What practical steps can hotels take to reach net zero?

An influential group of hospitality, travel and tourism organizations has published a free guide outlining measures hotels can adopt to help tackle climate change.

Hotel industry professionals are encouraged to play their part in reducing global carbon emissions.

Determining emissions, identifying parameters and using renewable energy sources

A comprehensive guide for hotels wanting to reduce their carbon footprint has been jointly produced by a group of hospitality, travel and tourism organizations. The Net Zero methodology for hotels explains the technical aspects of net zero, such as what should be included in Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3, as well as providing achievable milestones for target years such as 2025, 2030 and 2040, and information about decarbonization through renewables.

Launched at the COP26 Climate Change Conference, the methodology was written by sustainable hospitality consultancy Greenview in partnership with the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, the World Travel and Tourism Council, the tourism organization declaring a climate emergency, and the Asia Pacific Travel Association. It was developed in conjunction with an advisory group that includes representatives of several major hotel companies, including Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, Accor, IHG, Radisson Hotel Group, Hyatt Hotels Group, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Mandarin Hotel Group Oriental, Melia International Hotels and Micro Hotels.

Make zero net liabilities

Guidance is provided in a number of areas to help hotels make actionable zero net liabilities, including:

  • Establish a baseline from which to pursue a net zero target
  • Define emissions limits that hotels must address over time as part of a baseline and target
  • Create virtual classes for net zero path planning, with phases to achieve at five-year intervals
  • Measuring emissions over time
  • Understand the variables that will be included in the net zero follow-up
  • Understand how hotel emissions relate to the broader tourism and real estate value chain

Coordination with existing frameworks

The methodology also discusses compatibility with existing frameworks such as the Science-Based Targets Initiative, Race to Zero and the Glasgow Declaration.

Eric Ricorti, founder and CEO of Greenview, said: “As more and more hotel companies undertake zero net liabilities, it is important to document how to address the specific challenges faced by the sector. Often, current guidance relates to commercial real estate, which does not take into account the Consider issues such as particular owner/operator/franchisee relationships in hotels, ongoing portfolio changes, or the different status of renewable energy in countries around the world.

“The methodology provides comprehensive and detailed guidance on all the topics that will need to be addressed by a hotel owner or operator that wants to achieve net zero by 2050.”

Patrick O’Meara, CEO of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, added: “The Net Zero methodology for hotels is a significant innovation, which will enable hotels to make achievable and credible net commitments. The methodology helps hotels set limits, measure and report emissions in a consistent manner, and appropriately take advantage of carbon offsetting on their own. Short to medium term.

“It will help those hotels that haven’t made much progress yet to immediately begin their zero net journey.”

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