When hotels talk about reducing emissions there is a lot of talk of Scope 1,2 and 3 and how to manage each one. Here we look at what it all means.

When hotels talk about reducing emissions there is a lot of talk of Scope 1,2 and 3 and how to manage each one. Here we look at what it all means.

What are Scopes?: The Paris Agreement has a main objective to stop global temperatures rising above 1.5 degrees celsius and this means keeping Green House Gas (GHG) emissions down. Scopes are a way of categorising the types of emissions – a way of looking at a company and where the emissions are coming from so that they can be measured and reported and assessed for progress on reducing those emissions. The word Scope was used in the 2001 Green House Gas Protocol and now “scopes” are part of mandatory reporting in the UK, as well as part of the SBTi remit. Green House Gas Protocol puts it like this: “Developing a full [greenhouse gas] emissions inventory – incorporating Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions – enables companies to understand their full value chain emissions and focus their efforts on the greatest reduction opportunities”.

What is Scope 1?: Scope 1 emissions are often grouped with Scope 2 but they are not one and the same. Scope 1 emissions are all about direct GHG emissions produced when running things like cars, boilers, heating etc. For hotels this is quite easy to measure.

What is Scope 2?: Scope 2 emissions are the ones a hotel might create indirectly. So when heating or cooling the rooms the energy is being created by an energy company and emissions are produced in that creation. 

What is Scope 3?: These are the emissions further down the supply chain. So for a hotel Scope 3 emissions might be those of the farmer who produces the food for the hotel restaurant, or the emissions from the laundry company who washes the towels and sheets. This includes how products are delivered to the hotel – e.g by electric vehicle or diesel truck. So it is far trickier to measure, capture and report, as the hotel is responsible for all the emissions up and down the supply value chain.

How can hotels manage and reduce Scope 1,2,3 emissions?: The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance has an industry-wide recognised standard to measure Scopes 1 and Scope 2 with its HCMI (Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative). It measures and compares Scope 1 and Scope 2 GHG emissions of hotels. The measurement includes emissions related to fuels burnt on site as well as electricity used on site. The tool is free to access and use and has recently been updated. 

Scope 3 emissions are much more difficult to track – and also the nature of them being third party, means there is a large amount of data to collect. There are many companies offering to do this for hotels. One way to track Scope 3 emissions is to ask each supplier for their emissions data and then work out how much of that product or service is used by the hotel. It relies on the suppliers providing data and someone taking the time to work it out. Of course to reduce Scope 3 emissions hotels can look at their supply chain and find the most sustainable supplier – for example Beyond Apartments uses an eco laundry company, which collects and delivers the laundry in electric vehicles. 

What are hotels doing about reducing emissions? There are many stories on our site which cover what hotels are currently doing to reduce and mange Scope 1,2,3 emissions. Let’s look at IHG, which has 358 hotels across the UK (and more than 6,000 properties worldwide). The global hotel group recently used one of its Holiday Inn properties as a case study for the white paper ‘Transforming Existing Hotels to Net Zero Carbon‘. It found there was the potential to reduce the property’s annual energy bill by £467,000 per year and cut its carbon emissions by 483 tonnes (if all measures to reduce emissions were implemented). The group is working with Arup, a company dedicated to sustainable development with a collective of 18,000 designers, advisors and experts across 140 countries. Arup is developing a tool to help IHG hotel owners measure and save energy.

In other news, Premier Inn has also just announced the opening of its first all electric property in Swindon this year. Owner of Premier Inn, Whitbread, has targets by 2030 to reduce Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 80 per cent per mand Scope 3 emissions by 58 per cent per m2 by 2030. Whitbread joined the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance in December last year.

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Premier Inn to open first all-electric property this year

UK: Premier Inn will open its first all-electric property this year, as its owner Whitbread’s net zero target is validated by SBTi.

UK: Premier Inn will open its first all-electric property this year, as its owner Whitbread’s net zero target is validated by SBTi.

