More than half of UK travellers want sustainable accommodation

Booking.com has released its 2022 Sustainability Report with insight from more than 30,000 travellers from 32 countries.

Booking.com has released its 2022 Sustainability Report with insight from more than 30,000 travellers from 32 countries.

The new research highlights that for many people the impact of their trip on the environment does feature highly on their considerations when booking.

57 per cent of travellers from the UK wanted to travel more sustainably in the next year, which is a 27 per cent increase on last year’s response.

 71 per cent of travellers said that sustainable travel is important to them, and almost half of all respondents (42 per cent) cited that recent news about climate change has influenced them to make more sustainable travel choices. 

To that end, a quarter of UK travellers say that the sustainability efforts of accommodations and transport providers play a strong role in their property and transport decisions respectively and 55 per cent of travellers say they would be more likely to choose a sustainable accommodation – whether they were looking specifically for one or not.

Awareness and visibility of more sustainable stays continues, with a quarter of travellers confirming they have seen a sustainable accommodation on an online travel site over the past year and 29 per cent indicating that they actively look for information on the sustainability efforts of a property before they book. 

Even more encouraging 33 per cent of travellers responded to say they have stayed in a sustainable accommodation over the past year. Of those who have experienced a more sustainable stay in the past 12 months, the reasons for selecting one vary:

  • 31 per cent said they chose it to help reduce their impact on the environment 
  • Over a fifth (21 per cent) wanted to have a more locally relevant experience 
  • 24 per cent believe sustainable properties treat the community better 

But while 62 per cent of travellers want to stay in a sustainable property at least once this year, those who didn’t manage it last year said it was because of lack of awareness. 27 per cent said they didn’t know sustainable accommodation existed (although last year was lower with 30 per cent not knowing about the greener options).

However although people seem more interested in staying at eco options, nearly two thirds (62 per cent) admit that they don’t actively look for the sustainability efforts of a property before they book, unless the information is easy to find.

With more than 100,000 properties globally now being recognised for their sustainability efforts with a Travel Sustainable badge on Booking.com, the company has also further expanded the number of third-party certifications and labels that automatically qualify accommodations to receive it.

In addition to those officially approved by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), Green Tourism and the EU Ecolabel, this now also includes Green Seal, Nordic Swan Ecolabel, Green Hospitality Ecolabel, Ibex Fairstay, Fair Trade Tourism, LEED and Edge.

Booking.com remained carbon neutral in its operations in 2021 and transitioned to 100 per cent renewable electricity towards the end of 2021, an important step as part of the company’s contribution to Booking Holdings’ recently released Climate Action Plan

The first of its kind for any global online travel company, its Climate Action Plan functions as a strategic framework for how Booking Holdings intends to make its operations, services and the travel industry more sustainable. 

In line with the definitions and measurements established by the Science Based Targets Initiative, the Climate Action Plan includes ambitious targets that aim to help the company achieve a 95 per cent reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions by the end of 2030, 50 per cent reduction in scope 3 emissions by 2030, and net-zero emissions by 2040.

Glenn Fogel, CEO of Booking.com said: “With increased pressure on our natural resources and the undeniable impact our way of life is having on the environment, we are 100 per cent committed to leading the industry in charting a more mindful and responsible course for the future of travel. We have ambitious goals for what we want to achieve, but together with our partners across the industry and the passion of our innovative employees, we can continue to make it easier for everyone to experience the world in a more mindful and responsible way. We believe that travel is and should remain a powerful force for good, bringing enhanced cultural understanding, socio-economic opportunities for countless communities and the potential to help rejuvenate and protect our planet for the long term.”

Radisson RED has just opened a sustainable hotel in Oslo, Norway.

bookingholdings.com/sustainability.

Radisson RED opens sustainable design hotel in Oslo

NORWAY: Radisson Hotel Group has opened a sustainably certified hotel in the heart of Norway’s capital.

NORWAY: Radisson Hotel Group has opened a sustainably certified hotel in the heart of Norway’s capital.

The hotel has been certified by BREEAM and has been given an Excellent rating.

BREEAM, one of the world’s leading science-based systems to determine the sustainability of buildings considers a building’s low impact design and carbon emissions, forward-thinking design features for climate change, and ecological value and biodiversity protection. 

The rating was given for several reasons including the hotel’s A class energy rating, meaning its energy level will not exceed 140 Kwh/sqm, and it uses rainfall catchers to water its rooftop garden. 

Tom Flanagan Karttunen, area senior vice president, Northern & Western Europe at Radisson Hotel Group said: “This is the perfect location for our second Radisson RED property in Norway, following the opening of Radisson RED Oslo Airport earlier this year. Radisson RED’s creative approach works in harmony with Økern Portal’s green spaces and sustainable initiatives, and offers the best city views from its rooftop bar and outdoor terrace.”

The Radisson RED Oslo Økern is just 15 minutes from Oslo’s Central train station in a sustainably focussed business neighbourhood, Økern Portal, which includes Norway’s largest rooftop garden.

The Økern Portal community has its own energy wells that produce 90 per cent  of the heating for the entire development.

The 204 room hotel has playful artistic design and is inspired by fashion, music and art. There are also 13 meetings rooms with the largest able to host 120 people.

It’s the second Radisson RED hotel in the country after the opening of Radisson RED Airport earlier this year.

A Glossary for Sustainable Hotels

Photo by Daniel Watson on Pexels.com

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.

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. It’s a bit like LEED. They just have different processes to get to their criteria.

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

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.

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

Eco Hotel: A hotel which, with its operations and practices, is deemed not harmful to the environment.

Embodied Carbon: Carbon emissions which happen during the building, development or renovation of a building.

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.

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.

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

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.

Embodied Carbon: This is the carbon a building will emit when going through development, reconstruction or demolition, to make way for a new eco-friendly building. All this carbon emission has to be considered when ‘making’ a sustainable hotel.

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.”

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.

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.

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.