Carbon Impact of Hotel Industry – Infographic Released by CCC

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By Harneet Kaur

A number of low-carbon development initiatives have been taken worldwide by international organizations in efforts to combat climate change and prepare communities to overcome the devastating impacts of the green house effect, for which mankind itself is ironically responsible. However, a growing consensus indicates the commercial market also needs to respond to the challenges ignited by climate change in a big way. Momentum for these green initiatives taken by varied businesses in the commercial markets is increasing.

Hospitality is a growing industry with worldwide significance, closely related to the Travel & Tourism industry. In fact, last year the hotel industry in the U.S. alone netted 176 billion USD in revenue. Given the vast presence of hotels, its significant contribution to carbon pollution through its carbon emissions should be addressed thoroughly..

A closer look makes it clear that the hospitality industry has a very large carbon footprint. With the usage of energy guzzling resources from food services, to laundry services, to housekeeping services, etc., the hotel industry is a serious perpetrator of increasing carbon emissions. Moreover, with increasing public awareness about carbon footprints, the hospitality industry might have to face severe consequences if no noteworthy green initiatives are brought into practice to effectively mitigate these carbon emissions.

Given there are already many green initiatives currently under way throughout the hospitality industry, it begs the question: are the existing eco-friendly initiatives sufficient for carbon emissions reduction?

Although we see many hotel industry players jumping into the pool of eco-friendliness to avoid major consequences, it is necessary that these players realize the difference between eco-friendliness and actual carbon reduction initiatives.

“It is a wretched truth that given the expanse of carbon impact the hotel industry contributes to, mere usage of eco-friendly products in the bathrooms, or energy saving appliances in the rooms, or organic food in the kitchen, would not suffice to meet the actual goals of carbon emission reductions. There needs to be an active implementation of carbon-offset projects and a push towards carbon neutral. ”
– Philip So, Account Representative at CCC

CCC has realized the potential of the hotel industry’s potential for carbon emission reductions. In the research and sales activities that CCC is fostering with the focus on hospitality, it has found that most hotels still focus on conventional sustainable methods, which are just not sufficient. Hotels tend to employ methods like using biodegradable products, recycled supplies, energy saving appliance, organic kitchen products, etc.

In North America, leading hotel companies like Hilton Worldwide and Marriott Hotel Group account for 400,000 to 500,000 rooms each in their total service offerings. Carbon Credit Capital has found in its research that an average 150-room hotel is responsible for 2,200 tonnes of carbon emissions annually. This is a huge number in terms of the cumulative carbon impact of vast hotel industry.


The Infographic: Carbon Emissions – The only unwanted hotel guests

CCC’s research team has recently released an infographic with an emphasis on the carbon impact caused by the hotel industry in North America. The aim of the infographic is essentially to educate laymen as well as those within the industry about the extent to which carbon emissions are caused by hotels. Apart from creating general awareness about the issue, the infographic also reflects on specific hotel operations, which contribute to a hotel’s total carbon footprint.

CCC has taken a lead in supporting high quality carbon emission reduction projects in domestic and developing markets. While working with different businesses towards achieving their sustainability goals, CCC offers carbon management solutions in three main service lines: Carbon Reductions, Carbon Neutrality Services and Customized Carbon Footprint Calculation Tools.

“CCC’s Carbon Neutral CheckoutTM is a program that allows businesses an opportunity to sell carbon neutral products without incurring an additional cost to their bottom-line. Companies can earn industry and market recognition as a sustainability leader.”
– Olivia Fussell, Founder and Managing Director of CCC

Other than resulting in the sale of carbon neutral products and services, this program also helps to create a robust eco-conscious brand, satiating the preferences of today’s customers. Selling carbon neutral products differentiates businesses and gives businesses a clear edge over their competitors.

Hotel Facts: Let’s have a look!

  • An average American 150-room hotel is responsible for 2,200 tonnes of Carbon Emission annually!
  • That is equal to the emissions from:
    • Driving 8.65 million miles in a mini-van
    • Or Taking 2,040 flights rom New York to San Francisco
  • Hotel operations that have the most carbon impact
    • Catering = 10.50%
    • Laundry = 19.20%
    • Electricity = 52.40%
  • A single day-stay in a hotel room produces 213 pounds of carbon emissions.

According to Trip Advisor, 62% of travelers consider the environment when choosing hotels.


Harneet Kaur is the Account Representative for Carbon Credit Capital LLC. She also co-manages communications for Carbon Neutral Checkout™ program.