The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance has updated its renowned Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) and is calling on the hospitality industry, including corporate clients and booking platforms, to use common measurement metrics to ensure a transparent and globally comparable approach to carbon, water and waste reporting.

To remain up to date amidst a changing landscape of climate action, HCMI has been reviewed and improved based on user feedback and research by Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research. This version has been updated to align with the latest GHG Protocol guidance and to better incorporate renewable energy with the support of Greenview. Publicly available carbon emissions factors have also been added into the tool to make it more accessible to all.

HCMI has been the only industry-recognised carbon calculation methodology for over ten years. The methodology is used widely across the industry by over 30,000 hotels including those of Hyatt, Marriott International, Radisson Hotel Group and Scandic, and some business travel platforms.

In addition, the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance – the leading global network in responsible hospitality – is also proud to announce that the use of HCMI is supported by leading industry organisations including World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) and the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), who will incorporate it into the guidance they give to the industry and corporate travel managers. The methodology has also been recognised at the governmental level, with data based on it used in the UK government’s greenhouse gas reporting calculator[1]. It also supports users of the One Planet Network’s Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism.

Free for all the industry, HCMI generates robust, comparable data which can be used to inform buyer decision-making, in addition to helping hotels track their carbon reduction progress. The methodology applies to all hotels, large or small, regardless of amenities offered. It can be built into existing systems or used as a stand-alone tool, by those without their own systems, making HCMI accessible to every hotel in the world.

Alongside HCMI, the Hotel Water Measurement Initiative (HWMI) and the Hotel Waste Measurement Methodology (HWMM) are available to help hotels provide consistent and transparent data on their water and waste footprints. All three methodologies are used in the Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking index (CHSB), the largest industry initiative of its kind which enables hotels and their customers to benchmark sustainability performance.

HCMI originally developed by the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance and WTTC in collaboration with 23 leading global hospitality companies, and reviewed by external experts including the World Resources Institute (WRI).

Learn more about the Initiative

“With sustainability rightly becoming an increasingly important focus for the industry and their guests, clients, investors and suppliers, it is vital that the industry has the tools to measure and monitor their impact, and can be accurately recognised for their progress. We therefore all need to be speaking the same language by using consistent and robust methods and we are proud to be updating HCMI which will enable everyone to focus on minimising negative impacts and accelerate action towards net positive hospitality for people and planet.” said Glenn Mandziuk, CEO, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

  • UN World Tourism Organisation – "The Glasgow Declaration unites, guides and accelerates the travel and tourism sector’s climate action efforts, providing a pathway for aligning on objectives and enhancing implementation. For the accommodation sector, measuring climate impacts allows providers to better understand their carbon footprint and gives their customers data to make informed choices. The Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative is above all a practical tool for supporting hotels in their climate efforts and their commitment to the Glasgow Declaration.” Mr. Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General, UNWTO
  • WTTC – “WTTC and its Members have made addressing the climate crisis a key priority. The use of HCMI allows for robust measurement of emissions, which in turn is a prerequisite for effective action. It can provide much needed alignment of measurement across the industry, help hotels understand their relative performance, and enable sustainability-conscious customers to make informed decisions.” Julia Simpson, President & CEO, WTTC
  • GSTC – “The global hospitality community needs universal measurement and reporting tools in order to better advance sustainability. HCMI is one such tool, and we at GSTC join the community of interested parties that utilize HCMI and support its widespread usage and further development.” Randy Durband, CEO, Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC)
  • AHLA – “America’s hotels have a longstanding commitment to improve the sustainability efforts that make trips, meetings, events, and guest experiences as responsible as possible. Central to this commitment is a transparent carbon reporting system. That’s why we’re pleased to support the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, a reporting system that generates robust, comparable data to help hotels – large or small – track progress on carbon reduction goals. The HCMI will continue to be a powerful resource for hoteliers as they continue on their journeys to reduce carbon emissions across the country.” Chip Rogers, President and CEO, American Hotel & Lodging Association
    GBTA – “Harmonising the way emissions are measured on an industry-wide, global scale is critical to allow corporations to effectively calculate and compare emissions from their hotel stays. Earlier this year, GBTA’s study on the State of Sustainability for Global Business Travel, showed that almost two-thirds (63%) of the industry identifies the lack of transparent sustainability data as a main barrier to climate action. HCMI, given its accuracy, availability and transparency, provides the right framework for the hospitality sector. GBTA looks forward to collaborating with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance to ensure a wider use and uptake of HCMI as a go-to standard for hotels’ carbon measurement.” Delphine Millot, SVP Sustainability, Global Business Travel Association (GBTA)
  • ITM –“In our most recent survey of ITM’s buyer members ‘influencing sustainable practice’ ranked as the second biggest challenge that they face currently when it comes to managing travel. Our buyer members want and need transparent and comparable data from hotels to support their sustainability initiatives and provide their travellers and organisations alike with the insights needed to understand, manage and report on the impact of their business travel. This is why programmes such as the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance’s HCMI are so important in giving hotels a recognised methodology to calculate carbon footprint per occupied room per day. We would certainly encourage hotels to use HCMI and provide accurate and benchmarkable data to their corporate customers.” Kerry Douglas, Head of Programme, Institute of Travel Management (ITM)
    Travalyst – “We share the sense of urgency around enabling hotel operators to measure their carbon footprint accurately and consistently. We look forward to working with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance on creating further alignment in the accommodation sector.” Sally Davey, CEO, Travalyst
  • Greenview – “As the leading platform for sustainability software, data and programs in hospitality, Greenview is delighted to have supported the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance in the updating of the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative methodology and tool. Over many years we have seen increasing demand for a single, industry metric to measure the carbon footprint of hotel rooms. With more companies than ever focusing on their Scope 3 business travel footprint as part of their own net zero plans, adoption of HCMI widely across the hospitality sector will facilitate consistent and robust measurement and reporting of the carbon footprint of hotel stays; and at the same time enable hotels to benchmark their performance and progress. I congratulate the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance for leading this endeavour and would like to thank the many hotel companies whose collaborative approach and support over the past decade has made such progress possible.” Eric Ricaurte, Founder and CEO, Greenview

About the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance brings together engaged hospitality companies and the wider hospitality value chain, along with strategic partners, to address key challenges affecting the planet, people and places around the world.

Through their strategic initiatives and global networks, they develop practical programmes and resources to create a prosperous and responsible hospitality sector that gives back to the destination more than it takes.

Their members represent over 50,000 hotels spanning 270 brands – totalling over 7 million rooms – and include world-leading companies including Accor, Choice Hotels International, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Marriott International, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, as well as regional brands. Their network also includes other parts of the hospitality value chain, including owners, investors, suppliers, and other partners to further drive joined up action on sustainability, and accelerate the industry on the path to Net Positive Hospitality.

Emily McLeish
Senior Brand and Marcomms Manager
Sustainable Hospitality Alliance