The first international climate-neutral hospitality provider Bob W is spearheading a ‘Show Us Your Numbers’ campaign calling for the hospitality industry to strip off and reveal the ‘naked numbers’ behind their carbon footprint.
Bob W is taking the unusual and bold approach of sharing its GreenHouse Gas (GHG) emissions per guest night, setting a precedent among its competitors for honesty and responsibility in environmental reporting. As part of its campaign, Bob W is now calling upon the rest of the industry to do the same.
Bob W reveals in its newly released sustainability report that it currently emits on average 29 kg (CO2-eq/guest night)1 of carbon emissions per guest night, outperforming the standard hotel’s 40 kg (CO2-eq/guest night)2. Bob’s latest figure is lower than the 41 kg that the company reported the previous year, when it was inflated by a substantial expansion that saw the company’s apartment count grow eight fold in a single year.
By laying bare its numbers, Bob W hopes to encourage collaboration and share best practice within the industry to collectively improve the environmental impact of hospitality. While companies are often cautious when revealing their numbers, transparency and clear reporting is crucial if operators are to learn how to reduce emissions, and travelers are to make informed choices.
Bob W is a climate-neutral company meaning that it offsets emissions with South Pole action projects, a foundation that works to remove CO2 from the atmosphere, but it knows that this isn’t enough.
For years, the company has been working on reducing its emissions further and now reaches solid sustainability scores for its properties in Europe. This includes the highest LEED score for design in Europe for the Bob W Koti Katajanokka in Helsinki and a BREEAM (the widely recognized sustainability measurement) excellent rating of 72.4% for its property in London’s Tower Hill.
However, partnering with commercial property owners whose environmental goals align, and investing in buildings with a significantly reduced footprint, is just the beginning. Bob W is going even further.
Responsible partners who share the same sustainability ethos are favored to supply Bob W’s apartments. Where possible coffee is provided by local roasters; furniture is designed in partnership with local creatives or sourced from second hand suppliers; eco-friendly toiletries are provided; and guests are encouraged to manage resources in a way that lessens the impact of their stay. Local communities are also supported by Bob W as the company’s ‘local marketplace’ recommends cafes and gyms within 500 meters from each apartment.
Bob W is advocating for a radically honest approach to the way that the industry reports its numbers and is promoting a ‘per guest night’ calculation. This simple metric, similar to nutrition scores on food products, is less open to manipulation and is easy for consumers to understand. The per guest night calculation has already been incorporated into Bob W’s website to enable guests to make a more sustainable choice.
Niko Karstikko, Co-founder and CEO of Bob W, said: “A lot of hospitality providers rely on vague reports and sustainability certificates but we believe it is time for a more meaningful approach. There is an urgent need for us all to come together, innovate and share best practice so that we can all operate in a way that is kinder to the planet. Transparency and facts are a key part of that.
“We know we’re not the greenest accommodation provider but we are determined to be the most honest, and we’re working really hard to help our guests make informed decisions. That’s why, when they book, guests can see the emissions associated with each night of their stay. For example, one night in an ‘Epic Studio’ in Tartu, Estonia, equates to 28.7kg CO2 ,all totally offset by us.
“This is not a stunt. This is a race we all have to win, and we are totally open to hearing what other providers think the industry’s standardised sustainability metric should be. In fact, that would be the perfect start.”
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