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Major hotel groups welcome standardised approach to carbon measurement

Launched in June, the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative 1.0 (HCMI) methodology was formulated by the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in collaboration with 23 leading global hospitality companies. The carbon footprint of hotel stays and meetings will now be able to be calculated and communicated in a consistent and transparent way.

Members of the HCMI working group tell us why this initiative is important to them and what it means to their customers.


“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.”

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

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.

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)

David Jerome, IHG’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility, said: “As an industry, we’ve standardised our practices around how hotels calculate carbon emissions, making it easier for our guests and corporate clients to understand the environmental impact of their hotel stays.”

IHG will be using the new methodology developed by the HCMI to build a carbon calculator into Green Engage - its industry-leading online sustainability tool - that allows hotels to measure, manage and reduce their environmental impacts including energy, water and waste. The calculator will enable nearly 2,000 hotels using Green Engage to respond to their corporate clients with information on their carbon footprint per occupied room and the carbon footprint of client meetings and events. This new function ensures that Green Engage remains a leading tool and demonstrates IHG’s continued innovation and investment in this area, as well as helping to keep our hotels competitive and driving revenue.

Meliá Hotels International

For Gabriel Escarrer, Vice Chairman and CEO of Meliá Hotels International, "This enables us to continue to build relationships of trust and transparency with our customers and make progress with the consolidation of sustainable and responsible growth which ensures a balance between economic, environmental and social goals, and which we must address in a cooperative way, showing leadership for the entire industry."

Meliá Hotels International will also promote the use of this calculation model in the Spanish hotel industry in general to calculate a national standard carbon footprint measure based on international criteria.

Red Carnation Hotels

Three of Red Carnation's luxury boutique properties, selected to give a good cross-section of the collection’s output, were involved in trials to pilot the HCMI scheme: The Oyster Box Hotel in Durban, one of the collection's most recent renovations; The Milestone Hotel, the flagship London property, and The Chesterfield Mayfair, one of the collection's busiest four-star properties.

Jonathan Raggett, Managing Director of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, commented:

"The issue of sustainability has become morally intrinsic to our ethos at Red Carnation Hotels. We proactively, both as a business and as individual hotels, seek opportunities to understand and minimise our impact on the environment around us. That’s why we were so excited to be involved in such an important global initiative. None of us can do this on our own, so we wanted to be part of a movement that will guide the international hotel industry towards achieving consistency in this area."

"We are also really proud to be the only privately-owned, family-run boutique collection in the working group. It is great to have a voice amongst such established big players and for us to all come together in this landmark collaboration to change the industry for the better."

The Red Carnation Hotel Collection will be implementing the initiative across all fourteen of its properties, championed by the in-house green team, which is chaired by Jonathan Raggett. All staff will be educated on the processes and it will form part of all new inductions, regular newsletter communications, monthly and annual company presentations and staff incentives. The company will also be enthusiastic advocates of the scheme to external partners, clients and guests to ensure that the methodology is understood and embraced by the industry and the consumer.

For more information on HCMI and to request a free copy of the methodology, go to: www.tourismpartnership.org/what-we-do/practical-solutions/hotel-carbon-measurement-initiative [1]