Carbon audit: A literature review and an empirical study on a hotel

Hung Kit Lai, Francis W.H. Yik, C. S. Man

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: Worldwide, many carbon audit guidelines have been developed, but comparative reviews of these guidelines and empirical findings of carbon emissions from hotels remain limited. The aim of the study reported here was to bridge these knowledge gaps. Design/methodology/approach: A comparative review of the legislations and guidelines for carbon audits in Australia, the UK and Hong Kong was made. An empirical audit, which entailed a series of site visits and interviews for collecting the record data of a typical hotel in Hong Kong, was conducted to identify the sources and amounts of carbon emissions from the hotel. Findings: Conducting carbon audits for buildings in Hong Kong is entirely voluntary. Reporting of certain scopes of carbon emissions is at the sole discretion of the reporting party. Purchased electricity for the hotel is the dominant source of carbon emissions. Research implications: Audits in future may follow the reported audit process to identify carbon emissions from other hotels to enlarge the pool of empirical findings, which is a prerequisite to developing carbon emission benchmarks and carbon footprint analyses. Practical implications: The suggestions made for overcoming the obstacles found from the audit are crucial for performing smoother and more complete audits in future. Originality/value: The review findings and the practical problems identified are useful information for the stakeholders of carbon audits, including policy makers and facilities management practitioners.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417-431
Number of pages15
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2012


  • Carbon audit
  • Empirical study
  • Energy
  • Environmental management
  • Greenhouse gas
  • Hotels
  • Literature review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction


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