Circularity and Responsible Consumer Behaviour

The vision of Hotelschool The Hague is to “create hospitable futures” and thereby shape the global hospitality industry to have a positive impact on business and society. The projects related to circularity and sustainable consumption fully embrace, encapsulate and operationalize this 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, master and practical outlet students in our project. This 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., a national Food Waste Challenge).

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 to (better) manage the integration of circularity in the overall business strategy of hotels. This is being studied from an organisational studies perspective on how to make a positive impact and particularly consider the “real” triple bottom line.

Apart from this focus on this strategic integration, a second focal point is to study how the Host–Guest relationship might need to be reconsidered due to sustainable and circular obligations and challenges. And lastly how reporting and materiality analysis help to create transparency and improvement within hospitality companies and their supply chain (e.g. scope 3 Green House Gas emissions). An example of the practical component is presented in the example below on the work with the Front Runners Hotels on Circularity in Amsterdam.