Circularity and Responsible Consumer Behaviour

The vision of Hotelschool The Hague is to “create hospitable futures” and thereby to shape the global hospitality industry to have a a positive impact on business and society. The projects related to circularity and sustainable consumption fully embrace, encapsulate and operationalize vision.

Sustainable consumption and Food circularity

The sustainable consumption and food circularity project at HTH is a research line which is manifested in a unique and seamless integration of theory, practice and research using both HTH’s practical outlets as living labs and external companies for both research and educational purposes. Over the last years, we have conducted many different field and experimental studies; both smaller ones but also large scales ones with for example over 172 restaurants involved. With its feet in practice we constantly involve bachelor thesis students and practical out students (both 1st and 2nd year) in our project which unifies our research in both practical and theory education. Through that approach, our research projects on for example food waste, marketing of rescue-based food, protein transition in restaurants have established HTH as a thought leader on the topic of food circularity and sustainable consumption. This is visible in (1) top rated publications in for example Journal of Marketing Research, (2) securing important external funding for HTH from e.g., both NWO and the European Commission (Erasmus + Capacity building), (3) serving important input for other grants and subsidies and (4) acting as key partner in large scale multi-stakeholder projects (e.g., the national Food Waste Challenge with Rabobank in 2019-2020).

Transforming the hospitality industry towards the Circular Economy

The transition towards the circular economy in the hospitality industry has both a theoretical and a practical component. From a theoretical perspective, this research looks into how current practices influence the strategizing of hotels on circularity. This project thereby seeks innovative solutions how to (better) manage the integration of circularity in the overall business strategy of hotels. As part of our leading role in the group “Front Running hotels in Amsterdam on Circularity” (established by the Amsterdam municipality in 2017) we co-create with industry and policy makers to provide and develop practical guidelines for practitioners on how to make better circular choices. The project takes an organisational studies perspective in that we look at how to make a positive impact and particularly consider the real triple bottom line. In doing so, we study how the host (i.e., hotel) – guest (i.e., customer) relationship might need to be reconsidered due to sustainable and circular obligations and challenges.

The foundation and realisation of these research lines in practise, in industry, policy making and education allows us to contribute to the UN SDG 3, 4, 12, 13 and 17. Importantly, the drive to make a positive sustainable and circular difference on our world, if not directly through our projects and research then by positively influencing the minds of our students as they become global leaders of the hospitality industry creating hospitable futures for all.