Mansley Serviced Apartments achieves Silver rating from Green Tourism

UK: Mansley Serviced Apartments has announced all seven of its properties have received a Silver rating from Green Tourism.

UK: Mansley Serviced Apartments has announced all seven of its properties have received a Silver rating from Green Tourism.

Green Tourism is a certification programme, which recognises and promotes sustainable practices in the tourism industry. The accreditation criteria are based on internationally recognised sustainability standards and guidelines, such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The assessment process involved looking at Mansley’s energy and water consumption, as well as how it communicated awareness for ESG, how staff are treated, the guest experience and the low carbon and eco-friendly activities the business promotes. 

Mansley had to demonstrate its efforts to reduce carbon emissions, implement energy-efficient measures and adopt sustainable waste management solutions. The business was also evaluated on its commitment to protecting local ecosystems, promoting biodiversity and supporting local communities.

As well as operating serviced apartments, By Mansley owns more than 1,200 acres of commercial forest, which are part of the Forestry Stewardship Council and Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification. The idea is that the forests offset the carbon emissions from the business, as well as Mansely practising carbon capturing, which has resulted in 9,000 m3 carbon captured since 2021.

Mansley will be assessed on an annual basis to ensure the standard is maintained or improved. The business will use Green Tourism’s Green Check Action Plan to review targets and progress and the plan will be reviewed regularly and shared.

A spokesperson said: “We are delighted to announce that all seven Mansley Serviced Apartments properties have received Silver rating from Green Tourism. We take our ESG responsibilities very seriously and will be taking on board the assessors reports and aiming for gold next time around. The assessment looks at every area of the business and it has been a big team effort to collate all of the information. Well done to all those involved in gaining this achievement.”

Mansley Serviced Apartments are located in London, Edinburgh, Inverness and Cheltenham. The company has another site coming soon in York, with construction beginning this year.

Image: Pexels Free Images

Nature-inspired 1 Hotels to open in Mayfair

UK: Luxury lifestyle hotel brand 1 Hotels has announced the opening of its debut property in the UK, in London’s Mayfair, this July. 

UK: Luxury lifestyle hotel brand 1 Hotels has announced the opening of its debut property in the UK, in London’s Mayfair, this July. 

SH Hotels & Resorts manages the 1 Hotels brand, as well as Baccarat Hotels, Treehouse Hotels and SH Collection. 1 Hotels is its sustainable offering and the Mayfair property is described as a nine-story “sustainable sanctuary” overlooking Green Park. 

Barry Sternlicht, 1 Hotels founder and chairman of SH Hotels & Resorts said: “We are delighted to bring nature and our mission of sustainable luxury to Mayfair, the very heart of London, one of the most important travel markets in the world. We are thrilled to bring our unique fusion of fresh comfort, conscious sustainability, exceptional bespoke service, understated elegance, wellness and nutrition to London.”

Opting for reconstruction over new construction, the hotel has been built to BREEAM Excellent standards, and has utilised 80 per cent of the existing structure.

All of 1 Hotels US operated properties are 100 per cent certified carbon neutral since 2018, and the brand has offset 19,171 tons of C02 (the equivalent of 49,145,794 miles driven by an average diesel car).

SH Hotels & Resorts chief executive officer Raul Leal said: “We’ve reimagined the traditional luxury hotel experience for Mayfair by infusing our love for nature with effortless sophistication. With this opening we celebrate our distinctive brand’s entry into Europe and the dynamic and culturally rich city of London.”

All 181 rooms, including 44 suites of the Mayfair hotel, has walls lined with native British moss and there are more than 200 local and regional plant species throughout the property. Living green-trellised exterior walls transform former hard surfaces into natural vertical landscapes. 

The restaurant, Dovetale, from two Michelin starred chef Tom Sellers will feature seasonal, organic, locally sourced ingredients. 

For the full list of locations of the 1 Hotels brand as well as hotels coming to Europe and the US soon, click here.

