The Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking (CHSB) Index allows hotels to benchmark their environmental performance against peers

The Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking (CHSB) Index allows hotels to benchmark their environmental performance against peers

Transforming Vision Into Action - Guidelines and Tools

04 May 2021

Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking

The Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking (CHSB) Index allows a hotel to benchmark its carbon, energy and water performance against peers in the same city, climate zone or asset class. Data from CHSB feeds the Hotel Footprinting Tool, which allows you to estimate the carbon footprint of a hotel stay or meeting anywhere in the world.

As the hospitality industry starts to regain momentum after the devastating impact of the Covid-19 outbreak, it cannot ignore the potential for climate change, arguably an even more pressing risk, to further disrupt its viability in the future. Measuring and managing the environmental impact of hotels, in line with the recommendations of the One Planet Vision, can not only help to address this risk, but can also result in significant cost savings.
Benchmarking is well established in the hotel industry.  Success is defined in relation to competitors’ performance when it comes to understanding pricing, revenues and occupancy levels at market or city level. Evaluating environmental performance is no different.  The CHSB index contains data from more than 14,000 properties from 20 international hotel brands and owners, and covers 55 countries. It is an initiative established by the industry for the industry which contains data on each property’s energy and water consumption and carbon footprint, aggregated into city, country, climate zone and asset class to establish the best, median and worst performance levels for each.
The index allows participating hotels to select the peer group they wish to benchmark against. The research is carried out by Greenview and published by the Cornell School of Hospitality Research. All participants receive a confidential bespoke benchmarking report for their property or portfolio. If you are a hotel or hotel company and you would like to participate in future editions of CHSB please get in touch via

Overall the hotel industry’s carbon intensity decreased by 10% between 2015 and 2018

CHSB was launched in 2013 and provides an analysis of the general performance of the hotel industry when it comes to carbon emissions, energy and water consumption. The latest index, released at the end of 2020, shows that carbon emissions per square metre of hotels around the world has decreased by 10 percent between 2015 and 2018.

The greatest reduction was across hotels in the UK, in which carbon footprint reduced on average 23.4 percent between 2015 and 2018. Hotels in India, Canada and the U.S. experienced a decrease of 14.4 percent, 13.6 percent and 12.1 percent respectively. Hotels in China showed slightly less improvement at a 7.4 percent average reduction in carbon footprint.

Of the countries contained within the index, in 2018, hotels in Switzerland had the lowest carbon intensity (20.4 kg CO2emissions per square metre), whereas those in South Africa had the highest (209.78 kg CO2 emissions per square metre). At city level, Montreal’s hotels are the best performing (24.63 kg CO2 emissions per square metre) while in Abu Dhabi the average hotel emits 251.55 kg CO2 emissions per square metre, the highest in the index.

The following companies contributed data to the 2020 CHSB Index: AINA Hospitality, CPG Hospitality, DiamondRock Hospitality Company, Hilton Worldwide, Horwath HTL Asia Pacific, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Mandarin Oriental Hotels Group, Marriott International, MGM Resorts International, Park Hotel Group, Park Hotels & Resorts, Pebblebrook Hotel Trust, Red Planet Hotels, Ryman Hospitality Properties, Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas, Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Xenia Hotels & Resorts.

Estimate the carbon footprint of a hotel stay or meeting

Data from the CHSB powers the free Hotel Footprinting Tool which can be accessed at Using the tool it is possible to estimate the carbon footprint of a hotel stay or meeting anywhere in the world, based on the location and class of hotel. This can help estimate the footprint of a trip or a meeting, or compare equivalent hotel types in different destinations.

  Download the 2020 Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking Index here

This article for Transforming One Planet Vision into Action has been brought to you by Greenview. Greenview is the world’s leading provider of sustainability programs and data management for the hospitality and tourism sector. We support companies to design, implement, and monitor their corporate responsibility and sustainability platforms to drive profitability, streamline data, keep ahead of trends, and provide effective communication for stakeholders. Headquartered in Singapore, with a global team of experts located in 7 countries, we manage the hospitality industry’s largest collaborative sustainability initiatives, including the Cornell Hotel Sustainability Benchmarking Index, and leverage the power of this network to synergize value to our clients across three pillars of activity: corporate consulting and advisory, Greenview Portal software (GSTC recognized), and collaborative industry initiatives. For more information visit