Groundbreaking water measurement tool for hotel industry launches

The Hotel Water Measurement Initiative, a major step forward in the hotel industry's stewardship of water, launches today at the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).

A collaboration between BITC's International Tourism Partnership (ITP) and eighteen leading hotel groups*, the Hotel Water Measurement Initiative (HWMI) is the first standardised water measurement tool for the industry.  It launches during World Water Week, at an event hosted by the UN CEO Water Mandate at SIWI.

A free methodology and calculation tool, HWMI is the culmination of eighteen months work by ITP member companies, working with KPMG as technical consultants, and with feedback from an expert stakeholder steering group including SIWI itself, the Water Footprint Network and the CEO Water Mandate.

Water stewardship is a key environmental issue for IHG and for our industry, and HWMI will allow us to measure water use across the industry with a standardized approach. As more and more customers demand this level of transparency, this methodology gives a level-playing field for the whole industry and it’s a challenge we’re excited to take on.

- Paul Snyder,
Vice President, Corporate Responsibility, IHG
The tool builds on the success of ITP's Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative, the first industry-wide standardised methodology for measuring the carbon footprint of a hotel room, stay or meeting, which is now used by over 24,000 hotels worldwide.  HWMI will similarly allow hotels, and their guests, to measure and report on the water footprint of hotels and visits to them, whatever the hotel's size, type or location.

Pressure on water is one of the most pressing global issues for hotels and their stakeholders, with hotels keen to measure and manage their consumption.  Although hotels already commonly measure water consumption, each group has a different method, and may include or exclude different sources of water, making it impossible to compare across them.  HWMI brings a consistent methodology  for water measurement, allowing hotels to benchmark their performance.  ITP encourages all hotels to adopt the methodology.

Research from McKinsey has shown that global demand for water is likely to exceed supply by 40% by 2030. As big water
consumers, hotels have a responsibility to act to both reduce their water footprint and help preserve the quality of water returning to the supply system. ITP member hotel groups are committed to doing all they can to have a net  positive impact on the communities in which they’re located, and that includes cutting their water use.

The HWMI tool is now available to download for free from the ITP site.

*The eighteen hotel groups which worked on the HWMI were Accor, Carlson Rezidor, Diamond Resorts, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, Hilton Worldwide, the Hongkong & Shanghai Hotels, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels Group, Las Vegas Sands Corporation, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, Marriott International, MGM Hotels & Resorts, NH Hotel Group, Soneva, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces, Whitbread, and Wyndham Worldwide Resorts.