Hospitality and tourism sector guide

Tourism is currently a carbon intensive industry, responsible for 8% of worldwide emissions. This is changing as customers look for more sustainable options and reduce long distance travel due to COVID-19.

Most emissions related to hospitality and tourism come from transport to a destination. Others include lodging, food and the production of goods such as souvenirs.

What causes emissions

Most carbon emissions in hospitality and tourism are created indirectly by transport and supply chains.

This includes people travelling to a destination and the carbon needed to make the food and shopping goods they consume.

According to a 2018 study on total carbon emissions in travel this includes:

  • transport – 49%
  • goods – 12 %
  • food and beverage – 10%
  • agriculture – 8%

Emissions directly produced by the hospitality and tourism sector are mostly tied to lodging, construction and transport.

This includes the energy required to build and run the premises, process waste and operate services that require petrol vehicles.

Reduce emissions

You can reduce indirect emissions though working with a greener supply chain and encouraging more local travellers to visit your business.

You can also encourage your customers to calculate and offset the carbon produced through their travel.

To reduce direct emissions created by your business, you can:

Get funding

Small business funding schemes may be available in your region. Check our local support page to see if you qualify based on the size and location of your business.

Get advice and support

You can get guidance on energy, water, waste and supply chain reductions from the UK Hospitality Association. You must pay an annual fee.

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) works with members to develop sustainability strategies and initiatives.

You can also learn how to run your business in a more environmentally friendly way by hiring a sustainability consultant