WWF and Greenview unveil new Hotel Waste Measurement Methodology

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Greenview, a global sustainability consulting group, recently published a new methodology to standardise waste data collection across the hotel industry.

Green wheelie bins outside a hotel
Developed in collaboration with major hotel brands including Accor, Hilton, Hyatt, IGH Hotels and Resorts, and Marriott International, the Hotel Waste Measurement Methodology aims to provide a common approach for the hotel industry to collect data, and measure and report waste.

The methodology, WWF asserts, creates a consistent way for major brands and individual properties to set measurable goals to reduce waste, keep material out of landfills, and track progress over time. Building on existing strategies to track waste and set targets, the methodology seeks to harmonise methods of data collection and address common data gaps and challenges.

Joining the already expanding suite of industry measurement strategies, including the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI) and Hotel Water Measurement Initiative (HWMI) tools, the Hotel Waste Measurement Methodology is set to become the new standard for waste within the industry.

According to the organisation, the methodology was developed with a priority to address the challenge posed by managing food waste in diverse operations, which it says presents a ‘significant opportunity’ to increase business efficiency and make progress against social and environmental goals. In the US alone, WWF says, nearly 40 per cent of food waste is generated by consumer-facing businesses such as restaurants and hotels.

The methodology was developed in line with United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 12.3, which aims to reduce food waste by 50 per cent by 2030, and 12.5, which calls for substantial reductions in overall waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse. Through the use of the new methodology, WWF says, the hotel industry will be an important partner in the achievement of these goals.

To ensure it addresses the specific challenges faced by hotel companies of all sizes and locations, the methodology was reviewed by a range of industry stakeholders, including WRAP.

WWF has praised the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, which it says has ‘helped drive this collaboration’ by coordinating members, such as major brands Four Seasons and Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, to review the tool.

Pete Pearson, Global Food Loss and Waste Lead at WWF, said: “Food waste presents major environmental and economic challenges across our global food systems, but it’s one challenge that can actually be solved – and sooner than you might think.

“The hotel industry has the unique ability to implement changes that will have global impacts when it comes to managing food waste, and all waste. This new methodology has the potential to be an industry game-changer—putting the power of prevention in the hands of hotels while creating a common industry-wide method to revolutionize the way we manage and measure waste.”

Olivia Ruggles-Brise, Greenview Director, also commented: “Measuring waste uniformly at a hotel and among hotels is enormously challenging and this first version of the Hotel Waste Measurement Methodology represents an important first step in addressing those challenges by setting out key metrics, definitions and approaches.

“As companies start using it, and more data becomes available, we will be able to update the methodology to reflect new insights and harness the power of industry benchmarking. This will, in turn, catalyse action across the hotel sector as companies work towards waste reduction and diversion goals.”

Madhu Rajesh, CEO of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, added: “A crucial part of any sustainability strategy is to understand your impact and monitor and report your journey towards improvement.

“The Hotel Waste Measurement Methodology further complements existing measurement methodologies including our Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative and Hotel Water Measurement Initiative. By coming together as an industry, and sharing expertise, we can develop resources that are designed for the industry context, and support every hotel to manage and improve their impact – wherever they are on their sustainability journey.”