Tuesday, 30 August 2011

The hotel industry is collaborating on a common carbon footprint methodology

Buildings006The International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) are getting together to come up with a common hotel industry methodology to calculate and communicate carbon emissions. The initiative is being led by the Carbon Measurement Working Group, which includes international hotel companies such as Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International Inc. and Premier Inn, among others.

At the moment carbon measurement metrics vary widely in the industry, based on a number of different methodologies and tools, which is seen as causing confusion as well as a lack of transparency. The Working Group aims to devise a unified methodology based on available data.

It’s a multi-phased approach and the Working Group will work with a cross-section of stakeholders to solicit input and feedback. The Phase One methodology has had input from Greenview Consulting and has been reviewed by the World Resources Institute. The objective of the first phase is to have standards available for the 2012 RFP season.


This development in the hotel industry demonstrates a couple of factors in the growth of carbon accounting which may have an impact on the carbon emissions management software market.

Firstly, its not legislation that’s pushing this move, at least not directly. Some chains may already fall foul of legislation in some countries, but as yet it will still be a small part of their operations. This is an industry initiative, recognising that the hotel sector as a whole needs to proactive in carbon counting and needs to do it right. It’s these sorts of initiatives that are making the CEMS market one of the fastest growing green ICT sectors.

Secondly, it remains to be seen exactly what the Working Group comes up with, but it’s very likely to be tailored to the specific concerns of the hotel industry, reflected in what’s counted and how. As with much enterprise software, specific industries very often want to see their own priorities reflected in the software they use. It points to an industry focus in the CEMS market, which may well help to keep it fragmented. There may not be completely industry-specific solutions, but at least tailored modules.

© The Green IT Review

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