Exploring methods and practicalities of conducting sector-wide energy consumption accounting in the tourist accommodation industry
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Sector-wide environmental accounting is an important mechanism for determining areas of poor environmental performance that need to be targeted to reduce resource consumption and the production of waste output. However, to date, little attention has been paid to the practicalities of conducting sector-wide environmental accounting in fragmented, service-oriented industry sectors that comprise a diversity of small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This study explores such practicalities through a series of independent energy audits conducted in the Australian tourist accommodation industry. Three distinct energy consumption accounting techniques are reviewed in the light of findings made from 35 energy audits, and more than 200 telephone and face-to-face interviews held with various accommodation sector representatives. The three sector-wide energy consumption accounting methods reviewed are: the Floor Area Method, the Multiple Regression Method and the Mandatory Reporting Method. In light of different business structures, different in-house environmental accounting practices, and other major factors affecting resource consumption, mandatory reporting is found to be the most efficient and effective method. To facilitate its use, it is recommended that: a)governments consider requiring commercial resource consumption or waste production figures to be made generally accessible, b)businesses are required to collect energy consumption data over several years to provide the basis for calculating relatively accurate models that capture the factors driving energy consumption, and c)standardised accounting spreadsheets are developed to facilitate data collection for different types of enterprises.
© 2004 Elsevier. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.