Developing a framework for an environmental assessment method for Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong

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Conference Proceeding

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Sustainability, Restaurant, Environmental assessment, Environmental cost, Sewerage


The catering industry in Hong Kong has been expanding in the past three decades, making it one of the largest industries in the territory. This development has eventually earned a well‐known “gourmet paradise in the world” reputation for Hong Kong (HKTB 2005). However, the catering sector produces several kinds of pollutants – sewerage, solid waste, smoke, FOGs (fats, oils and greases) and noise. Also huge amount of energy is used for cooking, refrigerating, lighting and air‐conditioning. The generation of energy at power plants causes emissions of green house gases. Nevertheless, eco‐awareness is gaining momentum across the world. Apart from the tightening government regulations, the increasing “green demand” from customers is also a major driving force. Among all types of catering establishments, Chinese restaurants are believed to produce the greatest impact to the environment. Therefore, this study aims at setting up the framework of an EAM (environmental assessment method) for Chinese restaurants. Previous literatures are examined and discussed under four main topics, namely Pollution and Restaurants, Greening of Business, Monetarizing Restaurant Environmental Impacts, and Environmental Assessments. A mixed approach will be adopted, employing both quantitative and qualitative research methods. In the first stage, secondary quantitative data will be collected from government departments and utilities companies on Chinese restaurant’s waste generation, water and energy consumption. These data will be used to estimate the pollution‐control costs of Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong (Objective 1) and establish the weighting framework of Chinese restaurant EAM (Objective 3). A questionnaire survey and three case studies will be conducted in the next stage for identification of potential areas for improvement (Objective 2). Data collected will be used to develop WUI (water use index) for Chinese restaurants, which will aid the development of assessment criteria for sewerage control (Objective 4). This study is under the broad topic of sustainability, with a prime concern of social responsibility of restaurants. The estimation of pollution‐control costs attributable to various restaurant activities monitors the environmental impacts and the economic values associated with the eco‐deterioration. Second, the identification of potential areas for improvement aids the development of amelioration strategies, as well as subsequent legislative requirements and policies. Finally, this study will be the first attempt to develop a framework in assessing the overall environmental impacts generated by Chinese restaurants by an interdisciplinary approach, consulting other disciplines such as environmental engineering, building services engineering, accounting and public policies. The proposed EAM may help in benchmarking and recognizing Chinese restaurants’ environmental performance objectively and systematically.

Source Publication

The 4th World Conference for Graduate Research in Tourism, Hospitality and Leisure, 2008 Apr 23-27, Antalya, Turkey. Proceedings

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