Image: 1 Hotels, Mayfair

citizenM secures Sustainability Linked Loan with aim to reduce environmental impact

WORLDWIDE: citizenM has secured a dual currency €243.3M and £201.7M Sustainability Linked Loan (SLL).

WORLDWIDE: citizenM has secured a dual currency €243.3M and £201.7M Sustainability Linked Loan (SLL).

The loan is with HSBC UK and HSBC Continental Europe, ABN AMRO Bank NV and Aareal Bank.

The completion of the loan means citizenM is one of the first European hospitality businesses to adopt the SLL funding structure.

By refinancing existing debt as a SLL, citizenM aims to reduce its environmental impact and drive continued sustainable growth. Green funding is often seen as a way to attract further investment for future growth as sustainability rises in importance for ESG and corporate sustainability targets.

Klaas van Lookeren Campagne, chief executive officer at citizenM, says: “At citizenM, we take sustainability seriously. We seek to build and operate hotels that minimise our impact on the environment, and it is important to us that our ongoing commitment to sustainability is reflected in every facet of our business. For this reason, we are immensely proud to have secured sustainability-linked funding, particularly given the complexity of the transaction, completed by a diverse lender group across Europe.”

The funding was provided equally by ABN AMRO Bank N.V., Aareal Bank and HSBC (UK and Continental Europe), with HSBC UK acting as facility agent and HSBC Continental Europe acting as Sustainability Linked Loan Co-ordinator.

Elizabeth Davies, head of hotels at HSBC UK, says: “We’re very proud to have completed this deal with citizenM. With its high profile in the hospitality sector, we expect that citizenM’s relatively early adoption of the Sustainability Linked Loan will help to drive further market adoption, as hospitality groups seek to demonstrate a serious commitment to creating positive impacts on the environment.”

Fred Bos head commercial clients sector, sustainability and E&E expertise at ABN AMRO, says: “We see climate change as the greatest threat to humanity. We view this cooperation as a positive step towards the prevention of climate change and as an opportunity to grow our loan book in a responsible way. We look forward to scaling what we have achieved with this financing structure more widely across the highly attractive hotel industry.”

citizenM launched in 2008 and operates 31 hotels worldwide across 18 cities and 9 countries, with a further 14 in development. In Europe the key target cities for new sites are London, Paris, Milan, Rome, Dublin, Munich, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Zurich, Geneva, and Barcelona.

The company has a firm commitment to sustainability targets and continued improvement to its existing green building certifications.

citizenM requires all its new-build hotels to achieve at least BREEAM-NC Excellent (ideally – Outstanding) accreditation or LEED-BD+C Gold (ideally – Platinum) rating. For redevelopments or existing buildings, the company aims for BREEAM-NC Very Good and LEED-BD+C Silver (at least).

Other sustainability processes by citizenM include:

– 100 per cent of its hotel electricity in Europe and UK comes from renewable energy sources
– energy, emissions and water consumption has been third party assured – to make sure figures are right
– citizenM stopped putting plastic water bottles in guest rooms and societyM meeting rooms. This has mean using 1.7 million fewer plastic bottles per year. 
– It donates 3 euros to our charity when a guest staying two nights or more skip their room clean
– Only LED lights are used, from the bedrooms to the kitchens
– BMS means once a guest checks out, the lights in their room switch off automatically. Also all areas of the hotels have individual light and temperature controls – so it only heats and cools according to use
– citizenM tracks waste and recycling rates in every hotel
– with its partners, citizenM reduces food waste by 70 per cent with intelligent portioning and packaging
– citizenM signed up to the TooGoodToGo app to sell breakfast buffet leftovers which would otherwise go to waste.

You can read more about what citizenM does with its ESG programme here.

Kew Green Hotels to manage Morocco’s first eco-village

MOROCCO: UK-based Kew Green Hotels has been appointed by Earth Holding, as the hotel management company for Azembay, the first eco-village in Morocco, North Africa. 

MOROCCO: UK-based Kew Green Hotels has been appointed by Earth Holding, as the hotel management company for Azembay, the first eco-village in Morocco, North Africa. 

