It’s Time to Become Familiar with HCMI 1.0

6/22/2012 By Glenn Hasek

It’s here and you had better at least be familiar with it, especially if you host groups at your property. What I am referring to is HCMI 1.0, the methodology to calculate and communicate the carbon footprint of hotel stays and meetings. The methodology has been agreed upon by 23 leading global hospitality companies including Accor, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Corp., InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International Inc., MGM Resorts International, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., and Wyndham Worldwide. The methodology is expected to be widely used within the next two years.

I was sent the methodology this past week. It is designed to be applied by any hotel—large or small—around the world. While it will not take a rocket scientist to understand it, it is not simple addition either. In fact, I strongly encourage the parties involved in creating the methodology—the International Tourism Partnership (ITP), World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), and the 23 leading hospitality companies—to provide training to those interested in using it.

I recently spoke with Christopher Brophy, vice president-corporate sustainability, MGM Resorts International, about the methodology and he told me it is the goal of the Working Group that decided on it to make it as simple as possible.

Associations Also Involved

“We will be working with as many hotel companies as we possibly can,” Brophy says, adding that the American Hotel & Lodging Assn., Hotel Association of Canada, Global Business Travel Assn., Green Meeting Industry Council and other groups and associations will be utilized to educate and inform industry stakeholders.

Briefly, the methodology provides hotels with a carbon footprint per occupied room on a daily basis and per area of meeting space on an hourly basis. This information can then be used to calculate the carbon footprint of a specific client’s use of the hotel.

The calculations are required to be performed once a year. In testing the methodology, it generally took two hours for participants to work through. Information such as total area of guestrooms and corridors is taken into consideration, as well as total area of meeting space, total occupied rooms for reporting year, and total energy consumption for reporting year. Energy consumption may come from the following sources: fuels consumed on-site such as natural gas (stationary combustion), oil and other fuels; purchased electricity; mobile fuels burned (from vehicles and landscaping equipment); purchased steam and chilled water; and district heating or municipal power. Energy consumption data should be obtained from energy invoices or from taking meter readings at the beginning and end of the reporting period.

Outsourced Laundry a Factor in Calculation

One can use one of several sources to calculate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Things become more complicated if one outsources laundry as data must be collected from the laundry contractor.

A Practical Guide has been created to help walk one through the methodology. Working in parallel with the Guide is a spreadsheet which can be obtained through ITP or WTTC. To help one work through the methodology, the Guide includes a hypothetical hotel of 180 rooms and then works through the calculations to determine its carbon footprint.

Brophy told me the methodology is expected to be used during the 2013 RFP season. The fastest way to get a copy of it is to write to info@hotelcarboninitiative.org. Once you get a copy, I would love to hear from you with your thoughts. I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

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