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Major hotels to standardize carbon reporting, management

Posting in Environment

Do you know how your favorite hotel performs with respect to sustainability? My guess is you don't.

For as long as I can remember, hotels in California have had policies intended to encourage water conservation, a practice that I have seen spread to other states and locations in recent years. But as with any business affiliated with the travel industry, hotels are trying to get more sensible -- and consistent -- about the way they talk about their sustainability efforts.

Now, two organizations involved with the hotel and tourism industry have decided to collaborate on standard data collection and reporting methods for the hospitality industry. In particular, they are focused on carbon dioxide emissions management.

The International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) have created what they are calling the Carbon Measurement Working Group. The group includes Accor, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International Inc, MGM Resorts International, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Red Carnation Hotel Collection, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc, Premier Inn - Whitbread Group and Wyndham Worldwide.

Their initial ideas for reporting methods have been reviewed by Greenview Consulting and the World Resources Institute.

Now, the intention is for the first phase of the suggested best practice to begin taking effect sometime next year. The current work is specifically focused on carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions reporting, as well as ways of managing same.

I have to be honest, I don't think we have heard enough from the hotel industry about sustainability efforts. Mind you, this could simply be a public relations problem, so I intend to do a bit more digging over the next few weeks to see which companies are really leading in this sector. Meanwhile, this small but significant effort is definitely a great green step forward?

Said Stephen Farrant, Director of the International Tourism Partnership:

"Customers and investors rightly want to know about the carbon footprint of the hotels they are dealing with. The fact that 12 global companies in the international hotel sector have come together to achieve, for the first time, this degree of consensus on the complex issue of carbon measurement is testament to both the crucial importance of addressing the carbon issue and the success of the ITP and WTTC joint working group through this first phase."

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Heather Clancy

Section Editor

Heather Clancy has written for United Press International, ZDNet, Entrepreneur, Fortune Small Business, the International Herald Tribune and the New York Times. She holds a degree from McGill University. She is based in New Jersey. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure