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We’re working with some of the world’s leading travel and technology brands to help people make more informed decisions when booking accommodation.

The challenge

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 of a trip, as well as the impact on the local community and destination itself.

However, a lack of access to reliable, consistent information has been cited as a barrier to people making more sustainable travel choices. With a variety of approaches to measuring sustainability efforts, and many competing certification schemes available, travellers often don’t know what to look for or which labels to trust.

Travalyst’s role

Our goal is to help people make more informed travel choices and this starts with being able to find consistent sustainability information on the platforms they already use – platforms like our partners:, Expedia, and Google.

Our coalition is working to collect data from accommodation providers based on a list of attributes – which can be found below – as well as information on their relevant certifications. This information is then displayed on property booking pages clearly and consistently across our partners’ platforms, so that users can begin to recognise and understand it.

This makes it simpler for people to find more sustainable places to stay.

The role of our Independent Advisory Group

We work with sustainability experts, academics and professionals from around the world who oversee all of our work to ensure it is credible and industry leading. Our Independent Advisory Group has reviewed and validated the existing list of accommodation attributes below, and will continue to support us in developing this work.

What users see

Here are some examples of what people see when they search for accommodation on some of our partners’ platforms:




Some of our partners display certifications that an accommodation has been awarded. Given the vast number of certification schemes and bodies in the industry, we have worked closely with our partners, and in conjunction with our Independent Advisory Group, to align on three criteria that certification bodies must meet in order to be displayed on our partners’ platforms. Find out more about our certifications initiative here.


It is important that the sustainability information that our partners collect from properties can be verified as true and accurate so that users are given reliable information.

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:

  1. Checkbox claims: Use of a checkbox function where properties declare that they have filled in the information truthfully and that they understand that if they have not they will be in breach of the relevant platform’s terms and conditions.
  2. Customer verification: Use of a guest check-out survey or review where questions can be included to help understand if a guest saw something which the property declared was/was not there (appropriate for some, but not all, attributes)
  3. Third-party certification: As discussed above, the use of a number of third-party certifications that properties have been awarded; all of which have their own robust verification methods to ensure data accuracy.
  4. External audits: Use of the services of a third-party auditor to validate all attributes selected by the property.

In the long term

Our current attribute list and approved methods of verification will continue to evolve over time, and while we have taken an important first step, there is much more we need to do. In the long term, we will:

  • Work together to develop our list of attributes to ensure a robust picture of sustainability
  • Increase the number of properties that submit their information
  • Develop and improve methods for verification of information to ensure accuracy and trustworthiness
  • Share sustainability resources to encourage accommodations to become more sustainable – for example, already provides its partners with a handbook and is working in collaboration with UN Tourism to provide free online courses across a number of key sustainability topics in hospitality
  • Educate people on what to look out for when booking accommodation

Accommodation attributes

Below is the list of attributes, reached in agreement with our Independent Advisory Group. The list aims to reflect the full spectrum of sustainability at a global level, and is continually updated and refined to present an increasingly accurate picture of measures to improve sustainability in the accommodation industry.

EnergyLED lighting makes up for at least 80% of the property’s guest and public room lighting
EnergyAll hotel windows are double glazed
EnergyVegetarian menu options are offered
EnergyVegan menu options are offered
EnergyGuest rooms have energy saving switches (e.g. keycard-controlled electricity)
EnergyProperties electricity is 100% renewable
EnergyProperty has a food waste policy that includes education, food waste prevention, reduction, recycling, and disposal
EnergyAt least 80% of food is sourced from property’s local region (e.g. within 50km from property location)
EnergyProperty offers electric car charging stations
EnergyProperty has installed insulation in its outer wall and roof structure
EnergyProperty has installed dynamic/automatic sun shading for its guest room and common area windows
EnergyProperty has installed smart lift software that introduces ‘stand-by’ mode which automatically turns off lighting and fan consumption in lifts
EnergyProperty 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
EnergyProperty has installed a pool cover to reduce evaporation and condensation, reducing the energy required to heat the swimming pool
EnergyProperty has reduced laundry temperature to 60°C for its towel & linen laundry
EnergyProperty has installed cooling systems that do not use hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) but rely on hydrocarbons or natural refrigerants as ammonium or CO2
EnergyProperty has reduced energy consumption this year with at least 5% compared to previous year
EnergyProperty has installed energy-saving thermostats that conserve energy when rooms or areas are not in use
EnergyProperty has installed energy efficient appliances in its guest rooms, kitchen, laundry room and reception/offices
WasteSingle-use plastic amenities are replaced by a bulk dispenser
WasteSingle-use plastic water bottles are not offered
WasteThe property has installed water refill stations and encourages guests to use these instead of single-use plastic water bottles
WasteSingle-use plastic soda bottles are not offered
WasteThe property has reusable tableware (replacing single-use)
WasteThe property has reusable cups (replacing single-use)
WasteSingle-use plastic straws are not offered
WasteSingle-use plastic stirrers are not offered
WasteProperty has a recycling plan in place (e.g. in guest rooms, common areas, kitchen) for at least four waste types (glass, paper, plastic, organic)
WasteProperty safely handles and disposes its hazardous wastes
WasteProperty has paperless procedures in place both at the front desk as in the back office
WasteProperty has eliminated styrofoam food containers from its operations
WasteProperty participates in a soap donation programme for which it collects and recycles soap and donates it to regions in need
WasteProperty safely disposes its lightbulbs after these end up as waste
WaterProperty only uses water-efficient toilets (e.g. low-flow toilets, dual flush toilets)
WaterProperty only uses water-efficient showers (e.g. smart showers, low flow shower heads)
WaterA towel re-use programme is available to guests
WaterGuests can opt out for room cleaning (e.g. bed linen laundry is reduced)
WaterProperty has drought-tolerant landscaping with reduces irrigation needs and water use
WaterProperty collects rainwater to use for irrigation purposes in periods of limited rainfall
WaterProperty has installed water-efficient faucets
Biodiversity & EcosystemsWild (non-domesticated) animals are not displayed/interacted with while captive on the property or harvested, consumed, or sold
Biodiversity & EcosystemsThe property compensates for at least 10% of total annual carbon emissions by purchasing certified carbon offsets
Biodiversity & Ecosystems80% of the food products offered by the property is organic
Biodiversity & EcosystemsGreen spaces such as gardens/rooftop gardens on the property
Biodiversity & Ecosystems
Property offers bicycle rental
Biodiversity & EcosystemsProperty offers bicycle parking
Biodiversity & EcosystemsProperty uses only eco-friendly cleaning products
Biodiversity & EcosystemsProperty offers only eco-friendly toiletries in guest rooms
Biodiversity & EcosystemsProperty sources sustainable seafood, avoiding species on the “Avoid” list of the Marine Conservation Society Good Fish Guide
Biodiversity & EcosystemsProperty takes measures to avoid the introduction of invasive species, and prioritises the use of native species for landscaping.
Destination & CommunityLocal artists are offered a platform to display their talents
Destination & CommunityGuests are offered tours and activities organised by local guides and businesses
Destination & CommunityProperty invests a % of it’s revenue back into the community or in local sustainability projects
Destination & CommunityProperty provides guests with information regarding local ecosystems, heritage and culture, as well as visitor etiquette
Destination & CommunityProperty provides its employees with health & safety training and keeps record of this
Destination & CommunityProperty monitors and reviews its employees’ wages and implements them against national living wage norms
Destination & CommunityAt least 80% of the property’s hotel staff is recruited among local residents
Destination & CommunityLocal residents are given equal opportunities for career advancement, including in management positions
Destination & CommunityThe property uses local, small and medium-sized enterprises to meet 80% of its maintenance, service, marketing & non-F&B supply needs
Destination & CommunityRecords of employee ages are kept and show absence of any form of child labour
Destination & CommunityThe organisation provides training to employees to identify, report and stop child sex tourism and sex trafficking