Hotel Giants Unite to Develop Carbon Footprint Standards

Many hotel companies have been measuring their carbon footprints for years, but the metrics and methodologies they use are all over the map.

One hotel may report its total carbon footprint, for example, while another may only divulge the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced per square meter. All of this creates confusion and makes it difficult to separate the leaders from laggards.

A group of heavy-hitting hotel chains are joining forces to bring some clarity to the marketplace. Fairmont, Hyatt, MGM, Hilton and Marriott are among a dozen hotel giants that will together work toward a single methodology for measuring and communicating greenhouse gas inventories. The companies aim to have the standard available next year for the RFP season.

The International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) are also collaborating with the newly formed Carbon Measurement Working Group. Other members include: Accor, InterContinental Hotels Group, MGM Resorts International, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Red Carnation Hotel Collection, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., Premier Inn - Whitbread Group and Wyndham Worldwide.

This isn't the first time major hospitality brands have worked together to advance sustainability in the sector. Just a few months ago, Marriott joined InterfaceFlor, upholstery supplier Valley Forge Fabrics, and consulting firms PE International and Five Winds to launch the Hospitality Sustainable Purchasing Consortium. The group plans to create a Hospitality Sustainable Purchasing Index for easier -- and greener -- procurement.

In a statement announcing the Carbon Measurement Working Group, WTTC President & CEO David Scowsill said the industry recognizes its responsibility to reduce its environmental impact.

"Indeed many hotel chains globally have set carbon reduction targets," he said. "Through this initiative the industry is furthering its commitments to corporate and individual consumers by helping them to understand their environmental footprint. A harmonized approach to quantifying and communicating the sustainability of the industry's products is a firm step towards accomplishing this." 

Image CC licensed by Flickr user InterContinental Hong Kong.