In this month's high performing buildings roundup, we’re looking at hotels that have world-leading sustainability features.
The Sustainable Hospitality Alliance predicts that the hotel sector in general needs to reduce its emissions by 66 per cent per room by 2030 and 90 per cent per room by 2050.
The industry is reacting in several ways. Hospitality professionals can now train specifically in environmental sustainability management in hospitality in a first-of-its-kind qualification, and those working across the hotel supply chain are engaging in an open discussion about the best way to encourage a more sustainable approach to building, refurbishing and operating a hotel.
Some hotel chains are even trialling passing “sustainability fees” on to the customer. A user on the travel forum ‘Flyertalk” noticed that a $4.99 nightly fee had been added to their stay at a Marriot Autograph Collection property.
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Consumer Demand for Sustainable Stays
For consumers, concerns about the environmental impact of their purchasing choices certainly extend to the choice of holiday accommodation.
Booking.com reports that the majority of global travellers (87 per cent) state that they want to travel sustainably. A similar study by the TUI Group found only 1 in 10 European travellers book environmentally friendly holidays, but more than half would book more if such stays were more readily available.
This demand also extends to business stays. According to the Global Business Travel Association, 53 per cent of North American companies have corporate sustainability programmes that affect their decision to contract with a travel supplier.
A Net-Zero Holiday Stay in London – room2 Chiswick
room2 Chiswick is London’s first net-zero carbon hotel, operating using 89 per cent less energy than a typical UK hotel, an accolade achieved through things like installing a heat pump, insulation and the smart design.
It’s also the first hotel in the world to offset both operational and embodied carbon to zero. For unavoidable emissions, the footprint is calculated and offset with a reforesting partner in Nicaragua.
Picture: a photograph of the courtyard at room2 at Chiswick, showing a variety of plants. Image Credit: https://room2.com/chiswick/
All the energy needed to power the building comes from renewable green energy – either on-site solar panels and ground source heat pumps or off-site wind, solar and hydro.
Within the rooms, ultra low flow showers give the full impact of a power shower, but with around 40 per cent less water. The rooms are furnished with furniture manufactured within 10 miles, using only natural, recycled, or reclaimed materials and FSC certified wood. 4,462 trees were planted to offset the carbon of all the furniture in the hotel.
The building is run on electricity only, has occupancy-enabled lighting, and even has its own rooftop herb garden and beehive.
Picture: a photograph of the bar area at room2 at Chiswick, showing a bar and bar stools. Image Credit: https://room2.com/chiswick/
Improving a Hotel’s Water Footprint – Meliá Hotels International
The most sustainable hotel group in the world is widely thought to be Meliá Hotels International, which operates more than 390 hotels throughout more than 40 countries and is Spain’s largest hotel company
The group is ranked second in the world by The S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), which is the agency that analyses companies in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
In 2020 (compared to the base year 2018) Meliá achieved corporate emission savings of 51.2 per cent in scope 1 emissions and 51.9 per cent in scope 2 emissions.
Crucially, Meliá has participated in the CDP Water Security scoring methodology since 2019, with the aim of improving its water footprint, a key resource for the tourism sector. In 2021, Meliá obtained a B rating, the best score in the European ranking of the industry.
Picture: a photograph of one of room2's hotel rooms, showing a bed and a sofa. Image Credit: https://room2.com/chiswick/
Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 20 January 2022
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