Building on the success of the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, now used by over 21,500 hotels around the world, the International Tourism Partnership (ITP) is announcing ambitious plans to standardise water measurement in the industry.

Water scarcity is a recognised global problem, with demand for water projected to exceed supply by 40% by 2030. By the same year, over a third of the world’s population will be living in areas of high water stress. As part of a rapidly growing tourism sector and a large consumer of water in its own right, the hotel industry needs to take action now if it is to mitigate risk going forward.

ITP’s water working group has been addressing water security, risk and conservation for the last 2 years. Outcomes include ITP’s Know How Guide on Water Conservation, ITP’s stakeholder dialogue day on water and a Water Risk Assessment Report commissioned by ITP from the Stockholm International Water Institute. The group will now collaborate to create a standardised approach to measuring and communicating water consumption across the hotel industry, for the benefit of the customer.

‘Since effective water measurement is the first step towards effective water management, the Hotel Water Measurement Initiative is a natural progression for the International Tourism Partnership’s water agenda. We are delighted that our members will be proactively taking part in this Working Group.’ 

Fran Hughes, Head of Programmes, International Tourism Partnership.

The objective of the Hotel Water Measurement initiative (HWMI) is to develop a methodology to enable hotel companies and individual properties to measure and report on water consumption in a consistent way. The working group responsible for the creation of the methodology is composed of ITP member companies with KPMG as technical consultants, supported by a stakeholder steering group of global experts, including the Stockholm International Water Institute, Water Footprint Network, World Resources Institute and Carbon Trust.

The ITP members and other hotel groups that sit on the HWMI working group are: Carlson Rezidor, Diamond Resorts, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Mandarin Oriental, Marriott, NH Hotel Group, Soneva, Starwood, Taj, Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, Whitbread and Wyndham. ITP welcomes participation from other hotel groups.

This article was published in 2015 when Sustainable Hospitality Alliance was known as International Tourism Partnership (ITP), part of Business in the Community (BITC).