COP26 is coming up in November and this is the perfect time to have a look at the different ways that the travel industry can become more sustainable and climate positive. COP26 is the 26th annual Conference of Parties, arranged by the UN to discuss and tackle climate change. In this time, climate change has gone from being perceived as a fringe issue to a global priority. We are now seeing more and more frequently the effect of human impact on the climate.

As sustainability and climate consciousness become the new norm for business around the world we look at how the travel industry can change to meet the demands of the future. Studies have found that currently, the travel and tourism industry is responsible for 8% of global carbon emissions. While carbon emissions are only one part of the way we measure an industries sustainability, there are many other factors to look into, such as protection of natural habitats and impact on local indigenous communities. This weekโ€™s blog looks at two very different resorts and hotels and their methods of becoming more sustainable.

Zuri Zanzibar – Zanzibar

The library at Zuri Zanzibar showing sofas and a pool table.

This first hotel is located on the small island of Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania. Zuri Zanzibar is the only hotel located on the island and from its beginnings has aimed to be as sustainable and socially conscious as possible. Awarded the EarthCheck Sustainable Design Gold Certification for its commitment to sustainability, Zuri Zanzibar has many different strategies in place to reduce its environmental footprint.

From the very beginning, the business made conscious choices to create a hotel and villas that reflect the local architecture and preserve the landscape. With its 56 villas and bungalows designed by Jestico + Whiles architecture firm, these buildings used locally sourced materials and traditional local techniques to create buildings adapted to their climate. Zuri Zanzibar also sources many of its other amenities and products in its gift shop locally, ensuring that money spent in the hotel is recycled back into the local economy and reducing the carbon footprint. This is a key way the travel and tourism industry can reduce its impact on the climate, as resorts and hotels on islands usually import all of the materials, food and products they will need. This increases the carbon footprint of a holiday before guests even set foot on a plane.

A photograph of one of the beach clean up huts set up in Zanzibar.

Zuri Zanzibar takes responsibility for its impact on a small island that has little existing infrastructure, including its waste materials. To deal with this and ensure that the surrounding areas are not subject to littering, Zuri Zanzibar both reduces the amount of waste they produce and works with local companies to add waste collection points around the local villages and on the beach. With an awareness that around 5 trillion pieces of plastic are currently in our oceans, any effort to reduce this and prevent waste from ending up there will help reduce the impact the hotel has on the environment.

Ultimate Library provided books for Zuri Zanzibar to complement all of their ideals. As an amenity in a hotel, a library or book collection is a great sustainable choice for entertainment. With a majority of large publishers using sustainably sourced paper, books provide a permanent feature in the hotel for guests to use and learn from. We included books that celebrate the natural world and the hotelโ€™s location, educating guests on why sustainability is vital to preserving these beautiful environments.

Langham – Boston

A photograph of the exterior of The Langham Boston showing the building and four flags.

Our second hotel, The Langham in Boston is also certified by EarthCheck as they commit themselves to be both a sustainable and a luxury destination in the city. While most may expect hotels concerned with sustainability to be found in the heart of a jungle or on a tropical beach, the Langham is bringing its sustainability goals to an area that struggles already with pollution and other environmental challenges.

The Langham has created a delicate balancing act between maintaining their luxury standards and providing the guests with amenities above and beyond their expectations. One way they manage this is by ensuring that all areas of the hotel are running efficiently, with energy-efficient light bulbs used throughout the hotel and bathroom fittings that reduce the amount of water needed. Even these small changes make a large difference when running a large business such as a hotel, reducing the number of resources used. These changes are something that can easily be made throughout the entire travel and tourism industry, with each bulb saving 140 kWh a year.

A photograph of an open book on a table in a suite at The Langham.

Similar to Zuri Zanzibar, The Langham puts a lot of effort into reducing the amount of waste it produces. All guest rooms have recycling facilities and all cooking oil is recycled into vehicle oil. Recycling cooking oil into biofuel both reduces waste from the restaurant and provides a fuel source that produces less carbon dioxide than petrol or diesel. These measures, in conjunction with using a food waste digester, mean that The Langham produces the least amount of waste possible.

Ultimate Library provided The Langham Boston with a book collection with many titles on smart thinking and science. These reflect all the well thought out design and logistical choices that make The Langham a climate-conscious hotel. We also supplied books that inform guests about Boston and the USA, bringing a sustainable and local source of information for guests.