Scelte strategiche e pratiche ambientali nelle Pmi alberghiere. Verso un nuovo modello di business sostenibile (Strategic choices and environmental management practices of SMHEs. Toward a new sustainable business model)

  • Federica Buffa
  • Mariangela Franch
  • Umberto Martini
  • Alessio Tamanini
Keywords: environmental management practices; hotel enterprises; environmental commitment; Trentino


Purpose of the paper: Analysis of the environmental sustainability strategies of small and medium hotel enterprises (SMHEs) in community destinations. The goal is to investigate whether and how the adoption of environmental management practices (EMPs) have changed, and whether and how local key stakeholders have influenced eco-friendly behaviour.

Methodology: The research carried out in 2015 in joint with the Statistical Office of Province of Trento involved all the hotels of Trentino (N=1,514) though a CAWI survey (redemption rate 88.9%). The data analysis followed two steps: 1) frequencies analysis addressed to identify the EMPs adopted and to compare the data with the survey conducted in 2005; 2) Multiple Correspondence Analysis and hierarchical ascendant cluster analysis to identify hotel profiles with different environmental commitment.

Findings: Increase of EMPs investments. The adoption of EMPs depends on the “proactive” and “reactive” clusters sustainability awareness, on the acknowledged ethical value and on the stakeholders’ power and pressure on the DMO.

Research limits: Focus on a single community destination.

Practical implications: Small hotels can also adopt EMPs but that would require in primis a change in the traditional business model adding environmental sustainability aims. Stakeholder pressure supports the enterprise strategies.

Originality of the paper: The research contributes to the scientific debate on EMPs adoption and stakeholder power and pressure on environmental sustainability strategies of SMHEs.