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Marriott welcomes launch of standardized approach to carbon measurement

Marriott welcomes launch of standardized approach to carbon measurement

Marriott International, Inc. announced its collaborative involvement with the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) on a groundbreaking initiative to unite hotel industry efforts to calculate and communicate carbon impact by agreeing on a standardized methodology and metrics.

Marriott has partnered with Green Hotels Global, a carbon calculator and sustainability metrics tool, to help travel and meeting planners determine the environmental impact of their travel and meetings and events with ease and efficiency. 

Green Hotels Global dashboard“With the increase in global travel, we have a responsibility to ease our business impact on our natural environment.  Working through this partnership to create consistency in carbon calculation is a major step for the hotel industry and helps to support our global sustainability initiatives,” said Tim Sheldon, Marriott’s Global Officer for Operations Services.  “We are proud to be ‘at the decision-making table’ for this historic effort; it continues our more than 30 year commitment to conservation and preservation.”

The International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in collaboration with 23 leading global hospitality companies, have just launched 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 amongst 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, comprising of hotel members within ITP and WTTC, was formed in early 2011 at the request of member companies to address inconsistencies in hotel companies’ approaches and to devise a unified methodology based on available data.  The methodology named ‘HCMI 1.0’ launched on 12 June,  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.

“We are guests on this planet so conservation is important to help ensure our resources are sustained for generations to come” said Stephanie Linnartz, Marriott’s Global Officer for Sales and Revenue.  “Our customers requested access to this data and we wanted to be able to provide efficient and effective reporting.  We are confident that Green Hotels Global will help ease our customers environmental reporting while simultaneously supporting our global strategy.”

“Each registered hotel receives an online Green Hotels Global dashboard calculating property-specific environmental data such room-night and meeting space carbon metrics following the HCMI methodology, as well as energy intensity, water use, waste diversion rate and other environmental sustainability measurements,” said Ian Lipton, President & Chief Operating Officer of The Carbon Accounting Company, providers of the Green Hotels Global system.  “Corporate travel managers and meeting planners can access the Green Hotels Global website to generate their own environmental impact reports for their overnight accommodations and meetings and events held at those properties.”

David Scowsill, President & 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 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 amongst 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 comprises 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, Wyndham Worldwide.

The priority for the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative moving forward will be to maximise 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.

Marriott International’s entire portfolio of more than 3,700 hotels will be capable of providing carbon data to clients by March 15, 2013.  Currently, over 700 of the company’s hotels are activated in the Green Hotels Global system.