SINGAPORE—The latest Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking (CHSB) Index shows that carbon emissions per square meter of hotels around the world has decreased by 10 percent since 2015. The CHSB Index contains data for over 14,000 hotels in 55 countries from 20 international chains.
The greatest reduction was across hotels in the U.K., in which carbon footprint reduced on average 23.4 percent between 2015 and 2018. Hotels in India, Canada and the U.S. experienced a decrease of 14.4 percent, 13.6 percent, and 12.1 percent, respectively. Hotels in China showed slightly less improvement at a 7.4 percent average reduction in carbon footprint.
Of the countries contained within the index, in 2018, hotels in Switzerland had the lowest carbon intensity (20.4 kg CO2emissions per square meter), whereas those in South Africa had the highest (209.78 kg CO2 emissions per square meter). At city level, Montreal’s hotels are the best performing (24.63 kg CO2 emissions per square meter) while in Abu Dhabi the average hotel emits 251.55 kg CO2 emissions per square meter, the highest in the index.
Seventh Annual CHSB Index
The 2020 report is the seventh annual CHSB index, the hotel industry’s largest annual benchmarking of energy, water, and carbon. Open to hotels and hotel companies of all sizes, CHSB serves as a peer-based reference for assessing the hotel industry worldwide. Hotels were benchmarked regarding energy, water, and carbon performance against competitive sets in the same geography, segment, and climate zone.
Eric Ricaurte, CEO of Greenview and the author of the CHSB Index said, “We are seeing increasing pressure from the investor community for companies to better understand their climate risks and impacts, and put in place steps to reduce their carbon emissions. The fact that the 2020 report has an increase of 25 percent in hotels participating compared to 2019 shows how the industry is increasingly engaged in understanding its environmental performance. CHSB allows individual hotels, or those with significant portfolios, to benchmark their performance against peers and gain a deeper understanding of the opportunities to improve. In doing so CHSB also provides a common yardstick for measuring and reporting the carbon, energy, and water performance of hotels. In a fragmented and regionally diverse industry such as hospitality, this is key to driving towards a common ambition to increase efficiencies and reduce negative impact.”
Linda Canina, the Dr. Michael Dang Director of the Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration said, “The Center for Hospitality Research is delighted to publish the CHSB index to assist hotels in meeting their sustainability goals. I encourage all hotel companies from around the world to participate in CHSB, so that the dataset can continue to grow and improve for the benefit of the industry, consumers, and most importantly, our environment.”
The data show that the greatest improvement in carbon intensity reduction is seen in limited service hotels (a reduction of 16.39 percent between 2015 and 2018) compared to full-service hotels (6.19 percent improvement).