The main objective of this research proposal is to discuss how the research process will be carried out on the selected topic. The topic for this research is “Service Industry (Food and Beverage industry) perceptive on implementing ‘Go Green’ initiative in Malaysia”. This topic is chosen due to the fact that there is a limited research that applies to the Malaysian F&B market.
The purpose of this proposal is to shows how the actual research will be carried out on the topic. However, due to the limitation of the research, the research content will contain background analysis of green practices in Malaysia as well as in other counties.
An other aspects of the research are based on demographic, attitude and behaviour of how the service industry has perceived in implementing such concept from its dimension of awareness, understanding and acceptance. By breaking down and studying these aspects, it will help to provide the actual information that is useful for the service industry players to become a sustainable F&B industry and take initiative on such practices.
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This proposal will later discuss how this concept has been implemented in other countries. This is to develop a theoretical framework of these aspects and form a “Go Green” framework. This includes comparison of current implementations of “Go green” initiatives. Moreover, the research will also look into whether the government should enforce regulations on the F&B industry for “Go Green” initiatives as default practices.
Irrespective of industries, a business is governed with the intension of being Profitable, Sustainable, Productive and aims at achieving the highest level of customer loyalty towards their products and services.
Achievements of profitability in businesses are focused more on increased revenue, lower cost of operations and higher profits. Long term growth, consistent revenue and profits, low cost of labour and resources, and being self-sufficient is the focus of businesses in terms of sustainability. Optimal usage of resources, Better utilization and optimal usage of assets are the main focus of businesses for productivity. Increased customer loyalty and increase in customer traffic are the focus of businesses for customer loyalty.
In the above mentioned context, sustainability and productivity is a major impact to the F&B organization to achieve positive profitability. As a result of industry’s major impact, ‘Going Green’ concept focuses service industry to become sustainable and productive with low cost, and optimal utilization of both assets and resources.
The idea of going green is relatively new to the food service industry in Malaysia compare to other industry sectors. This is due to the fact that there is limited industrial research and government regulations undertaken on green restaurant concept implementation and its practices in Malaysian market context.
Malaysian F&B industry is not a highly regulated market by the Malaysian government. Licenses to operate a F&B outlet is not a combined effort of various agencies but limited to Ministry of Health and other licensing agencies. Department of environment and other agencies are generally not involved.
The legislations / rules and laws of Department of environment and other related agencies are more concentrated on environment issues that are generated by commercial establishments in terms of pollution control and not green initiatives.
Therefore, this research focuses on understanding and comprehension of various processes, methodologies and best practices for a “Go Green” framework for the food and beverage industry in Malaysia. There are two reasons that this research has carried out on this specific topic.
Green related articles were already published in Malaysia.
Environmental concerned green programmes have been implemented in Malaysia since many years ago. And also many articles that related to its programmes has being published in various sectors like waste management, green building, recycle policy, organic food sectors, hospitality and tourism sector, and etc. Especially in service industry perceptive, there are very limited or almost none have been published green related articles.
Provided government regulations are not clearly specify for service industry.
There available data like environmental education, green building index, green technology guidelines and process, however, there are no clear information that are stated for service industry to follow. Appendix 1 shows that industry commitment in ‘Green’ initiative has increased from 2008 to 2009, thus research was analyzed by restaurant industry forecast, 2010. However, such kind of focus has not been done in Malaysia restaurant industry. These shows that service industry in Malaysia has very limited research that give clear information on ‘Go green’ implementation. From this research, industry will benefit the actual information of industry players’ perceptive and the best suitable framework of ‘Go green’ implementation in Malaysian market context.
To measure the degrees of industry awareness towards the green restaurant concept in Malaysia market context.
To identify and understand existing “knowledge” of green restaurant concept among Malaysia market.
To discover the market acceptance ability of green restaurant concept.
Develop a framework for the industry to accept “Go Green” concept to be implemented for long term sustainability.
Objectives of the research aim to understand the used of ‘Go green’ concept in service industry. This is due to limited research has not been done in this particular study area in Malaysia.
The outcome of the research will not only benefits to the industry players but also will give a clear framework of how industry can sustain by developing this idea. Therefore, the research will carry out to investigate how industry perceived and identify needs of framework to implement the concept.
How good is the industry player aware of a “green restaurant” concept?
What is their understanding of the “Green restaurant concept”, and what is their current contribution towards going green?
What is their existing methods or processes of having a sustainable business?
Is the Malaysian Food and beverage market willing to accept green restaurant concept practises?
Is the food and beverage industry acceptable for the “Go green” initiatives to be a government regulation?
