Today marks Earth Day, an opportunity to unite, educate, and motivate environmental action across the globe.

This year’s theme, ‘Invest in our Planet’, aims to encourage individuals, businesses and governments across the world to work towards a global economy which promotes the healing and health of the planet, protects all species, and offers opportunities for every person.

The hospitality industry must be a part of this collaborative effort. Hotels have a huge impact on the environment, both locally­ (e.g. through water and land use, and waste production), and globally (e.g. by creating carbon emissions, and through the supply chain).

1% of total global carbon emissions come from the hospitality sector1
Hotel operations consume up to 8x more water than local communities in some areas2

With hotels located in every region around the world, including even the most remote and “untouched” destinations, hospitality has a significant role to play in supporting the movement to invest in our planet.

Start your journey

We recently launched the Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality. This comprehensive framework sets out clear steps which any hotel can take to progress towards net positive environmental impacts, no matter their starting point.

A crucial first step is to take stock of your impact. This will allow you to establish a baseline, set targets, and track progress as you embark on your sustainability journey.

Why understand your hotel’s environmental performance?

There are multiple benefits to knowing your environmental performance. These include:

  • Allowing you to better target your environmental efforts by having a clearer sense of where your largest impacts are.
  • Helping to cut costs by highlighting areas with high consumption or revealing excess procurement.
  • Enabling you to monitor progress by providing hard data on the impact your sustainability efforts are having on your business and local surroundings.
  • Increasing your appeal to guests and corporate customers by being able to communicate your progress publicly.

Top tips for understanding your environmental performance

Here’s how you can start understanding your hotel’s environmental performance:

  1. Decide what impacts to measure: Carbon emissions and water use are often the biggest and easiest to measure, followed by waste production.
  2. Establish a baseline: Pick a year to use as your baseline – ideally as recent as possible and is representative of your usual performance and you have good quality data for.
  3. Decide what to track: Decide what key performance indicators (KPIs) to use. These can be total impact (i.e. total energy used) or intensity-based (e.g. impact per unit.)
  4. Gather data: A simple excel tracker, such as the one in the Pathway to Net Positive Hospitality toolkit, can assist with this.
  5. Calculate your impact: There are methodologies and free tools for carbon, water and waste which can help with this.
  6. Compare your performance: Get a broader idea of your performance by benchmarking your property against others.