A group of leading hotel companies have launched a new tool designed to standardise measurement and reporting of the hospitality sector's carbon impact.
The International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) have collaborated with 23 global hospitality firms to produce a method of calculating the footprint of hotel stays and meetings.
The Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI), comprised of ITP and WTTC members, including Accor, Hyatt, and TUI, has developed the so-called HCMI 1.0 methodology after testing the standardised approach in different hotels across the globe.
Informed by the renowned GHG Protocol Standards and reviewed by the World Resources Institute, the tool uses common measurement and language to "speak with one voice" and help hotel companies and their guests gain a greater understanding of their carbon impact.
HCMI said that currently customers, and in particular corporate clients looking to understand their own carbon footprint, find the inconsistencies in approaches to measuring emissions confusing.
"Carbon measurement is one of the key challenges of our time and the myriad of systems to measure and report carbon usage, particularly in the hotel sector, results in confusion and scepticism amongst consumers," said Yvo de Boer, special global advisor on climate change and sustainability to accountancy firm KPMG, which contributed to the development of HCMI 1.0.
"This initiative to ensure that hotels are aligned in their approach to carbon measurement is a vital step in addressing the challenge."
The standard means corporate guests should be able to accurately measure the carbon footprint of stays in hotels in order to inform their own carbon accounting efforts, and should also pave the way for the wider availability of hospitality-related carbon offsetting services.