Hotels get carbon standard

HOTEL COMPANIES have been given their own standardised approach to carbon measurement.



The International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in collaboration with 23 leading global hospitality companies, have launched a new methodology to calculate and communicate the carbon footprint of hotel stays and meetings in a consistent and transparent way.


The new system will reduce confusion and scepticism among consumers, providing a “common language” for the industry. It is hoped other sectors will also use the “ground breaking” system as a template.


Currently, approaches to measuring and reporting on carbon emissions in hotels vary widely. This can lead to confusion amongst consumers, particularly corporate clients, looking to understand their own potential carbon footprint and meet their own goals and targets in this area. The number of methodologies and tools in use also make transparency of reporting within the hotel industry difficult to achieve.


The methodology, named ‘HCMI 1.0’, is informed by the greenhouse gas Protocol Standards. It was first developed in 2011 and has since been tested in hotels of different style and size in different geographical locations and refined through a stakeholder engagement process, with input from consultants KPMG. It has also been reviewed by the World Resources Institute.


Those involved, including the likes of Accor, Diamond Resorts International and Matrriott International, said the project demonstrates how effective collaboration can provide solutions which benefit customers, individual companies, and wider industry. Through common measurement and language, stakeholders will now be able to achieve greater understand their footprints and impacts.


WTTC has long been advocating that industry speaks with ‘one voice’, said David Scowsill, president and CEO. “Through this initiative we have seen major hotel companies come together to agree a means of communicating carbon impacts which ultimately will result in more transparency and clarity for the consumer.  HCMI has broken new ground in its industry driven approach and I congratulate the companies involved on their leadership in ensuring this important initiative comes to fruition. We expect this industry common language to be widely used within the next two years.”


The Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) Working Group, comprising of hotel members within ITP and WTTC, was formed in early 2011 at the request of member companies to devise a unified methodology based on available data to address inconsistencies in hotel companies’ approaches.


Stephen Farrant, ITP director, added: “This has been a model of competitive collaboration that may serve as a useful template for other industry sectors to learn from in addressing the challenges of carbon management.”