We hear the term “carbon footprint” quite often, but what exactly is it and why is it important?

A carbon footprint is the total amount of carbon compounds, including carbon dioxide, that are emitted because of fossil-fuel consumption. It is important because these emissions from our vehicles, homes, businesses, and other electricity usages contribute to the climate change that we are currently experiencing.

Because hotels are typically quite large and consume a lot of energy day in and day out, they can have a significant carbon footprint. As people become more aware and concerned about the environment, it is important to estimate and decrease the negative impact your hotel has on the environment.

Here, we will evaluate how to measure your hotel’s carbon footprint.

The Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative

For over a decade, businesses such as hotels have been trying to understand, measure, and reduce their carbon footprint. There is even an organization called the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative that has been aiding corporations in comprehending the impact of their carbon footprint—and reducing it.

In years past, there was very little observation for the measurement of carbon emissions. Companies were supposed to report, but nothing was verified. The HCMI was created in response to the lack of laws. It currently has 23 of the leading hotel companies around the world as partners.

HCMI aligns the hotels based on how carbon emissions are reported, allowing clarity for any future customers who have an interest in sticking with low-carbon-emission hotels. Hotels have access to HCMI 1.1 in order to measure and report their carbon footprint periodically.

To file with HCMI and get your carbon footprint, hotels can contact WTTC and request HCMI 1.1. You will receive a practical guide and an HCMI tool kit, which allows hotel managers or owners to measure their own carbon footprint. It also includes an example of a fictitious hotel in California.

This is all part of the International Tourism Partnership that is trying to help hotels gain a greener status and improve tourism in those locations. Tourists have taken notice of the carbon footprint and green technology. Many times, these prospective customers will research the “green” status of a hotel before booking a room. This makes being a part of the HCMI even more important.

How Can Hotels Shrink Their Carbon Footprint?

Hotels today can lessen their carbon footprint in several ways. Hotels have huge ventilation and air-conditioning systems, lighting, laundry, kitchens, and cleaning services. All these things add up to a massive carbon footprint. One method for a hotel to decrease that footprint is by embracing a more energy-efficient building design. Better windows, doors, and insulation will help lower some of that high-carbon count.

The best way to lower a hotel’s carbon footprint is by switching to an alternative form of energy, something that is more ecologically friendly with a lower carbon output. Utilizing solar power, hydro technology, or wind energy are all ideal ways to improve the carbon footprint in leaps and bounds.

A hotel cannot eliminate its entire carbon footprint without completely switching their infrastructure. That would include a more energy-efficient building, an alternative energy source, getting only energy-efficient appliances, and creating a management change in perspectives and facilitation. Understand that these changes take time, but you can ease into them.

Decreasing your hotel’s carbon footprint not only helps the environment, but it can boost your bottom line as well. Consumers are increasingly concerned about environmental and social issues. They are more inclined to research businesses and choose those who are making a positive impact.