Azembay, which is due to reopen next year, will feature 206 villas and apartments, waterfront restaurant, a spa, conference and events spaces and a kids club. 

Set in 1,000 hectares of forest and leading to a private beach, Azembay is known as the first eco village in Africa, and was built to international energy efficiency standards.  

Through its partnership between Earth Holdings, Kew Green Hotels, intends to build an international brand which provides a purely sustainable experience. 

Chris Dexter, CEO of Kew Green Hotels said, “We are delighted to welcome Azembay into our family of hotels as we continue to expand our international hotel portfolio. At Kew Green Hotels, we set ourselves apart by combining years of experience with strong commercial awareness to deliver operational excellence and industry-leading profit delivery for hotel owners and partners.” 

Azembay will be the pilot project of this brand, the first to be developed globally, which will focus on making sustainability and well-being the essence of a new travel experience. 

Azembay will be autonomous both in terms of water and energy supply, producing its own drinking water, vegetables through a permaculture field and school, fishing boats, and an animal farm – all of which will serve the five restaurants of the village and supply a basis for activities both for adults and the kids’ club.  

Activities will feature educational elements for guests to learn about leading a more autonomous and sustainable lifestyle. The resort will be car-free with green mobility including horses, mule carts, and electric vehicles.

Youssef Benamour, owner at Earth said: “We are thrilled to be working with hotel management specialists, Kew Green Hotels, to realise our vision of delivering a pure-play eco resort, offering laid-back luxury that both harnesses and enhances our local community and natural environment, offering our guests an authentic experience in this stunning area of Morocco. We are also pleased that Azembay serves as a blueprint for innovation to showcase best practices in sustainable development technologies” 

The resort is just 45 minutes from Casablanca and just over an hour from Casablanca International Airport. 

Kew Green Hotels launched in 2001 with one hotel and is now a leading hotel management company with more than 55 international hotels.

Kew Green Hotels has pledged to become Net Zero by 2040 – 10 years ahead of the Paris Accord Target. Kew Green Hotels also became Planet Mark certified through measuring and reducing its carbon footprint. It measured scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, using data from 2019, which has been the most comparable year of trading. It aimed to reduce its footprint by 10 per cent by the end of last year. 

Planet Mark is an internationally recognised sustainability certification for every type of organisation. A Planet Mark certification recognises continuous improvement, encourages action and builds an empowered community of like-minded individuals.

Last month saw “the first eco hotel” opening for the Garden of England, Kent, UK.

A Glossary for Sustainable Hotels

Photo by Daniel Watson on

This is a growing tree of acronyms and information and we will be adding to it frequently.

Alternative Energy or AE: Any energy that does not harm the environment or use up the Earth’s natural resources.

Alliance: When Sustainable Hotel News talks about the Alliance we are referring to the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance. We only use this shortened name if there is too much repetition with the full name.

Blackwater: Contaminated waste water from toilets, sinks and kitchens.

​​BMS systems: A BMS monitors, controls and reports on smart building technology systems to control HVAC (heating ventilation and air con) and lighting systems and efficient water systems.

BREEAM certification: Globally accepted as a certification process for a sustainably designed building. BREEAM is a certification system for a sustainable built environment with nine criteria including energy, health and wellbeing, ecology and waste. It’s a bit like LEED. They just have different processes to get to their criteria. As part of the government’s Construction Strategy, it is now a requirement for all public projects to undergo an environmental assessment; achieving an Excellent BREEAM rating.

BREEAM In-Use: With BREEAM In-Use the owner, manager or property investor fills out an online self-assessment tool. Property investors, owners, managers and occupiers determine how to drive sustainable improvements in the operational performance of their assets, leading to benchmarking, assurance and validation of their operational asset data.

Carbon Footprint: Emissions of greenhouse gases from an individual or business. Measured in tons. Most businesses are aiming to be carbon neutral.

Carbon Negative: Removing more CO2 from the atmosphere than is emitted. So for a hotel it would have to take into account not only the operational emissions but those created during construction as well.

