The United Kingdom is a country that cherishes traditions and history which have been handed down since ancient times. Given this appreciation of tradition, it is no surprise that vintage is popular. New trends, however, are also spreading rapidly in the country.
Environmental measures are one of the movements which have recently received special attention. For example, livestock emits a large amount of methane, which is a greenhouse gas, but in the UK, there is said to be a growing tendency to avoid meat consumption due to growing concerns about global warming. Therefore, the number of “vegans” (vegetarians do not eat meat or fish, vegans do not consume any animal products including: eggs, dairy products, honey, etc., in addition to meat and fish) in 2006 was 150,000, but it has increased to about 600,000 in 2018/2019 (the population estimate in 2018 was 66 million). These changes are not only happening at an individual level, but also the UK government has banned the supply of plastic straws and stirrers from April 2020. The country continues to work on environmental measures. Due to these environmentally conscientious measures, it is interesting to see what kinds of eco-friendly hotels exist in London, the capital of the UK.
What is an eco-friendly hotel?
To begin with, one must ask themselves, what kind of hotel is an eco-friendly hotel? It is difficult to determine what is the standard for eco-friendly even when the word “eco” is included in the description. At that time, it is advisable to pay attention to the certifications which are given only to accommodation facilities that meet certain environmental standards. A certified hotel is one that has been certified as eco-friendly by a recognised certification body. There are various types of certification, but for the purposes of this article, we will be referring to the Earth Check and Green Key certifications, which the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) recognizes as satisfactory certification standards for the travel and tourism industries. This article will cover two certified hotels in London that are currently operating and one affordable bonus.
Hotel 1: The Langham (acquisition certification: EarthCheck, Green Key)
The Langham has obtained both the Earth Check and the Green Key certifications. These certifications recognise efforts reducing energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by reducing CO2 emissions by 6.5% and water consumption by 14.5% in 2019 compared to the previous year in 2018. The Langham is identified as a leading operator in the field with a 0% waste landfill. The hotel implements social initiatives such as donating to charity.
Examples of main initiatives
・ Use of biodegradable detergent
・ Introduction of air conditioning with high energy efficiency
・ Low water flow in the shower or faucet
・ Furniture donation
・ Recycling used cooking oil into vehicle fuel
・ Combustion of non-recyclable waste for power generation
・ 80% of paper uses eco-label or uses recycled paper
・ Procuring local sustainable food
・ Donating food as a charity
・ Investment in charity events
Hotel 2: St. James’ Court (Certification: EarthCheck)
The St. James’ Court is one of the hotels owned by the Taj Group, based in India and with hotels all over the world. As of 2016, 50 hotels in the Taj Group have obtained the EarthCheck Gold certification. Since 2008, the Taj Group has reduced its energy consumption by 558 million megajoules, which is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 172,232 households. Results have been achieved, such as saving 1.8 billion tons of water.
Bonus: Eco-friendly and affordable hotel-Qbic London City Hotel
This would be a recommended hotel to those who are looking for affordability with eco-friendly accommodation. Qbic London City Hotel has not obtained certification such as Earth Check or Green key. They are listed here because they are implementing many environmentally and socially friendly initiatives.
Examples of main initiatives:
・ Installation of solar panels
・ Using LED bulbs
・ Using water that has been filtered (water in plastic bottles is not used)
・ Reducing water usage in the shower
・ Participate in local charities related to the environment
Activities such as providing space for charity to groups that work to provide the homeless contact with society through art. It is possible to receive a £ 5 discount for declining room service, so if daily cleaning isn’t a necessity, one may want to decline the service and receive the discount for contributing to sustainability. It is important to note that the discount only applies for stays of 2+ nights.
Would you try one of these recommended eco-hotels during your travels? When you go to London, why not stay at a hotel that is implementing environmentally and socially friendly efforts?
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