Protecting our planet is at the forefront of many people’s minds – not least short-term rental hosts. Many of us understand the benefits of going green – from long-term cost savings to satisfying expectant guests.
And now there is a fresh incentive to take an environmentally friendly approach. Sustonica – the first dedicated sustainability programme for short-term rental hosts – has joined forces with Booking.com to ensure verified listings receive the highest sustainability rating on the platform.
The Sustonica sustainability badge is designed to showcase the fact short-term rentals have implemented sustainable practices, such as energy efficiency, waste reduction, water conservation, promoting the destination, and minimising negative impact on the community. Proofs are sent digitally in the form of invoices and geo-localised photos, before being externally verified by professional auditors according to ISO 19011:2018. Participating properties are required to achieve a minimum of 20% of the criteria according to ISO methodology known as the ‘PDCA cycle’ – a continuous loop of planning, doing, checking, and acting – to increase their score by at least 2% every year. You can apply for a Sustonica sustainability badge, which costs €49 (£42.33) per year, here.
Booking.com currently has three tiers of commitment to sustainable practices – and only 10% of participants are at level three. Having your property verified by Sustonica, however, will earn you a Travel Sustainable Level 3+ rating – the highest achievable on the platform and reserved for properties that have been externally verified. Check out this live example.
“We are extremely proud to be the first dedicated sustainability programme for short-term rentals accepted by Booking.com,” said Vanessa de Souza Lage, CEO, Sustonica. “This collaboration will drive positive change in the industry and enable travellers to make sustainable choices effortlessly. Now we can only hope that the other large online travel agencies will follow suit.”
A green endorsement might be the deciding factor in guests’ booking decisions. According to the Booking.com Sustainable Travel Report 2023:
51% believe there are not enough sustainable travel options
65% would feel better about staying in a particular accommodation if they knew it had a sustainable certification or label
59% want to filter their options for those with a sustainable certification next time they book