Sustainable living

How we’re making Sydney a sustainable holiday destination

More travellers are voting with their dollars and choosing accredited sustainable accommodation.

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The City of Sydney recently joined 900 local government jurisdictions from across the globe to call a climate emergency.

Globally, the hotel sector must reduce its emissions by a whopping 66 per cent by 2030 to help meet targets set in the Paris agreement and limit a global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees.

That’s why we’re working to ensure Sydney becomes a sustainable destination choice for business and holidays.

More travellers are choosing sustainable accommodation

Our sparkling harbour, beautiful beaches and amazing parks are the reason many people visit Sydney. And we need to provide them with sustainable choices to match.

According to Impact Travel Alliance’s Thought Leadership Study, 87 per cent of us now want to travel sustainably, and 39 per cent ‘often or always’ choose eco-friendly options.

A study of 72,000 Hilton guests found a third actively seek information about a hotel chain’s social, environmental and ethical commitment before they make a booking.

But it’s often hard to find information when you make a booking. And behaviour incentives during your stay can feel tokenistic – the whole ‘towel on the floor or the rack’ message.

Look for third party ratings and certifications

Popular sustainability ratings or certifications in Australia include NABERS for Hotels, Green Star – Performance and EarthCheck. Each is based on actual performance and is independently verified.

These ratings make the hotel look holistically at their environmental performance and put plans in place to improve.

If you have plans to travel soon, ask the hotel which rating or certification they hold. If they don’t have one, ask them to get one.

Businesses and government agencies use these certifications and ratings when procuring preferred providers.

At the City of Sydney, we’ve amended our travel policy to preference rated hotels. We’re advocating to ensure other levels of government to do the same.

And we’re supporting local accommodation providers to step up to become accredited sustainable destinations.

We also offer grants for accommodation providers to get their first environmental rating or certification.

So when planning your next trip – keep sustainability top of mind. Your choices are a powerful way to promote change and accelerate action.

Published 12 September 2019, updated 14 January 2020