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The latest Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking (CHSB) Index, released today, shows that carbon emissions per square metre 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 UK, 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 metre), whereas those in South Africa had the highest (209.78 kg CO2 emissions per square metre). At city level, Montreal’s hotels are the best performing (24.63 kg CO2 emissions / sq m) while in Abu Dhabi the average hotel emits 251.55 kg CO2 emissions per square metre, the highest in the 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, which ultimately benefit the industry, consumers, and our environment.”

The data show that the greatest improvement in carbon intensity reduction is seen in limited service hotels (a reduction of 16.39 percentbetween 2015 and 2018) compared to full service hotels (6.19 percent improvement).

As well as data on energy use and carbon footprint, the index also contains water consumption data for hotels around the world. Water consumption decreased by nearly 7 percent (in terms of litres per occupied room) between 2015 and 2018.

The CHSB Index is available to download free of charge at this link: CHSB data feeds the Hotel Footprinting Tool at where users can estimate the carbon footprint of a hotel stay and meeting anywhere in the world.

The following companies contributed data to the 2020 CHSB Index: AINA Hospitality, CPG Hospitality, DiamondRock Hospitality Company, Hilton Worldwide, Horwath HTL Asia Pacific, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Mandarin Oriental Hotels Group, Marriott International, MGM Resorts International, Park Hotel Group, Park Hotels & Resorts, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, Red Planet Hotels, Ryman Hospitality Properties, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Xenia Hotels & Resorts.

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Olivia Ruggles-Brise

About Greenview:

Greenview is the world’s leading provider of sustainability programs and data management for the hospitality and tourism sector. We support companies to design, implement, and monitor their corporate responsibility and sustainability platforms to drive profitability, streamline data, keep ahead of trends, and provide effective communication for stakeholders. Headquartered in Singapore with a global team of experts, we manage the hospitality sector’s largest collaborative sustainability initiatives and leverage the power of this network to synergize value to our clients across three pillars of activity: corporate consulting and advisory; Greenview Portal software; and collaborative industry initiatives. In addition to advising leading global organizations, Greenview has launched several innovative industry initiatives including the Green Lodging Trends Report, Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking Index, Hotel Footprinting Tool, and Hotel Owners for Tomorrow Coalition.

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