Hotel Footprinting Tool

A free tool allowing hotels to benchmark their performance on carbon emissions against the local average. Companies can also use it to track the carbon footprint of business travel.


When ITP launched the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) in 2011, it paved the way for a number of advances within the hotel industry.

BITC and the international picture

Bringing 23 global hotel group together to standardise the way they measure their carbon footprint by guest room, stay or meeting meant that, for the first time, it became possible to collect data which was comparable.  That enabled accurate benchmarking.

The data from hotel groups using HMCI was used in an annual study by Cornell University's renowned Center for Hospitality Research, leading to The Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking Index.  The Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmark (CHSB) is now published every year and includes data on energy, carbon and water. Its goal is to build a representative database providing raw benchmarks as a base for industry comparison.

Hotel properties group into a wide range of sectors from tiny boutique hotels through low cost, mid-range to luxury and with varying numbers of rooms. To compare the energy footprint of a ten room boutique in Germany with a 500 room luxury property in India makes little sense, but the 2016 CHSB allows hotels to benchmark their performance against similar hotels in a similar climate for the first time.

This information has been translated into the user friendly Hotel Footprinting Tool, a free online map.  It was launched by the International Tourism Partnership, part of Business in the Community, with Greenview in 2015.

Hotels can enter the benchmarking section, click their location on the map and instantly see a range of benchmarks from low to high, plus median and mean benchmarks. The information can be presented in a number of metrics from carbon footprint per occupied room, energy use per square metre, or by square metre of meeting space. This allows hotel companies to readily compare their own hotels' performance compared with the local average, and ascertain whether more energy savings are available to them.

The number one question from users of HCMI is ‘how can I benchmark my carbon footprint?’ Now hoteliers around the world can easily access that information. We hope that the Hotel Footprinting Tool will accelerate learning and drive action on emissions reduction, and encourage more businesses to calculate and report on their business travel carbon footprint

- Fran Hughes,
Director, International Tourism Partnership

The tool also works for companies needing to report on their own carbon footprint of their business travel or events. By adding in the length of stay in a certain state or country, the number of rooms and the size of a meeting space, companies can instantly see the carbon footprint of their travel.

The tool can also help meeting planners organise more sustainable meetings and events by comparing benchmarks before they book. It's much more accurate to specific locations than using a global average, saving time for companies who would otherwise need to contact individual hotels to enquire about their carbon footprint.

The tool is free and easy to use, but an explanatory video tutorial is also available.

The Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative is just one of the many offers Business in the Community provides its members to help builda fairer society and more sustainable future across the globe.  Throughout August, we'll be highlighting some of our international work.  Find out more on the pages about our international work.


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