Leading hotel companies collaborate to reduce water consumption

Addressing the water crisis

Global hotels will work together to produce the HWMI

Many of the world’s leading hotel companies are working together to standardise the way the industry measures and reports on water consumption.

Building on the success of the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, now used by over 21,500 hotels around the world, the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) is announcing ambitious plans to standardise water measurement across the industry.

As identified in our Water Know How Guide, water scarcity is a pressing global issue, with demand projected to exceed supply by 40% by 2030. By the same year, over a third of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress.

Being part of a rapidly growing tourism sector and a large consumer of water, the hotel industry is recognising it needs to take action now in order to mitigate risk going forward.

ITP’s water working group has been addressing water security, risk and conservation for the past two years. Outcomes for that work include the Know How Guide on Water Conservation, ITP’s stakeholder dialogue day on water and a Water Risk Assessment Report commissioned by ITP from the Stockholm International Water Institute. The group is now collaborating to create a standardised approach to measuring and communicating water consumption across the hotel industry, for the benefit of the customer.

Fran Hughes, Head of Programmes for ITP announced the Hotel Water Measurement Initiative (HWMI) saying, “Since active and clear water measurement is the first step towards effective water management, the Hotel Water Measurement Initiative is a natural progression for the International Tourism Partnership’s water agenda. We are delighted that our members will be proactively taking part in this Working Group.”

The aim of HWMI is to develop a methodology to enable hotel companies and individual properties to measure and report on water consumption in a consistent way. The working group responsible for the creation of the methodology is composed of ITP member companies with KPMG as technical consultants, supported by a stakeholder steering group of global experts, including the Stockholm International Water Institute, Water Footprint Network, World Resources Institute and Carbon Trust.

Just as happened with HCMI, it’s hoped the tool will become the universally recognised standard for water measurement, allowing hotels to benchmark against similar properties in their region and seek ways to exercise good water stewardship and reduce their consumption.

The ITP members and other hotel groups that sit on the HWMI working group are: Carlson Rezidor, Diamond Resorts, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Mandarin Oriental, Marriott, NH Hotel Group, Soneva, Starwood, Taj, Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, Whitbread and Wyndham. ITP welcomes participation from other hotel groups.

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