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Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI)

Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) is a methodology and free tool for hotels to calculate the carbon footprint of hotel stays and meetings in their properties.
Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) is a methodology and free tool for hotels to calculate the carbon footprint of hotel stays and meetings in their properties.


About HCMI

HCMI enables a hotel property to calculate:
  • total carbon footprint
  • carbon footprint per occupied room on a daily basis
  • carbon footprint per area of meeting space on an hourly basis
  • renewable energy and electricity as a portion of total consumption
HCMI is free for all hotels. Using the tool will help hotels to:
  • understand their carbon footprint
  • benchmark their performance
  • set measurable targets
  • complete corporate reports
  • report to corporate clients (RFPs)
  • assist customers in their booking decisions
  • report as part of their commitments to the Glasgow Declaration for Climate Action in Tourism


The methodology was developed by the hospitality industry to create a consistent methodology for all hotels to measure and communicate their carbon impact.  Our ambition is that, through widespread use of HCMI, we will improve understanding, transparency and accuracy across the industry.

HCMI data can be used by hotels participating in the Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmark Index (CHSB) – the hotel industry’s largest annual benchmarking of energy, water, and carbon. HCMI methodology is also used by the Hotel Footprinting benchmarking tool.

What’s included in the calculation?

HCMI includes all energy used ‘on site’ (including fuels such as natural gas, oil and other fuels, purchased electricity, and mobile fuels from vehicles and other equipment) and emissions from refrigerants. It also includes, if applicable, carbon emissions from outsourced operations (e.g. laundry).

Who is it for?

HCMI can be used by all types of hotels around the world even those with no previous experience in carbon reporting. It applies to individual hotels, large and small, regardless of the type of amenities offered.

If you’re a third party who require environmental data, we highly recommend using HCMI, as it is already being used by over 30,000 hotels globally, and provides robust, transparent and comparable data.

Its use is also supported by industry leading organisations including:

How was HCMI created?

HCMI was created in June 2012 by the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance (previously International Tourism Partnership (ITP)) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), in collaboration with 23 leading global hospitality companies. The methodology applies a number of aspects of the GHG Protocol Standards – a framework for businesses, governments, and other entities to measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions.

It was tested in hotels of different styles and sizes in different geographical locations and further refined following subsequent stakeholder engagement including a number of hotel associations and a review by the World Resources Institute (WRI) – one of the GHG Protocol development partners. The methodology has subsequently been updated in 2016 and 2022following further feedback from users and research by Cornell University’s Center for Hospitality Research, as well as the support of Greenview.

Download HCMI

Click the links below to down the introduction, tool, worked example, and ‘how to guide’.

Access useful additional documents

Click the links below to download the following:

For sales teams – a one-page summary outlining the key benefits of using our free environmental measurement tools. This is ideal for sharing with your sales team and other relevant contacts.

For corporate customersguidance for organisations looking to assess the sustainability of hotels in their supply chain, including questions that help determine sustainability and quality responses.

For hotels – a factsheet providing an overview of how to set a baseline, calculate key performance indicators and measure your hotel’s environmental impacts, and a simple Utilities Tracker for energy, water and waste.

View our instructional video on how to use HCMI

Click here to watch the webinar, which guides hotels and other users on how to utilise this tool.

Access the full methodology

If you would like to have a copy of the methodology itself, please click here to fill out a request form.

View our other methodologies and tools for hotels

Interruptions to operations and the impact on environmental data

While HCMI and HWMI guidance documents provide specific details on time periods to be used in calculations and this should be followed wherever reasonable, the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance recognises that the use of most recent data can have limitations. If abnormal circumstances (pandemics, large-scale refurbishments etc.) alter the energy consumption or occupancy by +/- 20% compared to a standard reporting period then hotels must use the most recent period of data that reflects close to normal operations. Hotel companies should ensure transparency in the assumptions or decisions related to time period used, and discuss implications with stakeholders where relevant.