Major international hotel companies launch standardized approach to carbon measurement

Major international hotel companies launch standardized approach to carbon measurement

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

The group saw an opportunity to improve how the hotel industry communicates its impacts. Currently, approaches to measuring and reporting on carbon emissions vary widely. This can lead to confusion among consumers, particularly corporate clients, looking to understand their own potential carbon footprint and meet their own goals/targets in this area. In addition, the number of methodologies and tools in use make transparency of reporting within the hotel industry difficult to achieve.

The Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) Working Group, comprised 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. The methodology, named “HCMI 1.0,” launched today is a consolidated move, led by the hotel industry, to establish a global standardized approach to this common problem for the hotel sector and its corporate customer base.

The methodology, informed by the GHG Protocol Standards, 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.

HCMI 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 greater understand their footprints and impacts.

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David Scowsill, President and CEO of WTTC said: “WTTC has long been advocating that industry speaks with ‘one voice.’ Through this initiative, we have seen major hotel companies come together to agree to 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.”

Stephen Farrant, Director of ITP, said: “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. It is inspiring to see so many leading hotel companies across the industry working together over so many months to make this unique and ground-breaking initiative a reality.”

Yvo de Boer, KPMG Special Global Advisor, Climate Change&Sustainability, added, “Carbon measurement is one of the key challenges of our time, and the myriad of systems to measure and report carbon usage, particularly in the hotel sector, results in confusion and scepticism among consumers. This initiative to ensure that hotels are aligned in their approach to carbon measurement is a vital step in addressing the challenge.”

The Working Group is comprised of leading international hotel companies such as 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 Inc, Meliá Hotels International, MGM Resorts International, Mövenpick Hotels&Resorts, Orient-Express Hotels Ltd., Pan Pacific Hotel Group, Premier Inn - Whitbread Group, Starwood Hotels&Resorts Worldwide, Inc., Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, TUI AG, and Wyndham Worldwide.

The priority for the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative moving forward will be to maximize the take up and recognition of the methodology by a broader range of hotels and their customers. A review process has been put in place to ensure the methodology may be further refined as user feedback and new research come to light.