It is an old management adage still true today: “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” Fortunately, the lodging industry is getting better all of the time at managing its environmental impact. One sure proof of this is the just-released “Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking Index 2016: Energy, Water, and Carbon.” The report was produced by Cornell’s Center for Hospitality Research. Eric Ricaurte, Founder & CEO of Greenview, was the lead researcher and compiled 2014 data from 11 global hotel firms. I spoke with Ricaurte and he told me the data set grew by 40 percent—from 3,250 properties to 4,457 properties since last year’s report. “We are showing more granularity and improvement every year,” Ricaurte said. This is the third year for the study. In the first year the database included utility information from about 2,000 hotels.
Unique to this year’s Index is the ability to sort by climate zones (Tropical, Tropical Monsoon, etc.) and hotel type (Luxury, Urban, etc).
The improvement in data collection from year to year is a boon for the Hotel Footprinting Tool, a tool that relies on Index data. The Hotel Footprinting Tool was launched last October by the International Tourism Partnership and Greenview. The Index is perfect for anyone interested in benchmarking their own property against other properties in a market segment. Destinations or even countries can also compare their performance against others.
Interestingly, Ricaurte told me data in the Index show hotels across the board in Asia to be less efficient than those in other parts of the world. “The general usage of water and energy is higher,” Ricaurte said.
Ricaurte invites hotel companies to participate in the 2017 edition of the Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking Index, which has now begun collecting 2015 data sets for carbon emissions, energy use, and water use.