We’re working with some of the world’s leading travel brands to make it easier for consumers to choose more sustainable places to stay. Together, we are striving to:
Research has shown that a variety of factors related to accommodation – from food miles and waste, to energy consumption and local employment – can significantly increase both the carbon footprint and community impact of a holiday.
However, a lack of access to reliable, consistent information has been cited as a barrier to travellers making more sustainable choices. With a variety of competing certification schemes available, travellers often don’t know what to look for or which labels to trust.
Our goal is to help travellers make better choices, and this starts with being able to consistently find the sustainability information they need on the platforms they already use – platforms like our partners Booking.com, Expedia Group, and Google.
By building upon existing standards, and in consultation with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), our coalition is working to collect data from accommodation providers based on an agreed list of attributes; covering operational and policy information across five sustainability categories. Using an aligned methodology, that data is then displayed as consistent sustainability information that consumers can begin to recognise and understand.
This makes it as simple as possible for consumers to find sustainable places to stay.
Our Accommodation Working Group has aligned behind a growing list of sustainability attributes, which are shared below. Members of the group are enabling properties on their platforms to submit information on those practices, and so currently on Booking.com, Expedia Group, and Google, consumers can find this information on the property booking page for those accommodations who have submitted their data.
The list is being continually updated and refined to present an increasingly accurate picture of sustainability in the accommodation industry.
The first version of this list was the foundation for Booking.com’s Travel Sustainable badge, which recognises properties for the efforts they are making to operate more sustainably with a badge on the Booking.com platform. As the aim of the programme is to also present this information in a transparent and understandable way for travellers, Booking.com now displays three different badge levels for properties to more clearly illustrate where properties are at on their individual sustainability journeys. The threshold to reach each of these levels is based on the combination of attributes properties have implemented, and the significance of the resulting impact.
We work with a group of academics and sector experts, who provide neutral guidance and oversight of the models to ensure that our work is robust, credible and maintains focus on the goal of bringing this information to consumers, at scale.
When consumers search for accommodation, they can be led by the following across Booking.com, Expedia, and Google:
Across our partner platforms, additional information on third party certifications a property has been awarded might be displayed. Given the vast number of certification schemes and bodies in the industry, our working group has aligned behind criteria that those certification processes would need to meet in order to be displayed:
1 Glossary (GSTC Glossary of Accreditation Terms):
Third-party: carried out by an individual or body that is independent of the entity being certified or accredited.
Audit: A systematic and comprehensive process of investigation through checking documents, conducting interviews, observation and other means.
It is important that the sustainability information that Travalyst partners collect from properties can be verified as true and accurate, to ensure that we are having real impact with our work and can give travellers reliable information about their choices.
Alongside our current attribute list and criteria for displaying third-party certifications, our Independent Advisory Group has also validated four initial methods our partners can use to verify the data they collect. These are:
This list is not exhaustive, and while this is an important first step, there is much more we need to do. In the long term, our coalition will:
Please get in touch for more information, or to adopt our accommodation framework.
