Whitbread joins the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance

UK: Whitbread, which owns Premier Inn as well as a range of pub and restaurant brands, has joined the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

UK: Whitbread, which owns Premier Inn as well as a range of pub and restaurant brands, has joined the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

Through its sustainability programme ‘Force for Good’, Whitbread is aiming to have a positive impact on its guests and the environment. 

To deliver this vision, the company has set long-term strategic targets, including reaching net zero by 2040, eliminating unnecessary single-use plastic by 2025 and cutting food waste by 50 per cent by 2030. 

Whitbread owns and operates the majority of its properties with over 800 hotels and 400 restaurants in the UK and a growing footprint in Germany.

By becoming part of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, Whitbread is joining a global network which represents almost 40 per cent of the industry by rooms and brings the hospitality industry together with strategic and supply chain partners to work collectively on issues affecting the planet and its people.

Glenn Mandziuk, CEO of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, said: “We are delighted to welcome Whitbread into our growing membership. Their prominence in the UK market, combined with their strong focus on their people, local communities and the environment, will bring valuable insight and practical expertise to our community of responsible hospitality leaders. By working together as an industry, we can ensure that we are giving back to society and local destinations, and make net positive hospitality a reality.”

Rosana Elias, head of sustainability at Whitbread said: “We’re incredibly pleased to be joining the Alliance. ESG is a really important area of focus and we’re clear that by working together with our peers, innovating and collaborating, we will all stand a better chance of driving forward positive change. We’re delighted to continue our work in this area as part of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance and support the move towards a net positive hospitality industry”.

Full list of winners from European Sustainable Tourism Awards

UK: The Winners of the European Sustainable Tourism Awards have been announced.

UK: The Winners of the European Sustainable Tourism Awards have been announced.

The GrINN Awards, which are run by Quartz Hotels, invited the public to vote for their favourite out of 50 categories with the final say by the expert judging panel.

Alexander Zawadzki, organiser of the GrINN Awards said: “We are very happy with the outcome of the awards, as our main goal is to promote sustainability and we have achieved it in many countries of Europe. The response and help from the audience and accommodation providers have been astonishing. 
We hope that their example can inspire others and together we can create a more sustainable tourism industry. We invite all accommodation providers that are making efforts towards sustainability to apply to our next edition”.

Jury member, Lidiia Tkachenko added: I am impressed by the sustainability progress all participants have made and continue pursuing in order to achieve sustainability goals and make a positive impact on our planet and society”. 

Here is the full list of the award winners:

Best Luxury Eco Accommodation: El Jardín de las Delizias, Spain (Pictured)

Best sustainable progress: Miluna Open Nature Rooms, Spain

Best Eco-friendly Travel App: Treeapp

Europe’s Leading Sustainable Travel Brand: Book Eco Hotels

Europe’s Leading Sustainable Travel Blog: Brainy Backpackers

Europe’s Leading Sustainable: Travel Influencer Linn Haglund, Brainy Backpackers

Most sustainable Travel Metasearch: Kayak

Most sustainable OTA: Select Green Hotels

Most sustainable Travel Startup: Miluna Open Nature Rooms, Spain

Most Sustainable Female Entrepreneur: Tiffany Belle Harper, Belleva House, England

Most Sustainable Male Entrepreneur: Ángel Bonilla, Hotel Sostenible La Laguna, Spain

Best Sustainable Initiative: Kaj Hotel, Denmark

Best Local Gastronomy: Francisco Rodríguez Mora, The Sun Inn Lydiard, England

Best Sustainable Hotel, United Kingdom: The 25 Boutique B&B, England

Best Sustainable Hotel, Seaside: Kalesma Mykonos, Greece

Best Sustainable Hotel, City: Stow-Away Waterloo, England

Best Sustainable Hotel, Rural: Alma Calma Hotel Rural, Spain

Best Sustainable Hotel, Mountain: Cork Valley Pod Houses Toledo, Spain

Best Sustainable Resort: Blue Dream Hotel | Greece

Best reforestation initiative: Miluna Open Nature Rooms, Spain

Best sustainable accommodation, Central Europe: Hotel Gilbert, Austria

Best sustainable accommodation, Eastern Europe: Ursa Mica Glamping Resort, Romania

