The International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) have partnered with 23 global hotel companies to launch a method to analyse and communicate the carbon footprint of hotel stays and meetings in a transparent way.

The methodology ‘HCMI 1.0’ is led by the hotel industry and demonstrates how effective collaboration can provide solutions that benefit customers, individual companies and wider industry.

Initially developed in 2011 and informed by the GHG Protocol Standards, it has been tested in different hotels in different geographical locations and has been improved through a stakeholder engagement process, with input from consultants KPMG.

According to ITP, stakeholders will be able to understand their footprints and impacts through common measurement and language, when using the system.

WTTC president and CEO David Scowsill said through the initiative they have seen major hotel companies team up to develop a way of communicating carbon impacts that will result in transparency and clarity for the consumer.

"We expect this industry common language to be widely used within the next two years."

"We expect this industry common language to be widely used within the next two years," Scowsill added.

For the initiative, the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) Working Group was formed in early 2011, which has developed the approach based on available data to address inconsistencies in hotel companies’ approaches.

The approaches to measuring and reporting on carbon emissions differ widely throughout the industry, which can lead to confusion among consumers, particularly corporate clients who look to understand their own potential carbon footprint and meet their own targets in this area.

In addition, the number of existing methodologies and tools make transparency of reporting within the hotel industry difficult to achieve.