An Examination of Hotel’s Use of Carbon Offset Programs as an Environmental Sustainability Measure

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Glenn Baxter
Panarat Srisaeng


This study aimed to 1) empirically examine the hotels and resorts located around the world that have defined and introduced carbon offset programs for their guests and 2) identify whether individual hotels and resorts that are not part of a major global chain have also introduced carbon offset programs. An in-depth qualitative instrumental case study research approach was usedin this study. The study period was from 2010 to 2022. The qualitative data gathered for the study was analyzed by document analysis. The case study revealed that hotels located in Australia, Canada, Costa Rica, throughout Europe, Ireland, Mauritius, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, United States, and the United Kingdom have introduced carbon offset programs as a key environmental sustainability measure. The earliest reported adoption of such a program date back to 2010, when Canada-based Coast Hotels & Resorts and the Westin Melbourne Hotel located in Melbourne, Australia launched carbon offsets programs for their guests. The case study found that individual hotels are also offering carbon offset programs as a sustainabilty measure. Hilton Hotels has introduced a carbon offset program for events and meetings held in its properties in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and in sixty hotels located throughout Africa, Europe, and the Middle East. Radisson Hotels introduced its “100% Carbon Neutral Meetings Program” in 2019, and this program forms part of its group-wide commitment to reduce emissions across its 1,600 hotels by 30%. A key finding of the study is that some hotels are enabling their loyalty program members to redeem their points for carbon offsets, whilst other hotels are offer voluntary carbon offset programs for their guests.  The case study also revealed that the carbon offset programs offered by hotels include reforestation, renewable energy projects in developing countries as well as water stewardship programs, which are also located in developing countries.

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