Best sustainable accommodation, Northern Europe: Varanger Lodge, Norway

Best sustainable accommodation, Southeast Europe: Blue Dream Hotel, Greece

Best sustainable accommodation, Southern Europe: Cipresso e Pietra, Italy

Best sustainable accommodation, Western Europe: ahead burghotel, Germany

Best sustainable accommodation, Southwest Europe: Hotel Bosque Mar, Spain

Best sustainable accommodation, Turkey: Trendy Lara Hotel, Turkey

Best sustainable Villa, Europe: La Casa del Alfarero, Spain

Best sustainable Hostel, Europe: Urban Garden Hostel, Portugal

Best sustainable Apartment, Europe: Daphne’s Club Hotel Apartments, Greece

Best sustainable 5* Hotel, Europe: Domaine des Etangs, France

Best sustainable 4* Hotel, Europe: The Twelve Hotel, Ireland

Best sustainable 3* Hotel, Europe: Hotel Bosque Mar Spain

Best sustainable 2* Hotel, Europe: Chalet Saint-Barthélemy Hotel, Italy

Best sustainable Aparthotel, Europe: Stow-Away Waterloo, England

Best sustainable accommodation, Spain: Los Lirios Hotel Rural, Spain

Best sustainable accommodation, Croatia: Treehouse Resnice -Mrežnica, Croatia

Best sustainable accommodation, Greece: Ouzas Luxury Hotel, Greece

Best sustainable accommodation, Italy: Naturhotel Leitlhof, Italy

Best sustainable accommodation, Netherlands: BOAT&CO, Netherlands

Best sustainable accommodation, England: The Paddock Wildcamp, England

Best sustainable accommodation, Scotland: Langridge Highland Home, Scotland

Best sustainable accommodation, Northern Ireland: Finn Lough, Northern Ireland

Best sustainable accommodation, Wales: Larkhill Tipis and Yurts, Wales

Best sustainable accommodation, Ireland: Inch House Ireland, Ireland

Best Sustainable & Original Accommodation, Europe: Quinta do Rapozinho, Portugal

Best Nature Accommodation: Glendoria, Poland

Best Responsible Accommodation Project: Ursa Mica Glamping Resort, Romania

Best Sustainable Tourism Leader: Alina Marinescu, Ursa Mică Glamping Resort, Romania

Along with main Sponsor MEWS, Sustainable Hotel News supported the awards for: Best Luxury Eco Accommodation, Best Sustainable Accommodation – Scotland, Best Sustainable Accommodation – Wales.

Image: El Jardín de las Delizias, Spain winner of Best Luxury Eco Accommodation:

Booking.com introduces new badges and levels for green accommodation 

AMSTERDAM: Leading digital travel platform Booking.com has announced an array of new product features in celebration of the one year anniversary of its Travel Sustainable Programme.

AMSTERDAM: Leading digital travel platform Booking.com has announced an array of new product features in celebration of the one year anniversary of its Travel Sustainable Programme.

Introduced in 2021 to provide travellers with transparent and credible information to make more mindful choices for their trips, the aim has been to recognise the efforts of a wide range of accommodation to operate more sustainably.

Booking.com also hopes to provide travellers with consistent and easy-to-understand information so they can make more informed sustainable choices.

To celebrate the first year the company is now introducing three distinct badge levels to the Travel Sustainable programme.

Aligned to the principle that reputable, third-party certification remains the gold standard in the industry, the new levels to the Travel Sustainable programme provide better visibility and recognition for currently uncertified properties that are taking steps to operate more responsibly, with regards to their impact on the environment and their local community. 

The levels help illustrate a clearer pathway for accommodations to work towards eventual certification, especially those that might be at an earlier stage in their sustainability journey. The aim is to also help encourage and incentivize more accommodations to continue making progress towards that goal.

For travellers, the new badge levels have been designed to show where different accommodations are at on their individual sustainability journeys, as well as the specific measures they are implementing.

Hopefully it will make it easier for travellers to see those that have made outstanding commitments and investments on this front to achieve one of more than 40 recognized ecolabels and certifications.

The new badge levels for Travel Sustainable are as follows:

Level 1: This new entry-level designation for the Travel Sustainable badge indicates that a property has implemented some impactful sustainability practices. This Level 1 badge will soon show up with one leaf and includes a full display of all practices that have been implemented.

Level 2: Accommodations receiving the Level 2 version of the Travel Sustainable badge have made considerable investments and efforts to implement impactful sustainability practices. The Level 2 badge will soon show up with two leaves and includes a full display of all practices that have been implemented.Level 3: The Level 3 Travel Sustainable badge is reserved for those accommodations that have made large investments and efforts to implement impactful sustainability practices, but have not yet achieved an official third-party certification yet. The Level 3 badge will soon show up with three leaves and includes a full display of all practices that have been implemented.

Earlier this year we reported on Booking.com’s survey which said more than half of UK travellers want to stay in green hotels.

You can read more about the Travel Sustainable Programme here.

Bournemouth hotel claims to be UK’s most eco friendly place to stay

UK: A hotel in Bournemouth has claimed it is the most eco friendly hotel in the UK.

UK: A hotel in Bournemouth has claimed it is the most eco friendly hotel in the UK.

The Green House Hotel has announced it is the greenest hotel in the UK because it produces “52 per cent less carbon emissions than the average hotel.”

The Green House Hotel opened in 2010 after a £5 million refurbishment of the Grade II listed building. During the refit the environmental impact of every decision was considered and principles of sustainability were at the core of the decision making process in the hotel’s commitment to achieving BREEAM accreditation.

The hotel has a long history of sustainable practices – In 2012 it introduced beehives to its rooftop and has since used the honey produced in its restaurant.

