Paper Describes Efforts to Enhance Safety While 'Greening' the Hospitality Industry

How safety, health and environmental (SH&E) professionals are working to eliminate or reduce risks connected to "greening" efforts are featured in the new American Society of Safety Engineers' (ASSE) Hospitality Branch's "Safety Implications of Greening" white paper.

"Safety, health and environmental (SH&E) professionals must understand the implications of this increased focus on environmental concerns," said ASSE Hospitality Branch Chair David Natalizia. "Efforts to make an operation more 'green' can also result in improved safety and health for workers involved and for the general public. Greening efforts eliminate or reduce some traditional risks, but may increase existing risks or introduce new ones."

The "Safety Implications of Greening" white paper provides the framework for SH&E professionals to begin or enhance greening efforts within their organizations. It includes a history of greening in the hospitality industry, key greening issues and their risks and benefits, examples of greening programs in the hospitality industry, and tips for starting a greening program.

"Based on our experience in greening, we see success when executive leadership brings together sound financials along with people considerations, their safety and health impact and consequences in greening decisions," said ASSE Hospitality Branch member and white paper author Fay Feeney, CSP, ARM. "Safety, health and environmental professionals have a broad range of capabilities, skills and experience to assist in developing effective and profitable greening programs."

In addition to providing an overview of greening activities and successes in the hospitality industry, the paper also discusses the challenges and SH&E risks related to going green along with the unexpected benefits. For example, an airline found that when their food service kitchens recycle the obvious benefits were reducing pollution and resource management. Yet, they found the secondary benefit from the program was the money saved went into a fund called "We care" to assist co-workers going through periods of hardship. And with the $100,000 collected in the fund in one city, they were able to retain staff who needed support.

The white paper can be accessed in PDF format at http://www.asse.org/practicespecialties/hospitality/docs/HospitalityNewsletter1-15-08.pdf.

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