Red Carnation Hotels welcomes launch of standardised approach to carbon measurement

  • Date: Thursday, 14 June 2012

The Red Carnation Hotel Collection is proud to announce its collaboration with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and a selection of international hotel companies to launch a standardised approach to carbon measurement. 

Three of Red Carnation’s luxury boutique properties, selected to give a good cross-section of the collection’s output, were involved in trials to pilot the scheme: The Oyster Box Hotel in Durban, one of the collection’s most recent renovations; The Milestone Hotel, the flagship London property, and The Chesterfield Mayfair, one of the collection’s busiest four-star properties.

The methodology, which launched this week during the Rio+20 United Nations Conference, has been devised by the ITP and WTTC, in collaboration with 23 leading global hospitality companies, and is designed to calculate and communicate the carbon footprint of hotel stays and meetings in a consistent and transparent way. 

The group saw an opportunity to improve how the hotel industry communicates its impacts. Currently, approaches to measuring and reporting on carbon emissions vary widely. This can lead to confusion amongst consumers, particularly corporate clients, looking to understand their own potential carbon footprint and meet their own goals/targets in this area.  In addition, the number of methodologies and tools in use make transparency of reporting within the hotel industry difficult to achieve.

The Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) Working Group, comprising of hotel members within ITP and WTTC, was formed in early 2011 at the request of member companies to address inconsistencies in hotel companies’ approaches and to devise a unified methodology based on available data.  The methodology named ‘HCMI 1.0’ is a consolidated move, led by the hotel industry, to establish a global standardised approach to this common problem for the hotel sector and its corporate customer base.

The methodology, informed by the GHG Protocol Standards, was first developed in 2011 and has since been tested in hotels of different style and size in different geographical locations and refined through a stakeholder engagement process, with input from consultants KPMG. It has also been reviewed by the World Resources Institute.
 

HCMI demonstrates how effective collaboration can provide solutions which benefit customers, individual companies, and wider industry. Through common measurement and language, stakeholders will now be able to greater understand their footprints and impacts.

Jonathan Raggett, Managing Director of the Red Carnation Hotel Collection, commented:

“The issue of sustainability has become morally intrinsic to our ethos at Red Carnation Hotels.  We proactively, both as a business and as individual hotels, seek opportunities to understand and minimise our impact on the environment around us.  That’s why we were so excited to be involved in such an important global initiative. None of us can do this on our own, so we wanted to be part of a movement that will guide the international hotel industry towards achieving consistency in this area."

“We are also really proud to be the only privately-owned, family-run boutique collection in the working group. It is great to have a voice amongst such established big players and for us to all come together in this landmark collaboration to change the industry for the better.”

David Scowsill, President & CEO of WTTC said, “WTTC has long been advocating that industry speaks with ‘one voice’.  Through this initiative we have seen major hotel companies come together to agree a means of communicating carbon impacts which ultimately will result in more transparency and clarity for the consumer.  HCMI has broken new ground in its industry driven approach and I congratulate the companies involved on their leadership in ensuring this important initiative comes to fruition. We expect this industry common language to be widely used within the next two years.”

Stephen Farrant, Director of ITP said, “This has been a model of competitive collaboration that may serve as a useful template for other industry sectors to learn from in addressing the challenges of carbon management.  It is inspiring to see so many leading hotel companies across the industry working together over so many months to make this unique and ground-breaking initiative a reality.”

Yvo de Boer, KPMG Special Global Advisor, Climate Change & Sustainability, added, “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. This initiative to ensure that hotels are aligned in their approach to carbon measurement is a vital step in addressing the challenge.”

The Working Group comprises of leading international hotel companies such as Accor, Beijing Tourism Group, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Diamond Resorts International, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, Hong Kong & Shanghai Hotels, Hyatt Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jumeirah Group, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Marriott International Inc, Meliá Hotels International, MGM Resorts International, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, Orient-Express Hotels Ltd, Pan Pacific Hotel Group, Premier Inn - Whitbread Group, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, TUI AG, Wyndham Worldwide.

The priority for the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative moving forward will be to maximise the take up and recognition of the methodology by a broader range of hotels and their customers. A review process has been put in place to ensure the methodology may be further refined as user feedback and new research come to light.

The Red Carnation Hotel Collection will be implementing the initiative across all fourteen of its properties, championed by the in-house green team, which is chaired by Jonathan Raggett.  All staff will be educated on the processes and it will form part of all new inductions, regular newsletter communications, monthly and annual company presentations and staff incentives. The company will also be enthusiastic advocates of the scheme to external partners, clients and guests to ensure that the methodology is understood and embraced by the industry and the consumer.

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