Hotels Come Together on Carbon Footprint

These days, many corporations choose hotels for their events based partially on what their carbon footprint will be.

When they send RFPs to hotel companies, they include questions on carbon emissions. In addition to helping them choose venues, corporations also use that information as part of measuring their own carbon footprint.

But until now it has been a challenge to compare hotels because they all measure their carbon footprint differently. Therefore, 23 global hotel companies put their competition aside to develop a standard way to measure this – the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative.

With technical expertise from KPMG, a working group of the International Tourism Partnership, the World Travel & Tourism Council and the 23 hospitality companies developed the methodology.  In addition to measuring carbon emissions the same way, they also developed a common language to report on them. 

Hotel carbon footprint

Over 15,000 hotels around the world
have adopted the methodology so far. It is robust enough to meet global carbon reporting
standards and practical enough for any hotel to implement, from huge
casinos to small bed and breakfasts.

Testing by some 50 hotels shows it takes about two hours to complete from easily available data like energy bills and suppliers. After being entered into a spreadsheet, the hotel can analyze its carbon footprint for guestrooms and meeting spaces during a specified year, per night and per guest. 

"The Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative is a fantastic example
of the world’s largest hotels putting their competitive differences to one side
to work together in the interests of the industry overall. I hope more hotels will sign-up to use what is rapidly becoming a new
industry standard," says David Scowsill, World Travel & Tourism Council CEO.

80% of Fortune 500 companies now participate in the Carbon Disclosure Project, which commits them to driving down greenhouse gas emissions and water use. In 2008, just 72 Fortune 500 companies reported business travel emissions, but that number has since risen to 203, says George Favaloro, managing director of PwC.

"Companies want to do business with companies that have the same mentality. It is your biggest and most sophisticated customers who care about this,"
he said. 

Hotels involved in the working group are: Accor, Beijing Tourism Group, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Diamond Resorts
International, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, Hong Kong &
Shanghai Hotels, Hyatt Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jumeirah
Group, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Marriott International, Meliá Hotels
International, MGM Resorts International, NH Hoteles, Orient-Express Hotels
Ltd, Pan Pacific Hotel Group, Premier Inn – Whitbread Group, Starwood Hotels
& Resorts Worldwide, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, The Red Carnation
Hotel Collection, TUI AG and Wyndham Worldwide.

Another initiative is the Hospitality Sustainable Purchasing Consortium, which aims to improve the sustainability of hotel supply chains. It is working together to green the furniture, fixtures and equipment that hotels buy.

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