a&o pushes ahead to be first net zero hostel chain by 2025  

by: Felicity Cousins | December 12, 2023

ITALY: a&o Venice will be the first hostel in Europe to achieve a GreenSign level 5, as the chain pushes forward with its goal to be the first net zero hostel chain in Europe by 2025.

The privately owned chain is already the only hostel chain in Europe to show the individual CO2 value per booking on all reservations and guest invoices.

Arben Maliqi project manager ESG and HR at a&o Hostels said: “Our goal is to be the first European hostel chain to be CO2 neutral in 2025. For us, net zero means reducing our own ecological footprint to a minimum and offsetting the rest.”

Approximately 800 hotels and alternative accommodation properties are certified by the GreenSign Institute in Europe, and much like other accommodation sustainability certifications, of which there are hundreds worldwide, it assesses a property’s sustainability performance and offers ways to improve on it each year. 

Three per cent of European properties have achieved the highest level, known as GreenSign level 5. 

GreenSign has certified that the a&o Venice Mestre has an “exemplary sustainability concept” with more than 90 per cent sustainability performance in core areas such as energy efficiency, water management, environmental management, procurement, quality management and sustainable development. 

Suzann Heinemann, founder and CEO of the GreenSign Institute, said: “The extraordinarily good results of a&o Venice for the GreenSign certification are an important sign for the industry and a milestone on the way to climate neutrality for Europe’s largest hostel chain.” 

a&o operates 38 properties in 25 cities and nine European countries, with the latest set to open in Florence in 2024. In addition to a&o Venice’s GreenSign certification, a&o Wien Stadthalle and a&o Wien Hauptbahnhof in Vienna have been upgraded to GreenSign level 4. 

Maliqi added: “This certification sets the pace from now on – a&o Venice Mestre is our role model for all a&o locations.”

Heinemann added: “We are pleased to see a growing sustainable spirit in the hotel industry and an increasing willingness for sustainability certifications. This positive development makes a significant contribution to climate protection and gives us hope.” 

The GreenSign audit covers management and communication, environment (energy, water, waste), biodiversity and cultural heritage, purchasing, regionality and transportation, quality control and sustainable development, social and economic responsibility.

Serviced Apartment agent and operator SilverDoor, as well as extended stay operator Bob W both show their carbon emissions to guests and clients when booking an apartment. Bob W called on the industry to “go naked with their numbers“.

SilverDoor launches carbon calculator

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