ITHACA, N.Y.—The fifth annual Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking study has been published. It includes data from substantially more hotels than in all previous years. While the bulk of the data come from hotels in the United States, the study also recorded a greater international participation, with 51 nations and 13 international brands represented. More than 10,400 hotels contributed information regarding their energy and water use, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.
Complete as of 2016, the data show that the participating hotels generally have continued to reduce their energy and water usage, although the energy intensity recorded by luxury hotels continues to be relatively high. While these data will permit hoteliers and potential guests to see benchmarks for various hotel segments and locations, individual hotel amenities cannot be accounted for in terms of energy or water use.
The study was supported by over a dozen international hotel firms, namely, Club Med Resorts, Hilton Worldwide, Host Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels Corp., InterContinental Hotels Group, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Marriott International, MGM Resorts International, Park Hotel Group, Saunders Hotel Group, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, The Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, and Wyndham Worldwide. Data collection is now underway for the 2019 study. Eric Ricaurte, the author of the study and founder of Greenview, encourages additional hotels to participate, especially those in the lower tier segments, which are not as strongly represented in the data.
Some findings from the study:
Energy usage has not reduced consistently since 2013. The energy intensity of the like-for-like data set has reduced slightly to an increase of 0.54 percent overall and 1.73 percent weighted on average since 2013. This increase is driven by full-service hotels, which account for a larger portion of the data set and footprint. Among limited-service hotels however, energy usage has consistently reduced over time in all measures. Water usage intensity, by contrast, has reduced consistently.
Of over 15,000 properties in the data set, only 130 properties utilized renewable sources to generate energy. Of those properties 56 percent reported less than 10 percent of their total energy from renewable sources, while only 7.7 percent had at least 50 percent of their energy from renewables. Of the properties benchmarked, 149 had on-site electricity generation or cogeneration.