Booking.com introduces the Sustainable Travel Establishment badge to promote responsible tourism
The new Sustainable Travel Establishment badge introduced by Booking.com allows travelers to easily identify establishments that have implemented responsible practices.
Paris, November 15, 2021 – Booking.com, the leader in online travel, today announced the launch of its Sustainable Travel Establishment badge globally. This reliable sustainability index will provide relevant information to travelers around the world who want to make their travel choice more sustainable. The badge is available for all establishments that have implemented a set of eco-responsible practices and can be applied to any type of establishment (apartments, bed and breakfasts, vacation homes, hotels, etc.). This is a pioneering initiative in the travel sector, which aims to offer a reliable indicator to recognize the concrete efforts made in terms of sustainability by the partner establishments of Booking.com, taking into account local specificities. It aims to provide travelers with a consistent and easy-to-understand way to identify a wide range of more responsible stays. At the same time, it offers travelers a transparent, credible and easy tool to identify a wide range of responsible stays, regardless of their destination.
Make it easier to choose a sustainable trip
This first version of the Sustainable Travel Establishment badge aims to become a universal index of information on sustainable establishments across the sector, in particular by leveraging Booking.com’s involvement in the Travalyst coalition as Founding Member. Thus, this first version of the Sustainable Travel Establishment badge is based on elements validated by the independent advisory committee Travalyst.
Booking.com worked hand in hand with various experts in the sector, in particular via the Travalyst coalition (more information at the bottom of the page), to identify 5 key areas bringing together the different areas of action of the partners: waste management, energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, water management, support for local communities and nature protection. These 5 themes are broken down into 32 very diverse measures, such as the elimination of single-use plastic toiletries, the switch to LED lighting, the use of 100% renewable energy sources, the investment of a certain percentage of profits in the local community, etc.
Booking.com worked with Sustainalize, a consultancy specializing in sustainable development, to develop a robust methodology to assess the relevance and impact of the measures put in place. While this methodology takes into account the environmental and social impact of the initiatives of partner establishments, it also relies on their location and size to promote the significant efforts made at all levels. Indeed, the same behavior can be more or less responsible depending on local specificities, like the reduction of water use in a drought-prone area or the supply of renewable energies in a country. where the latter are still scarcely available. This methodology thus allows the establishment of an overall score taking into account local specificities. More detailed information on how properties around the world earned the badge can be found in this updated section of the Sustainable Travel Guide on Booking.com’s Partner Hub.
Establishments that reach the required impact threshold receive the first version of the Sustainable Travel Establishment badge even when they are already officially certified by various existing initiatives such as the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), Green Tourism or the EU Ecolabel . The establishment of this measurement framework and methodology was formally developed within the Travalyst Coalition and endorsed by Travalyst’s Independent Advisory Board. Their development continues in collaboration with the GSTC and thanks to its expertise.
According to Randy Durband, CEO of the GSTC, “Booking.com has methodically developed, tested and refined this method based on the expertise of the GSTC and its globally recognized criteria. This makes this carefully designed frame particularly reliable.”
“It will take time, collaboration between all players and joint efforts to build a truly sustainable travel industry. However, we can rely on constant innovation, the support of our partners and collaboration within the industry to achieve this goal,” said Malena Gufflet, CEO of Booking.com in France. “With this badge and our Voyage program Sustainable, we highlight the efforts made by many and various establishments around the world and make these efforts easily identifiable by travelers thanks to a reliable and transparent tool. If we want to encourage establishments to try to obtain the Sustainable Travel Establishment badge we think it is also important to demonstrate that sustainable measures can take many forms. It is useful to give visibility to the more and more establishments which are committed to a more responsible model By displaying their commitment, we allow all customers to make a more informed choice and, hopefully, more durable for their next trips, whatever their destination. »
Accelerate the transition to a more sustainable model
According to a recent study by EY Parthenon and Booking.com, despite emitting 264 million tonnes of CO₂ emissions per year, or 10% of total annual emissions from the tourism sector, accommodation has the opportunity to show the way to make travel more sustainable. While significant investment is needed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 (€768 billion), research results highlight that many accommodations have already implemented a series of emission reduction measures. With adoption rates of available sustainable technologies and practices varying between 30 and 70%, there is therefore real room for improvement.
Additionally, 81% of international travelers say they want to stay in sustainable accommodation in the coming year. With more than 28 million listings available on its platform, Booking.com has a key role to play in making visible the significant efforts put in place by its partners and making it easier for travelers to find sustainable accommodation. With the Sustainable Travel Establishment badge, Booking.com is also responding to the 67% of travelers who expect more sustainable proposals from the industry. While 73% of respondents say they are more likely to choose accommodation if it implements sustainable practices, the Sustainable Travel Establishment badge values and encourages the implementation of such practices by establishments wishing to meet the demand. , and therefore ultimately promotes an increase in the total number of responsible accommodations available.
During this first launch phase, the Sustainable Travel Establishment badge and an overview of the initiatives implemented will be visible on the pages of each establishment, on the Booking.com platform and application. As the initiative rolls out over the coming weeks, the Sustainable Travel Establishment icon will also appear in search results. A Sustainable Travel Property filter will also allow travelers to identify greener options early in their Booking.com experience.
The list of responsible practices will continue to evolve over the coming months, in order to adapt even more to local specificities while maintaining global consistency. As this initiative improves, it is intended to be duplicated within other Booking Holdings entities and Travalyst coalition partners, to enable a greater number of travelers to make a sustainable choice easily.
As part of the Sustainable Travel program, Booking.com continues to share tips, ideas and best practices with partner properties through various tools, such as guides and dedicated content on the Partner Hub. For more information on sustainability at Booking.com, visit sustainability.booking.com.