YHA News

Our Green SPIRIT Plan 2 2015 – 2018

We know that caring for the environment is more important to customers than ever, so why should green travellers stay with YHA? Well along with winning the HI Sustainability Fund prize twice, having many hostels on the TripAdvisor GreenLeaders program and being finalists for the Global Youth Travel Award’s Green Accommodation Initiative award, there’s our Green SPIRIT Plan 2.

Our Green SPIRIT Plan 2 is packed with details on how YHA is becoming greener and what we’re doing to reduce waste and our carbon footprint. It helps staff take responsibility for their impact on the environment, sets realistic targets to reduce hostel waste and showcases what we’ve done.

In the words of YHA CEO Caroline White: “YHA aims to reach out and enhance the lives of young people. We encourage a spirit of adventure for people of all ages, inspiring them to discover the world around us, and to broaden their horizons.

It’s really important that, in doing this, we do everything we can to reduce the impact we have on the environment, reducing the energy and water we use and the waste we produce.”

The Green SPIRIT Plan 2 sets out our plans for the next three years and can be accessed here. We’re very proud of our objectives for becoming forerunners in eco-tourism and we’re constantly measuring our progress. We measure the energy we use, the carbon we produce and the waste we recycle. A little scepticism is only natural, so feel free to take a browse of the plan and see exactly what we’ve been up to at our hostels! Here are some of the highlights:

• Successful investment in technology such as biomass heating, solar panels and LED lighting

• Our renewables saving over 205 tonnes of CO2 from 2011 to summer 2015

• Saving an estimated £28,000 per year by replacing our network’s old computers

• Using a totally green supply of sustainably-generated electricity from March 2014

To put it into perspective, since 2011 we’ve saved more than the CO2 equivalent to a fully laden jumbo jet flying around the globe – or a family car driving 30 times around the World.

Want to see how much we’ve changed? Read more about some of our greenest hostels here.

But we’re not resting on our laurels. We’ve got ambitious plans for the next three years and we want to grasp every opportunity available to improve. From installing LED lights to making sure new hostels are built with the planet in mind, here are some of the things we’re aiming for:

• We aim to tactically replace old boilers with more efficient types like biomass

• By the end of 2016 hostels will only be able to purchase energy efficient light bulbs

• By March 2016 recycling rates of 80% of our total waste should be achieved

• By March 2017 the network will be supported by ‘environmental champions’

And with such a wide variety of beautiful properties (some historical or needing updating), we’re dedicated to making our new and old hostels environmentally-friendly as possible. Look out for our green facilities the next time you stay with us and get involved. Keeping our locations amazing is an integral part of what we do, so we want everyone to share our love for the great outdoors.

Want to find out more? Read the full Green SPIRIT Plan 2 here to see the details.

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