“Go Green or Going Green” is a concerned with the protection of the environment (Oxford Advanced learner’s Dictutionary, 2000); steps to “conserve energy, reduce pollution and save money” ( The U.S. Chamber of commerce Small Business Nation). Caroline S. Tauxe (2009, Vol.5 No.1) mentioned that green practices as a cost-saving response to the effect of high energy prices on operations and on supply and distribution chains, and these measures are valued first in terms of efficiency gains. In restaurant industry, green restaurants may be defined as “new or renovated structures designed, constructed, operated, and demolished in an environmentally friendly and energy-efficient manner” (Lorenzini 1994, 119) cited by Hsin-Hui Hu, H.G. Parsa, and Self.J, 2010.
In Union for reform Judaism (2010) stated that going green defines as the activity of adding sustainability principles and considerations into the planning process of an event or organizational or personal lifestyle. According to Ministry for the environment of New Zealand defines a sustainable industry as an industry that anticipates economic, environmental and social trends to minimise risk and takes opportunities to improve comparative advantage.
A research of Schubert.F (2008) mentioned that companies across all sectors try to develop products and practices with minimized environmental effect as part of social responsible practices, but also in order to establish themselves in a new niche for consumers with environmental concerns this is also true for the hospitality and tourism industry where businesses often rely on the integrity of the environment. Hotels located in natural areas such as mountains or beaches for example, are especially dependent on the ” healthiness” of their sites, and therefore some have been engaging in green practices and eco-tourism for several years. Restaurants however, are often less dependent to such environmental factors and have therefore shown less care for these issues.
Areas of green practices
Green restaurant association (GRA) explained that fully transformed green restaurant provides a comprehensive and user-friendly method of rewarding existing restaurants & foodservices operations, new builds, and events with points in each of the green restaurant association’s seven environmental categories. Seven categories which compiled with water efficiency, waste reduction and recycling, sustainable furnishings and building materials, sustainable food, energy, disposables, and chemical and pollution reduction. Hence, the restaurant who are pursuing for becoming fully integrated green restaurant from GRA are also require to use products like- chlorine-free paper products, nontoxic cleaning and chemical products, renewable power, and green building and construction (Wallace.A, 2005).
One of the most popular going green concepts is done by practicing the 3R principle which is by reducing, reusing, and recycling the resources used, using organic products, and installing equipments with green technology. In the restaurant industry, small daily savings often make the difference between long-term profit and loss (Restaurant waste minimization guidebook, State of Havaii).
In addition, a restaurant’s costs go up when it installs pricey equipment to make its operation more sustainable and pay extra to source ingredients that meet sustainability standards (Observer,2010). Furthermore, Schubert.F (2008) highlighted that the details of creating an “Environmentally Sustainable Restaurant Industry”- Green restaurant association (GRA) has also provides guideline for the following areas:
Energy Efficiency & Conservation:
Energy efficient technologies and conservation practices exist for lighting, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, foodservice appliances, office equipment and transportation.
Water Efficiency & Conservation:
Water efficient technologies and conservation practices exist for foodservice appliances, equipment, and landscaping.
Recycling & Composting:
Recycling services exist for many waste products such as glass, plastic, metal, cardboard, mixed paper, grease, ink & toner cartridge. Food waste can be diverted from landfills and made into nutrient-rich soil through the use of a composting service or an on-site system.
Sustainable food products support the long-term maintenance of ecosystem and agriculture for future generations. Organic agriculture prohibits the use of toxic synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, irradiation, sewage sludge, and genetic engineering. Locally grown food reduce the amount of pollution associated with transportation primarily by fossil fuels. Plant-based food require fewer natural resources and create less pollution per calorie consumed.
Pollution prevention is achieved through source reduction, reuse, or improving operational practices.
Recycled, Tree-free, Biodegradable & Organic Products:
Recycled products are made from materials that are collected from post-consumer or post-industrial waste sources. Tree-free products are made from alternative plant sources such as hemp or kenaf. Biodegradable products are capable of being decomposed by biological agents, especially bacterial. Organic products are grown without the use of toxic synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, irradiation, sewage sludge, and genetic engineering.
Chlorine-Free Paper Products:
Chlorine-free paper products are unbleached or whitened with alternatives such as hydrogen peroxide, oxygen, and ozone.
Non-toxic Cleaning & Chemical Products:
Non-toxic cleaning and chemical products are biodegradable, free of hazardous ingredients, and are safe for people, animals and environment when used properly.
Electricity and power is available from renewable resources such as wind, solar, geothermal, small hydro and biomass. These energy sources cause dramatically less air pollution and environmental damage compared to fossil fuel, nuclear, and large-scale hydroelectric energy sources.
Green Building & Construction:
Green design and construction practices significantly reduce or eliminate the negative impact of buildings on the environment, occupants, and the local community.
Education of staff on the environmental impact of the restaurant industry and a path toward ecological sustainability.
Benefit of “Go Green”
The GRA and its certified green restaurants have been featured in the following media outlets: NBC Nightly News, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times, National Public Radio (NPR) and etc (cited by dinegreen.com).
In dine-green website mentioned that some restaurants that are green certified save thousands of dollars each year, and through the help of the GRA’s consultants, are able to access rebates, incentives and other money saving programs.
Improve staff productivity and morale
Staff awareness of going green due to the fact that the industry is currently run by young entrepreneurs who are aware of the environmental issues. GRA have reported that staff productivity and morale increase upon their certification. Restaurant employees have demonstrated that they want to work for businesses that are making real, credible and transparent environmental changes. Being a part of the solution to our world’s environmental problems goes a long way in gaining a restaurant employee’s loyalty. (Cited in dinegreen.com)
Increase in new customers and customer loyalty
Eating out has always been considered a splurge or extravagance in the average American’s budget. The growing trend in restaurant dining is that consumers want to feel as if they have done something good, other than just having nice meal. This fact alone can drive in new customers and create loyal ones. (Cited in dinegreen.com)
Stay ahead of legislation
Environmental legislation for restaurants is sweeping across the world, from plastic bag and Styrofoam bands, to recycling mandates. More and more cities are in the process of either considering or passing legislation relating to matters of restaurants and the environment. Because Certified Green restaurants have already completed these important environmental changes voluntarily, when legislation strikes, the GRA’s restaurants are able to continue running their businesses while their competitors are scrambling to comply with the latest mandates. (Cited by dinegreen.com)
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Industry perception and acceptance of “Go Green”
According to Oxford Dictionary for the Business World (1993), “perception is an intuitive recognition of and an aesthetic quality; a way of seeing, understanding”. Perception is the terms used to cover those processes, which gives coherence, unity and meaning to a person’s sensory input. It involves all those processes we use to select, sort, organise and interpret sensory data to make meaningful and coherent picture of “our world” (Rice, 1993) cited by Kamal Izzuwan Bin Ramli, Noor Suhaila Binti Yusof, Muharis Bin HJ. Mohamed, 2004).
A frequent research by Hu.H.H, Parsa.H.G and Self.J (2010) said that knowledge of sustainable restaurant operation is an important determinant of intention to patronize a green restaurant.
Research Conceptual Framework
Awareness of going green
The following are some points that will be made during the awareness stage.
Awareness of the businesses on the green initiatives,
Availability of information for these businesses about going green
Understating green objectives
The following are some points that will be made during the understanding stage.
Existing knowledge on going green
Knowledge on the impact of the current environment on not going green.
Knowledge on how they can be profitable and have a sustainable business by going green
Acceptance of going green
The following are some points that will be made during the acceptance stage.
Weather they are willing to invest in going green initiatives
Participation in going green by changing business processes
Investments into resources to go green
Methodology of this research will be used base on the primary data and secondary data. Primary data will be collected by using survey questionnaires to the restaurant managers and owners around Kuala Lumpur. Secondary data will be gathered from the relevant academic journals, books, published magazines and articles, and also internet sources.
Basically, the survey questionnaires will be distributed to three different types of restaurant such as: fast food restaurants, casual dining restaurants and semi-fine dining or fine dining restaurants. Approximately 30 survey questionnaires will be distributed as sample. The questionnaires will be demonstrated in demographic, attitude and behaviour study on each type of restaurants. This is to ensure there is a balance in different types of service restaurants’ owner perceptive on “Go green” concept implementations in Malaysia. The outcome of this survey will give better understanding on how restaurant owners aware and deep analysis of their understanding on this concept. And also it will help to indicate the best options of practices needed for the Malaysian market context.
Secondary data will be collected from academic journals, books, relevant magazines and articles, and internet sources. This will enhance the better understanding on theoretical framework of “Go green” concept practices. In additionally, local government data and non-government organisation data will also include in this research. This is to clarify such concept has been performed in other industry sector as well as to identify the availability of “Green” supply chain in Malaysia.
From above mention data collections, this research will shows industry perceptive on implementing ‘Go green’ concept and it will also show the best options of practices for Malaysia market which may or may not be an exact practices to compare to other country.
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