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Hotel Chains Seek Carbon Measurement Consensus

A group of 12 international hotel companies including Hilton, Hyatt and Marriott is trying to create a single methodology for calculating carbon footprints and emissions.

Carbon measurement metrics vary widely within the hotel industry, and the number of methodologies and tools in use can make transparency within the industry difficult to achieve, according to trade bodies the International Tourism Partnership and the World Travel & Tourism Council. The Carbon Measurement Working Group, formed by the ITP and WTTC, was formed to address these inconsistencies and inefficiencies.

Phase one of the project aims to have an agreed set of standards ready by 2012.

Other hotel chains involved in the working group are Accor, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, 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.

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13 thoughts on “Hotel Chains Seek Carbon Measurement Consensus

  1. I’m curious to know why hotel chains aren’t using already established measuring tools like General Reporting Protocol. Are their cases so exceptional that the Scopes laid out in already widely used measurement tools, don’t apply to them? I suppose more is to be revealed a later story.

  2. I too am curious why this is the case.
    Fairmont, in particular, have already embarked upon developing a carbon inventory following the International Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

  3. In response to the previous two comments…Maybe the chains are going to discuss extended (scope 3) emissions? Since companies have discretion over which categories they choose to report, general reporting protocols still allow for huge variation across firms in total inventory methodology.

    The boundary issues based on lease and partially owned assets are also not always in line with the way certain industries operate.

  4. Looks like a phase one plan based on speed to market. Data collection beyond Scope 1&2 on a property level would require more time. As long as phase two synchs up with established GHG protocol, giving some time is understandable. This would be a big challenge for hotels and something that appears to be created by leading business travel corporations and their alignment behind this standardized metric software and industry database: http://www.greenhotelsglobal.com

  5. HVAC equipment is the single largest consumers of electricity for hospitality industry.I trust the utility in charge are taking initiative to improve cooling efficiency of their HVAC equipments – Chillers, cold rooms, display cabinets, ice makers etc.
    ASHRAE reports all HVAC equipments lose efficiency on year on year basis due to OIL FOULING.
    FRIGITECH a superb performance enhancing lubricant also called refrigerant additive restores lost efficiency in HVAC equipment and improves cooling output and reduces compressor run time which as a result helps save energy as high as upto 20%.
    A one time application for the life of the HVAC equipment has been one great product hospitality owners must go for to reduce Green house effect.

  6. The main reason for this initiative is conflicitng/inconsistent requests from customers. Meeting planners often request reports of cabons measures using XYZ protocol. Since every protocol has its own group of supporters, hotels would need to prepare reports use every protocal that exists to answer these requests. This leads to excessive work, inconsistent results and considerable confusion.

  7. Thanks to Alison and Michelle for their comments and questions above. The main focus of this work is the carbon impact of an overnight hotel stay and / or meeting, at individual property level. It is therefore complementary to existing standards that apply at a corporate level. This first phase of the work has been informed by the GHG Protocol Standards and reviewed by the World Resources Institute.

  8. Instead of going to elaborate lengths to measure their carbon impact, they should work to reduce their energy consumption and then measure the results in cost savings (and reduction in CF). There is nothing more irritating than checking into a hotel and walking in the room and the A/C is turned down to 70 degrees, the room is freezing, and it’s the middle of summer. Nobody would do that in their home and it is extremely wasteful. The hotel chains would save millions of dollars and reduce their carbon emissions buy measuring the inputs into their CF, but they will probably sit around and analyze this problem for years all the while nobody is measuring their lighting, HVAC, and other critical loads that could save them money TODAY! It’s ridiculous!

  9. It seems to me the hotel industry enjoys finding excuses to avoid doing work by consistently trying to find solutions. There are a myriad of carbon-reporting tools available for the industry including some approved by or compliant to the major reporting protocols. Instead of creating yet a another tool that is going to be used by a niche group of hotels, why not select the major existing tools and identify the gaps that prevent them (hotels) meeting their goals and fund the improvement to those systems. Maybe I am too results-oriented.

  10. The hotel industry is plagued with having to operate at peak energy due to the demands of guests taking energy for granted…mostly the people above whining. Question, is the industry trying to do something? I worked for 25 years in this industry, not anymore though. It is a tough one when it comes to demands of guests and usually the demands are energy intensive. Green programs with bed sheets for example have been around for decades. But even though the program existed, no one participated. The guest demands and expectations of hotels are beyond reasonable with most wanting what they see in the movies and on TV from their local Holiday Inn or Fairmont even. To ask any typical guest, ummm, say a bride’s mother, or an Association director, or worse, a meeting planner, to reduce is like taking food from a dog to save some for a midnight snack, ain’t gonna happen and if you try, watch your hand!

  11. The seemingly industry-wide initiative to provide carbon emission reports will hopefully lead to more corporate responsibility in other industries. Given the over-usage of water and energy in hotels, these reports should provide means to generate more conversation efforts. Even more importantly, the carbon emission reports provided by these hotel chains may eventually decrease hotel guest water and electricity consumption as they realize their role in providing these carbon emissions.

    Everblue Training Institute also has a great article on hotel carbon emissions along with links to carbon accounting and sustainability manager courses. It can be found at http://www.everblue.edu/blog/major-hotel-chains-report-carbon-emissions.

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