Carbon Neutral: This is when a business achieves net-zero carbon emissions, which means it can offset or balance its carbon footprint or buy carbon credits to make up the difference.

Carbon Offset: When you buy credits to offset or balance the carbon you are producing. Some hotel groups plant trees to offset their carbon emissions.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Where companies and businesses take on social and environmental concerns when planning their operations. 

Earth Check a standard / accreditation for sustainable hotels which uses internationally recognised criteria to report on areas including environment, risk and quality management.

Eco Hotel: A hotel which, with its operations and practices, is deemed not harmful to the environment. Worth asking how and why they are an eco hotel.

Embodied Carbon: Carbon emissions which happen during the building, development or renovation of a building. This is by far the largest amount of carbon emissions to focus on when thinking about hotels – the operational carbon emissions are much smaller than embodied carbon.

ESG: Environmental Social Governance – this phrase is all around us at the moment and is interchangeable with CSR. It means a company has to be socially and environmentally responsible in its strategies and can be held to account by its own self governance.

EMS: Environmental Management System.

EU Ecolabel: As its website says “the official European Union voluntary label for environmental excellence. Established in 1992 and recognised across Europe and worldwide, the EU Ecolabel certifies products with a guaranteed, independently-verified low environmental impact.”

Gigawatt: a gigawatt is a unit of measurement of electrical power and is often talked about when discussing Solar energy. It takes three million solar panels to create 1 gigawatt of power (and that energy can be stored and then dispersed). A gigawatt is the equivalent to 10 million 100 watt light bulbs or 100 million LED lightbulbs.

Green Building: Any building – hotel, school, house – that creates a positive impact on the environment with its design and construction and subsequent operations. There is no global standard but there is the World Green Building Council, which supports its members to help them create green buildings suited to the environment they are in.

Green CAPEX: (capital expenditure made in environmentally sustainable economic activities)

Greenwashing: A term used when companies suggest they are greener than they are to sell their products. 

Green Key: Another award for environmental standards  – this one is a “voluntary eco-label awarded to more than 3,600 hotels and other establishments in 60 countries.” The other establishments include campsites, hostels, restaurants and conference centres. Operated by the Foundation of Environmental Education.

Green Globe: Established nearly 30 years ago this is another certification for sustainable hotel and tourism operation practices. If hotels adhere to the strict criteria they get the Green Globe International Standard for sustainable tourism.

GSTC: The Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

ISO14001: an environmental management system standard. ISO 14001 Environmental Management provides guidance on how manage all aspects of a business from building to operations to product development and more. The idea is to be more sustainable and improve environmental performance for regulatory compliance and the ability to meet supplier requirements.

LEED certification: Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a globally recognized green building rating system. It’s a bit like BREEAM. It provides a framework for being environmentally friendly, to produce lower carbon emissions and be healthier for people who use it and in the community. It’s a complex process but these are some of the points which have to be checked and certified. Sustainable sites, water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and resources, indoor environmental quality. You can get up to 110 points on your LEED certificate depending on what levels of sustainability you achieve. There are four levels:

  1. 40-49 points LEED Certified.
  2. 50-59 points Silver Certification
  3. 60-70 points Gold Certification
  4. 80+ points Platinum Certification

Net Zero Water: When a building or community only used the water that falls on its location.

Rapidly Renewable Materials: These are materials with a cycle of 10 years or less – so materials like cork or bamboo flooring or, wool carpets.

Renewable Energy Certificates: RECs show how much renewable energy has been generated – giving a consumer or business an idea of renewable energy options.

SATE External Thermal Insulation System: When buildings are thermally and acoustically insulated from the outside making them more environmentally friendly through saving energy and preserving temperatures on the inside.

Sustainable Hospitality Alliance: An organisation, which works with hotels and industry bodies to help the sector drive sustainability. Also known as The Alliance.

Sustainability: Achieving an ecological balance in the natural environment as resources are used. Basically keeping at a level which is sustainable for the environment. Or according to the United Nations: meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. 

Zero Waste: When there is no waste – waste might be composted or reused or repurposed but nothing is chucked in landfill.