Below is the current list of attributes, reached in agreement with our Independent Advisory Group, and which our Accommodation Working Group are aligned on:
|Energy||LED lighting makes up for at least 80% of the property’s guest and public room lighting|
|Energy||All hotel windows are double glazed|
|Energy||Vegetarian menu options are offered|
|Energy||Vegan menu options are offered|
|Energy||Guest rooms have energy saving switches (e.g. keycard-controlled electricity)|
|Energy||Properties electricity is 100% renewable|
|Energy||Property has a food waste policy that includes education, food waste prevention, reduction, recycling, and disposal|
|Energy||At least 80% of food is sourced from property’s local region (e.g. within 50km from property location)|
|Energy||Property offers electric car charging stations|
|Energy||Property has installed insulation in its outer wall and roof structure|
|Energy||Property has installed dynamic/automatic sun shading for its guest room and common area windows|
|Energy||Property has installed smart lift software that introduces ‘stand-by’ mode which automatically turns off lighting and fan consumption in lifts|
|Energy||Property has installed a variable speed heat pump for its pool that allows the property to select a lower speed setting, saving energy in the process|
|Energy||Property has installed a pool cover to reduce evaporation and condensation, reducing the energy required to heat the swimming pool|
|Energy||Property has reduced laundry temperature to 60°C for its towel & linen laundry|
|Energy||Property has installed cooling systems that do not use hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) but rely on hydrocarbons or natural refrigerants as ammonium or CO2|
|Energy||Property has reduced energy consumption this year with at least 5% compared to previous year|
|Energy||Property has installed energy-saving thermostats that conserve energy when rooms or areas are not in use|
|Energy||Property has installed energy efficient appliances in its guest rooms, kitchen, laundry room and reception/offices|
|Waste||Single-use plastic amenities are replaced by a bulk dispenser|
|Waste||Single-use plastic water bottles are not offered|
|Waste||The property has installed water refill stations and encourages guests to use these instead of single-use plastic water bottles|
|Waste||Single-use plastic soda bottles are not offered|
|Waste||The property has reusable tableware (replacing single-use)|
|Waste||The property has reusable cups (replacing single-use)|
|Waste||Single-use plastic straws are not offered|
|Waste||Single-use plastic stirrers are not offered|
|Waste||Property has a recycling plan in place (e.g. in guest rooms, common areas, kitchen) for at least four waste types (glass, paper, plastic, organic)|
|Waste||Property safely handles and disposes its hazardous wastes|
|Waste||Property has paperless procedures in place both at the front desk as in the back office|
|Waste||Property has eliminated styrofoam food containers from its operations|
|Waste||Property participates in a soap donation programme for which it collects and recycles soap and donates it to regions in need|
|Waste||Property safely disposes its lightbulbs after these end up as waste|
|Water||Property only uses water-efficient toilets (e.g. low-flow toilets, dual flush toilets)|
|Water||Property only uses water-efficient showers (e.g. smart showers, low flow shower heads)|
|Water||A towel re-use programme is available to guests|
|Water||Guests can opt out for room cleaning (e.g. bed linen laundry is reduced)|
|Water||Property has drought-tolerant landscaping with reduces irrigation needs and water use|
|Water||Property collects rainwater to use for irrigation purposes in periods of limited rainfall|
|Water||Property has installed water-efficient faucets|
|Biodiversity & Ecosystems||Wild (non-domesticated) animals are not displayed/interacted with while captive on the property or harvested, consumed, or sold|
|Biodiversity & Ecosystems||The property compensates for at least 10% of total annual carbon emissions by purchasing certified carbon offsets|
|Biodiversity & Ecosystems||80% of the food products offered by the property is organic|
|Biodiversity & Ecosystems||Green spaces such as gardens/rooftop gardens on the property|
|Biodiversity & Ecosystems|
Property offers bicycle rental
|Biodiversity & Ecosystems||Property offers bicycle parking|
|Biodiversity & Ecosystems||Property uses only eco-friendly cleaning products|
|Biodiversity & Ecosystems||Property offers only eco-friendly toiletries in guest rooms|
|Biodiversity & Ecosystems||Property sources sustainable seafood, avoiding species on the “Avoid” list of the Marine Conservation Society Good Fish Guide|
|Biodiversity & Ecosystems||Property takes measures to avoid the introduction of invasive species, and prioritises the use of native species for landscaping.|
|Destination & Community||Local artists are offered a platform to display their talents|
|Destination & Community||Guests are offered tours and activities organised by local guides and businesses|
|Destination & Community||Property invests a % of it’s revenue back into the community or in local sustainability projects|
|Destination & Community||Property provides guests with information regarding local ecosystems, heritage and culture, as well as visitor etiquette|
|Destination & Community||Property provides its employees with health & safety training and keeps record of this|
|Destination & Community||Property monitors and reviews its employees’ wages and implements them against national living wage norms|
|Destination & Community||At least 80% of the property’s hotel staff is recruited among local residents|
|Destination & Community||Local residents are given equal opportunities for career advancement, including in management positions|
|Destination & Community||The property uses local, small and medium-sized enterprises to meet 80% of its maintenance, service, marketing & non-F&B supply needs|
|Destination & Community||Records of employee ages are kept and show absence of any form of child labour|
|Destination & Community||The organisation provides training to employees to identify, report and stop child sex tourism and sex trafficking|