Booking.com’s New Travel Sustainability Badge Is a Lesson in Eco-Friendly Travelling

Eco-friendly travelling

Gone are the days (most) Australians are booking weekend getaways or holidays without considering the planet. But don’t just take my word for it. New research as part of Booking.com’s Sustainable Travel Report 2021 has also found it to be true. The research found that 72% of Australian travellers wanted to make an effort to stay in more sustainable accommodation in the future.

But while those 72% are open to travelling in a more eco-friendly way, chances are many of them aren’t sure how to actually go about doing so. Chances are, a chunk of them might even be wondering — what exactly does it mean to travel more sustainably?

Enter Booking.com’s new Travel Sustainability Badge. Launched this month and the first of its kind in the industry, the badge highlights sustainable stays for travellers, helping them to make more eco-conscious travel decisions.

“Building a truly sustainable travel industry will take time, coordination and concerted effort, but progress is possible through continued innovation, partner support and industry collaboration,” said Tracey Foxall, Regional Manager Oceania at Booking.com. “With our Travel Sustainable badge and programme, we’re recognising the sustainability efforts of a broader range of properties around the world in a credible and transparent way for consumers.”

“This will be particularly helpful to our eco-conscious Aussie travellers who, after an extended hiatus from international travel due to border closures and travel restrictions, have had time to reflect on their past travel choices and express a strong desire to travel more sustainably when they are once again able to do so.”

But while the badge will appear on all deserving properties on Booking.com, it can also be used to better understand how in fact to judge sustainability when travelling. The badge is given to properties implementing sustainable practices in five key areas:

  1. Waste
  2. Energy and greenhouse gases
  3. Water
  4. Supporting local communities
  5. Protecting nature.

Booking.com worked with reputable sustainability consultancy Sustainalize to develop a robust methodology that assesses each of these practices’ relative weight in the model. The calculations also considered the property’s location and accounts for its size.

While the goal has been to create a universal model, the team found that operating sustainably has meant different things in different markets. For example, water-reducing measures in an area prone to drought or sourcing renewable energy options in a country where that’s not yet widely available are weighted as being more impactful.

The Travel Sustainable badge and an overview of individual property sustainability efforts are now visible to Australian travellers on property pages across the Booking.com website globally.

These are a few highlight properties in Australia that currently have the Travel Sustainable Badge are:

Oaks Nelson Bay Lure Suites, Nelson Bay, NSW

Bluegums Retreat, Hepburn Springs, VIC

Modern Luxury Apartment, Bondi NSW 

Stamford Plaza, Melbourne, VIC

Margaret River Retreat, Margaret River, WA

Berkeley River Lodge, Berkeley River, WA

Royal Mail Hotel, Dunkeld, VIC

Thirlestane Farm Cottage & Barn, Cooroy, QLD

Pearl Hawley Beach, Hawley Beach, TAS

Pension Mauritz, Dinner Plain, VIC

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