It’s no secret that the hospitality and travel industries guzzle a significant amount of natural resources. Adopting environmentally sustainable practices can help conserve these precious resources and minimize their loss.
Our ten Principles—based on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria and the UN Sustainable Development Goals—attempt to quantify the attributes of a responsible hotel.
We use these principles to assess hotel applicants, to discern where our hotels could use assistance, consultancy, or partners, and to share their stories. They are evaluated by our Design Hotels Conscious Committee. To be part of Design Hotels, hotels must meet a minimum of 5/10 principles. Hotels that meet 7/10 are listed on our website as Conscious Hotels.
Using recycled materials when possible and thoughtfully disposing of waste. Minimizing waste across all levels—including construction, housekeeping, and food and beverage— through sourcing sustainable materials and mindfully disposing of what is no longer needed.
Conserving energy through renewable sources and conservation practices. Lowering energy use through renewable sources and green solutions, such as solar panels, LED lighting, efficient appliances, and more.
Minimizing water waste and offering access to clean water. Conserving water through more efficient fixtures and features, such as water-saving taps and eco-friendly swimming pools, and offering guests and employees easy access to clean drinking water and reusable vessels.
Prioritizing local products and ingredients. Supporting the local community and reducing the carbon footprint by purchasing local food and beverage ingredients, textiles, handicrafts, and other products whenever possible.
Adding value to the cultural conversation. Respectfully engaging with the local community to learn, educate, and create spaces that act as cultural hubs for residents as well as travelers.
Promoting mindful and sustainable recreational experiences for guests. Offering sustainable and enriching activities that encourage a deeper connection with the natural environment, the surrounding community, and local partners.
Adaptable facilities so that spaces are inclusive for all guests, including differently abled. Appropriate training for staff. Encourage sustainable transportation methods & offering environmentally-friendly means of transport or partnering with relevant companies to do so.
Offering a workplace where employees can thrive. Hiring locally where possible. Build a team that prioritizes gender, religious, and racial diversity. Foster an environment where staff can excel through fair pay, access to education, career development, well-being practices, and an inclusive working environment.
Being transparent about the journey towards a more sustainable future. Communicating to guests ways to support the hotels’ environmental efforts during their stay. Aiming to measure the carbon footprint of the hotel, and set measurable targets.
Paul Salmon, Rockhouse Hotel
While we work to inspire our hotels to meet new environmental and social standards, we also strive to improve ourselves internally, too. This means prioritizing a collaborative approach with our community, working with an ever-growing network of creatives and experts across a range of fields. It means regularly hosting round-table discussions, dinners, sessions, and more—at our Berlin headquarters and wherever else we pop up in the world, to engage with people, to contemplate, and to challenge our perspective.
It means a yearly company audit report, creating new goals and rewards for responsible work travel, offering more robust employee education around sustainable practices, ongoing flexible work arrangements, and giving our staff one day per year to participate in a social or environmental initiative.
Our efforts to be more inclusive include training and education programs, regular Lunch and Learns on a varied range of topics, and regular workshops with our Impact Team.
We don’t always get the answers right, but we always aim to do better.
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A mental packing list of sorts, The Good Traveler lays out our aspirations on the path to becoming more respectful, considerate travelers. To learn how these ideas can shift and shape our journeys, we have invited ten travelers we admire to go into the world and explore each tenet throughout 2023.
Welcome to the Our Conscious Journey podcast in collaboration with The Conduit. The podcast focuses on ethical and sustainable hospitality and travel, in conversation with our conscious hoteliers to explore the question: what is in store for the future of hospitality?