factors that influence Sustainability-oriented Service Innovation (integration of learning and applying new ideas) have led our collaborator to change practices. Our project focuses on persuasive communication (technology and interpersonal) to encourage management, staff and guests to adapt their behaviour and conserve. The solution 'My Green Butler' which records consumption, provides eco feedback and audits results, is introduced into the daily operations of a tourist accommodation business (big and small). We have found this affects change and improves the process, organisation and service delivery through insights and new ideas. Put simply, the system spotlights wastage, self-motivates guests and stimulates learning. The solution can be called a sustainability-oriented service innovation, as described by our research paper (linked to this activity report), in that it permits a high degree of flexibility for management/staff to apply their skills and knowledge. Following the initial training (explained in our previous One Planet Activity Report) and implementation of the intervention, the My Green Butler solution provides high resolution data which is analysed and reported back to managment. From the outset the solution involves the integration of previous sustainable tourism initiatives the property might have applied and the involvement of suppliers and guests accelerating ways to save. The high resolution data given to managers allows them to reflect (using hindsight) on the behaviours of staff/guests and resource use and then compare to the insights from the audits of conserving resources and the positive results. This stimulates progress through a change in practice. From Action Research we see that innovations are stimulated by 'My Green Butler' and cover fours areas of focus: organisation, process, service and marketing. Depending on the skill base and experience of the manager(s) there can be a leaning towards any one of these areas of focus. The following summarises observations: Organisation Sustainability-oriented Service Innovation requires a whole of a hospitality business participation rather than a stand-alone sustainability department. This is because sustainability solutions in hospitality have to progress though a complex maze of staff functions, automated and manual systems, so solutions require the cooperation of the whole team. Process To achieve responsible consumption and production hospitality firms must have integrated processes which record the core consumption activities. This requires linking between Building Management Systems or similar to other systems and manual tasks, something our intervention 'My Green Butler' has been designed to deliver. Service Once management is able to see data which identifies wastage, hitherto invisible, they see the benefits of conserving and how this can add to the guest experience rather than detracting from it. Understanding and seeing the 'invisible' wastage becomes a key tipping point where greater savings can be made across the business. Marketing Those businesses which are most motivated are those that progress from taking anticipatory actions (those that will provide cost savings) to taking an innovative approach that builds on collaboration with suppliers, staff and guests. They come to view conserving solutions as a competitive advantage. For these reasons we can identify that there have been changes in practice.

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