Hostels have 75% less carbon emissions than hotels, new study finds

A new report from sustainability and compliance specialist Bureau Veritas has found that hostels are around three quarters less carbon intensive (tCO₂e) than hotels – according to independent research and carbon footprint data modeling conducted in a selection of European hotels and hostels.


This report was commissioned by global online travel agency Hostelworld. Bureau Veritas collected data from several European hostels totaling 27,509 beds, in order to calculate an average tCO₂e/bed. This data was compared to the average emissions by assumed PAX in representative European hotel chains.

The report, titled “Understanding the carbon impact of hostels versus hotels,” supports the claim that hostels are the most climate-friendly accommodation choice over hotels, for increasingly conscious travelers. of the environment.

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The results show that carbon emissions per bed in hotels average 1.18 tCO₂e, compared to 0.30 tCO₂e in the hostels surveyed in the study. The carbon dioxide equivalent of the direct and indirect emissions of the hostels and hotels studied (i.e. Scope 1 and Scope 2) are measured in metric tons of CO2e. Bureau Veritas reviewed data from 2019 to 2021, with 2019 figures represented as a benchmark given capacity constraints during the ongoing periods of COVID-19 travel restrictions in 2020 and 2021.


David Murray, Business Unit Manager – Sustainability, Bureau Veritas, said: “In the current climate, it is becoming increasingly useful to begin to understand ways to make more sustainable tourism choices. In order to compare the carbon emissions of different accommodation types, Bureau Veritas collected and reviewed data from a sample of hostels that use Hostelworld as an online travel agent, as well as publicly available published information. by selected hotel chains.

“Based on the information available, we calculated an average tCO₂e for hotels and hostels in Europe in order to directly compare the carbon intensity of the two types of accommodation.

“The results of this study support the claim that hostels are on average up to 75% less carbon intensive than hotels.”

Gary Morrison, CEO of Hostelworld, said: “Travelers are increasingly environmentally conscious, constantly looking for ways to minimize their carbon footprint when visiting new destinations. 82% of Hostelworld customers think hostels are more sustainable than any other type of accommodation, and 53% say sustainability plays a role in choosing where they go and how to get there.

“This research report confirms that hostels represent a more sustainable type of accommodation in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, while offering the means to meet other people and share unique experiences.”

© 2022 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click on subscribe to subscribe to the Hospitality Ireland printed edition.