Skift Take

Hotels need to reduce their carbon emissions by 66 percent by 2030, and 90 percent by 2050 to comply with the Paris Agreement on climate change. While there is a lot of talk, not all companies are walking the walk. We have identified those that are talking, and those that are walking.

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Reasons for hotel companies to track and report on their environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) criteria and achievements are growing. Ninety-three percent of investors include ESG criteria in their decision making. InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) found that 75 percent of frequent travelers are interested in its hotels’ sustainability, and Marriott International noted in 2019 that $3 billion worth of corporate business contracts required the company to provide carbon and water footprint data. So the impetus is there, but reducing emissions will be a steep climb. Environmental sustainability today tends to be framed around the premises agreed upon in the Paris Agreement, where in 2015 195 countries agreed to keep the global average temperature rise below 2℃ above pre-industrial levels, with an aspiration to keep it as close to 1.5℃ as possible. For the hotel industry, which accounts for about a