In 2019 Expedia named the hotel as one of the top 10 eco-hotels in the world. The hotel is a member of the Green Tourism Business Scheme and was awarded GOLD level at its first attempt at the environmental status. The Green House Hotel is currently undergoing ISO14001 accreditation.

Neil Carter, general manager The Green House Hotel, said: “We’ve always strived to be the greenest hotel in the UK, every decision we make is carefully scrutinised to make sure it has minimal impact on the environment. The hotel’s carbon calculation is based on our 2019 activity, pre-Covid, when we were running normally. This will set our baseline now for us to make reductions against for this year, 2022, the first full year of trading after the pandemic.” 

The hotel’s website has a sustainability section where you can read about all the ways it strives to be as green as possible.  For example, it produces its own electricity on-site using solar panels and a Combined Heat and Power unit (CHP). 

CHP is a highly efficient way to use fuels and can make a significant contribution to the UK’s sustainable energy goals. The hotel also exports any excess electricity to the National Grid, and imports any extra it might need through its agreement with Ecotricity, a green electricity company building new renewable energy sources. 

Other green initiatives and operations include The hotel’s furniture, which is made from fallen trees, beehives on the roof and EV charging points for guests to use ​​(A dedicated Tesla charging point and a Type 2 charger for other electric cars).

There is a wildlife-friendly garden with bug hotels, native plants and bird and bat boxes.

Waste oil from the kitchen is made into fuel and coffee beans are composted for our community veg garden on site. 

The hotel restaurant, Arbor, offers local, fresh, where possible organic food sourced from producers with high animal welfare standards. It features locally-brewed beer and spirits at the bar, and the wine list has been selected according to the carbon footprint of every bottle. 

Staff are trained on sustainability, and suppliers are assessed against recognised environmental standards. The hotel is a member of Considerate Hoteliers, whose objective is to adopt sustainable environmentally friendly and socially responsible policies and practices. 

Carter added: “We’re delighted with these results, to be producing less than half the carbon emissions of the average UK hotel is excellent news. We have been working tirelessly since we opened, and throughout the pandemic, to assess all that we do, to research new technologies and products, it’s a constantly evolving process, and these results are a testament to our team’s hard work”.

Considerate Hoteliers was recently in the news as it partnered with The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance on making the industry net positive.

Image: The Green House Hotel

voco hotels announces packages with sustainable twist

WORLDWIDE: IHG Hotels & Resorts’ voco hotels has announced limited-edition packages, which feature amenities and activities with a small sustainable twist. 

WORLDWIDE: IHG Hotels & Resorts’ voco hotels has announced limited-edition packages, which feature amenities and activities with a small sustainable twist. 

The exclusive packages offer room upgrades and “eco-minded” amenities and experiences. 

Jane Mackie, senior vice president, global marketing, luxury & upscale brands, IHG Hotels & Resorts said: “We welcome guests to ‘come on in’ and experience what makes this unique brand reliably different, while also enjoying an eco-friendly painting activity or hitting the pavement in a way that treads lightly on our planet – be it walking or cycling.”

The packages, which are already available in the US, will be rolling out at selected voco hotels in the UK, Australia and New Zealand over the next few weeks.

One of 17 brands in the IHG Hotels & Resorts portfolio, “Step by step” is voco’s sustainability mantra, built on a belief that small steps collectively make a big difference.  Some of the small steps the brand has taken include duvet and pillow fillings made from 100 per cent recycled materials, and glass water bottles in guest rooms.

Guests who book the Birds of a Feather package in the US will receive a voucher for a free pair of sustainably-made Allbirds Tree Runners, a local city guide, and choice of a barista-style coffee or a cocktail – including a zero-proof option – in addition to a room upgrade. 

In the UK, guests who book the Very Important Peddlers (VIPs) package will have access to a fleet of bicycles to explore local attractions, as well the choice of a barista-style coffee or a cocktail – including a zero-proof option – along with a room upgrade. 

The bicycles will be available at voco St. John’s Solihull, voco St. David’s Cardiff, voco Reading, voco Grand Central Glasgow and voco Edinburgh – Haymarket.

When booking in Australia or New Zealand, guests can participate in the region’s first upcycled art series created in partnership with a local sustainable artist. The Sustainable Sip & Paint package will offer a complimentary Pinot & Picasso voucher to create upcycled artwork on voco bedsheets, which are part of the Better Cotton Initiative. Included in the package is the choice of a barista-style coffee or a cocktail, in addition to a room upgrade and QR code packed with tips and inspiration from the artist. The package is available at voco Auckland City Centre, voco Brisbane City Centre, voco Gold Coast, voco Kirkton Park Hunter Valley and voco Melbourne Central.

IHG Hotels & Resorts currently operates 41 open voco hotels properties in more than 25 countries around the world with an additional 34 in the global pipeline, including the upcoming voco Guadalajara Naruda, voco Dubai the Palm and voco Avignon – Le Bristol.

Six Senses Hotels & Resorts recently launched a Sustainability Camp for teenagers.

IMage: IHG