The company, which owns Premier Inn, has released The Whitbread Net Zero Transition Plan, which outlines priorities, plans and projects to reach its newly validated SBTi carbon target. 

Whitbread’s net zero target has been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). To achieve SBTi validation, the ambition of the Scope 3 targets is greater than in the published Net Zero Transition Plan, although the actions within the plan remain unchanged and equally valid. Scope 3 emissions are, after all, the tricky ones and the biggest emission area to harness and reduce.

Part of the Net Zero Transition Plan includes 100 per cent renewable electricity to be purchased across the entire Whitbread estate by 2026, where possible. Before that date, however, the first all-electric Premier Inn hotel will open in Swindon later this year. The Swindon hotel (pictured above) will be fully heated and powered by renewable electricity (grid and on-site), is built with market-leading insulation, energy efficient equipment and new water-heating technology such as the Mitsubishi Q-ton heat pump.

The Net Zero Transition Plan also goes into the details of how Whitbread is bringing its directly controlled (Scope 1 and 2 emissions) to net zero by 2040, and removing mains gas connection from the existing estate by 2040. 

The plan cites removing mains gas from its existing estate where possible, including more than 800 Premier Inn hotels, using a wide range of initiatives to embed decarbonisation throughout the business. Initiatives include the installation of Air Source Heat Pumps, solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, only using renewable energy and the installation of more energy-efficient kitchen equipment. 

Dominic Paul, Whitbread CEO, said: “Our Net Zero plan is integral to our business plan. Setting ambitious carbon reduction targets across Whitbread supports our people recruitment and retention, attracts more customers and has a positive impact on our local communities and suppliers. We are in a strong position as one of the few hospitality businesses to own its assets to leverage our rate of change and be confident of delivering our low carbon ambitions.”

The release of the Net Zero Plan follows more than a decade of activity to drive down emissions, which has seen the company reduce its direct operational GHG emissions by 52.5 per cent so far. Earlier this month Sustainable Hotel News reported on Premier Inn cutting water consumption by 20 per cent per guest.

Rosana Elias, head of sustainability, added: “We have been working on reducing our climate impact for a while and have successfully trialled the installation of air source heat pumps in 40 of our hotels and use solar power across over 20 per cent of our estate. Today’s plan doubles down on our commitment to reinvent budget hotels for the net zero age.”

The plan is being driven by the firm’s Force for Good sustainability programme, and its commitments and initiatives include:

Interim targets by 2030 to reduce Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 80 per cent per m2 and Scope 3 emissions by 58 per cent per m2 by 2030
100 per cent of new UK self-build developments constructed to net zero specifications from 2026.
Trial of a shadow cost of carbon in selected investment decisions.
Entire corporate car fleet in operation to be 100 per cent EV by 2030.
Working with a specialist food consultancy to measure the impact of embedded soy in Whitbread’s supply chain

Elias added: “We want to provide sustainable and affordable accommodation and dining options, allowing our guests to make choices that align with their values without having to compromise on the product and service they receive. We don’t claim to have all the answers now, but our plan will evolve over time and evolve as the technologies and policies that we rely on for success develop further.”

Image: All-electric Premier Inn Swindon to open later this year. Courtesy of Whitbread.

Mansley Serviced Apartments achieves Silver rating from Green Tourism

UK: Mansley Serviced Apartments has announced all seven of its properties have received a Silver rating from Green Tourism.

UK: Mansley Serviced Apartments has announced all seven of its properties have received a Silver rating from Green Tourism.

Green Tourism is a certification programme, which recognises and promotes sustainable practices in the tourism industry. The accreditation criteria are based on internationally recognised sustainability standards and guidelines, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The assessment process involved looking at Mansley’s energy and water consumption, as well as how it communicated awareness for ESG, how staff are treated, the guest experience and the low carbon and eco-friendly activities the business promotes. 

Mansley had to demonstrate its efforts to reduce carbon emissions, implement energy-efficient measures and adopt sustainable waste management solutions. The business was also evaluated on its commitment to protecting local ecosystems, promoting biodiversity and supporting local communities.

As well as operating serviced apartments, By Mansley owns more than 1,200 acres of commercial forest, which are part of the Forestry Stewardship Council and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. The idea is that the forests offset the carbon emissions from the business, as well as Mansely practising carbon capturing, which has resulted in 9,000 m3 carbon captured since 2021.

Mansley will be assessed on an annual basis to ensure the standard is maintained or improved. The business will use Green Tourism’s Green Check Action Plan to review targets and progress and the plan will be reviewed regularly and shared.

A spokesperson said: “We are delighted to announce that all seven Mansley Serviced Apartments properties have received Silver rating from Green Tourism. We take our ESG responsibilities very seriously and will be taking on board the assessors reports and aiming for gold next time around. The assessment looks at every area of the business and it has been a big team effort to collate all of the information. Well done to all those involved in gaining this achievement.”

Mansley Serviced Apartments are located in London, Edinburgh, Inverness and Cheltenham. The company has another site coming soon in York, with construction beginning this year.

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First carbon negative hotel in the US to open in Denver next year

US: Developer Urban Villages will open the US’ first carbon negative hotel in spring next year in Denver, and another one in Seattle in the summer of 2024.

US: Developer Urban Villages will open the US’ first carbon negative hotel in spring next year in Denver, and another one in Seattle in the summer of 2024.

Populus will be a contemporary 265-room hotel, designed by Studio Gang, and is set to open in spring next year. 

Located in downtown Denver, the hotel will be carbon negative through its sustainable design and carbon sequestering scheme. The hotel will also plant trees (representing 5,000 acres of forest) to help offset the embodied carbon created during its build.

Being carbon negative means going beyond carbon neutral / net zero. An example of a net zero hotel is the US’s The Hotel Marcel. The Hotel Marcel is the first net zero hotel in the US in its operation, but not its construction. To be carbon negative involves a strategy which looks at the carbon footprint of the hotel’s operational operational side as well as the building and its construction (see our piece on embodied carbon).

Jon Buerge, chief development officer and partner at Urban Villages said: “We’ve created Populus to be a catalyst for change and to meet the increasing preference by today’s consumers to travel responsibly, experience places in an authentic way, and connect more deeply with nature and each other.”

Urban Villages is also opening a second carbon negative hotel next year in Seattle in the summer. The city will welcome the 120-room Hotel Westland, in the Pioneer Square neighbourhood.

The new hotel will be a transformation of an existing building, which was built 1907, and will offer a restaurant, cafe, meeting and event spaces and a rooftop bar.

Hotel Westland will achieve its carbon negative status because it will capture the carbon it emits and remove any additional carbon from the atmosphere. By redeveloping the existing building, instead of demolishing it and creating a new build, its embodied carbon footprint is reduced by 36 per cent (the equivalent of driving a car 2.2 million miles). 

Developers also decided against putting car parks in both hotels to reduce carbon emissions and architects added thermal insulation and insulated interior windows to increase energy efficiency. 

Image: Populus exterior courtesy of Studio Gang

Partnership aims to tackle food waste in hotels

WORLDWIDE: The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance has partnered with World Resources Institute (WRI) to tackle the issue of food waste across the globe. 

WORLDWIDE: The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance has partnered with World Resources Institute (WRI) to tackle the issue of food waste across the globe. 

The Alliance and the WRI will commit to helping the hospitality industry reduce its food-related emissions by 25 per cent by 2030.

Part of the commitment includes encouraging a change to low carbon foods, such as plant-based foods, so the sector can meet sustainability targets. 

The Alliance will urge its members, (representing over 50,000 properties and seven million rooms globally), to commit to the Coolfood Pledge, as part of the partnership. This WRI initiative is a science-based target to reduce food-related emissions by 25 per cent by 2030. 

