Global hotel chains team up to lower carbon footprint

5 Sep 2011

Carbon accounting standard for hotel chains

A new carbon measurement group formed by the World Travel & Tourism Council, the International Tourism Partnership, and backed by 12 major hotel brands such as Hilton Worldwide, Marriott and InterContinental Hotels, is aiming to forge an international standard for hotels to calculate their carbon output.

The working group was formed to address inconsistencies in hotel companies’ approaches and to devise a unified methodology based on available data because carbon measurement metrics vary widely within the hospitality sector.

The International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) have devised the Carbon Measurement Working Group with the aim of uniting hotel industry efforts to calculate and communicate carbon footprints and consistent metrics for communicating emissions by agreeing on a standardised methodology and metrics informed by the GHG Protocol standards.

The 12 hotel groups involved are Accor, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, MGM Resorts International, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Red Carnation Hotel Collection, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., Premier Inn – Whitbread Group and Wyndham Worldwide.

A ‘harmonised’ approach

Phase one of the group’s methodology has been reviewed by the World Resources Institute.

“The hotel industry recognises its responsibility to mitigate its environmental impact. Indeed many hotel chains globally have set carbon reduction targets. Through this initiative, the industry is furthering its commitments to corporate and individual consumers by helping them to understand their environmental footprint,” said David Scowsill, president and CEO of WTTC.

Stephen Farrant, director of the International Tourism Partnership, added: “Customers and investors rightly want to know about the carbon footprint of the hotels they are dealing with. The fact that 12 global companies in the international hotel sector have come together to achieve, for the first time, this degree of consensus on the complex issue of carbon measurement is testament to both the crucial importance of addressing the carbon issue and the success of the ITP and WTTC joint working group through this first phase.”

The objective of the first phase is to have standards available for the 2012 RFP season.

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic