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Ithaca, NY, July 2, 2015 - The hotel industry will be able to compare ranges of energy and water use, as well as carbon footprint, using a new tool from the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR). Developed by researchers Howard Chong and Eric Ricaurte, the "Hotel Sustainability Tool 2015" is available from the CHR at no charge. Chong is an assistant professor at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, and Ricaurte is the founder of Greenview and an adjunct instructor at New York University's Tisch Center.

Chong and Ricaurte developed the benchmark ranges using aggregate input for 4,725 hotel properties from eleven international hotel organizations: Hilton Worldwide, Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Host Hotels & Resorts, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, IHG, Mandarin Oriental, Marriott International, Park Hotel Group, PGA Golf Resort, Saunders Hotel Group, and Wyndham Worldwide.

For purposes of this tool, the hotels were grouped into the chain scale segments established by STR Global, and the tool also includes an overall measure for hotels in a particular geographic area regardless of chain scale.

"Our data generally represent full-service hotels, because the data for the economy and midscale categories is limited," Ricaurte explained. "While hotels at all levels can compare their energy, water, and carbon performance to others in their geographic area, we believe that the industry and its value chain could make good use of this data set, as well as gauge performance over time as a useful measure of sustainability progress."

The tool is an Excel worksheet that provides twelve full data tables on separate tabs. To see the benchmarks for a particular geography and chain scale, the hotel operator would select the appropriate location from the list of available geographies (those that have a sufficient number of hotels recorded), and then choose a segment from another dropdown list. With those selections made, the tool returns the statistical range of the location and segment's data. The benchmarks are for calendar year 2013, the most recent year with complete available data, and use the metrics of carbon footprint per room, per occupied room, and per area unit (either square foot or square meter); hotel energy use per occupied room or per area unit; and water use per occupied room or per area unit. A benchmark for HCMI carbon footprint for rooms and meeting space is also included.

Chong and Ricaurte are already seeking participation in the 2016 update, which will refine the benchmarks using 2014 data and provide additional benefits for participants. Hotel firms that are willing to participate in the update should contact Ricaurte at eer3@cornell.edu.

About The Center for Hospitality Research

A unit of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, the Center for Hospitality Research (CHR) sponsors research designed to improve practices in the hospitality industry. Under the lead of the center's corporate affiliates, experienced scholars work closely with business executives to discover new insights into strategic, managerial, and operating practices. To learn more about the center and its projects, visit www.chr.cornell.edu

Contact: Carol Zhe

caz9@cornell.edu / 607.254.4504

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