Those committed to the Coolfood Pledge will get bespoke data analysis in an annual report to help track progress in reducing GHG emissions. The aim is to provide an understanding to the industry as to what works with consumers and to shift more diners toward plant-based foods. World-class research and resources will also be available to members of the Alliance who are on the journey towards Net Positive Hospitality

WRI will also peer review the Alliance’s Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) and help formally verify that the tool aligns with the GHG protocol. The Alliance’s HCMI has recently been updated as we reported in October. 

Sustainable Hospitality Alliance CEO, Glenn Mandziuk, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the  World Resources Institute (WRI) to move the hospitality industry towards food sustainability.  Combining the Alliance’s resources and knowledge with the WRI’s expertise and platforms, this partnership can help accelerate our members towards reducing food waste and food-related emissions. We look forward to our Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) being peer reviewed by the WRI, which will serve as an important step to ensuring a transparent and globally comparable approach to carbon, water and waste reporting.” 

Research has shown that hotels have saved US$7 for every US$1 invested in fighting food waste. Jenny Arthur, head of membership development for Coolfood at WRI said: “This partnership sets the hospitality industry up to significantly reduce the climate footprint of the food it serves. Through Coolfood, companies will have access to cutting edge behavioural science on how to sell low carbon food, as well as rigorous data and support to help them reduce emissions. We’re excited to welcome them to the movement for delicious climate action.” 

In other food-related news, Easyjet holidays recently ran a trial in Tenerife using AI to help hotels cut the amount of food left over from its all-inclusive buffets. The tour operator partnered with Winnow, which uses artificial intelligence tools to collect data and help run more sustainable kitchens. The pilot programme, which launched in April in Spain, is monitoring the reduction of food waste in one of easyJet holidays’ most popular hotels, the Bahia Principe Sunlight Costa Adeje resort.

Using the same kind of technology you’d find in a driverless car, Winnow’s AI technology learns to ‘see’ the food being wasted and the data is collected and stored in the cloud. Teams then receive reports that pinpoint waste, giving them the insight to make operational improvements. Typically, kitchens using Winnow have seen food waste halved within 12-18 months which in turn has cut food purchasing costs by 2-8 per cent.

The pilot came about after Easyjet holidays partnered with Oxford University to create the easyJet holidays Sustainable Tourism Programme. The programme was launched to equip students with the transferable skills needed to lead change in relation to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Research and reports from the students found that food waste is a sustainability challenge, with 18 per cent of food waste in Tenerife generated by the hospitality sector alone. Last August easyJet launched a sustainable hotels page on its website.

In Numbers

Food and Sustainability (Data provided by The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance). 

  • The production of food including agriculture and related land-use change (e.g., deforestation) accounts for nearly a quarter of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Shifting diets is essential to hit the global climate targets. 
  •  As the world population approaches 10 billion by 2050, emissions from agriculture and land could grow to take up the majority of the “carbon budget” for limiting global warming to acceptable levels. 
  • Beef requires 20 times more land and emits 20 times more GHG emissions per gram of edible protein than common plant proteins, such as beans. Helping more people shift toward more plant-based diets can have tremendous climate and other environmental benefits. 
  • More than one billion tonnes, or one third of all food produced, is lost or wasted each year. 
  • Approximately 17 per cent of food is wasted at the retail and consumer levels. 
  • Current levels of food loss and waste are responsible for wasting a quarter of all the fresh water used in agriculture, wasting nearly a quarter of all the fertiliser that is used, using an amount of land greater than the area of China, which could have otherwise been used for food that was consumed, driving 8-10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, costing the global economy more than US$1 trillion every year.

Image: The Sustainable Hotel Alliance: Glenn Mandziuk, CEO, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, Jenny Arthur, head of Cool Food membership development, WRI and Wolfgang M Neumann, chair, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance