Carbon footprints of hotels: Analysis of three archetypes in Hong Kong

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


The need of curbing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, especially those arising from operations in existing buildings, has been well recognized. Incessant hotel operations, in particular, result in significant GHG emissions. Given the limited in-depth findings about the emissions from hotels of different classes, a study was conducted to probe into the carbon footprints of three typical hotels in Hong Kong. Through face-to-face meetings, detailed and reliable data under scopes 1 - 3 of the GHG Protocol were collected for analysis. The emission levels, when normalized by number of guestrooms, were different from those normalized by floor area. Use of purchased electricity was the dominant contributor to the emissions; emissions from use of portable liquefied petroleum gas and emergency operation of power generator were negligible. Reference levels of emissions due to staff daily travels were determined. The hotels' emissions bore a strongly positive correlation with outdoor air temperature rather than occupancy rate. Regression models that can estimate the hotels' emissions with changes in outdoor temperature were developed. Recommendations were made to tackle the problems with recording the necessary data and mitigate the emissions from the hotels. Wider adoption of the methodology of this study can establish carbon emission benchmarks, which are essential for monitoring and optimizing the carbon footprints of hotels.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-341
Number of pages8
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015


  • Carbon footprint
  • Greenhouse gas
  • Hotel building

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Transportation


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