Hostels bunk up with carbon footprint checker

The trade association for a string of Swiss hostels is bunking up with a sustainability firm to help its guests calculate their carbon footprint. When booking hostels online, guests can […]

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By ELN reporter

The trade association for a string of Swiss hostels is bunking up with a sustainability firm to help its guests calculate their carbon footprint.

When booking hostels online, guests can see exactly how much their carbon emissions use will be in each room.

Holidaymakers are also given tips on how to cut their own energy use when using Swisshostels.com, such as turning off light switches and re-using towels.

The popularity of hostels in Switzerland is rocketing with the hostel group predicting one million overnight stays within two years, compared to 394,405 check-ins back in 2009.

Nathan Güntensperger, President of the board of the Swiss Hostels Association said: “Without proper carbon footprint management and serious thought given to sustainability, hostel owners could be unaware of how much their business is contributing to climate change. Yet their core customer base, typically, well-educated 20-somethings, are amongst the most environmentally conscious travellers around.”

He said hostels can “tap into” these younger visitors’ appreciation for their environmental impact by helping them cut their energy use during a stay.

The system uses common method agreed by the hotel industry for measuring and communicating carbon emissions called the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative (HCMI).

It also sends the hotel owner a report on how well they are performing compared with their targets for cutting emissions.

Ville Valorinta, founder and CEO of the sustainability firm Ecompter which is also trialling the system with a Bristol hotelier said: “Swiss Hostels want their members to be able to communicate their sustainability efforts in a unified way – and show that the country’s hostels are doing their bit to support Switzerland’s reputation as an environmentally conscious country.”