CO2 emissions per comfort class
When you book a hotel, you probably pay attention to the comfort rating. The more stars, the more luxury. But did you know that more comfort also means more CO2e emissions? In this article, we explain how the comfort rating of hotels in Europe is regulated, why it urgently needs revision, and how you, as an environmentally conscious traveler, can make a greener choice.
The comfort rating of hotels is based on a number of criteria, such as the size of the rooms, the presence of an elevator, the quality of service, and so on. It might make sense that more luxury consumes more energy, and thus emits more CO2e. But how big a difference is that really? We compared the average CO2e emissions per night per room of hotels with 2 to 5 stars in different European countries. You can see the results in the chart below.
2-star hotels clearly emit the least. At three stars, there is another “limited” 30% increase. At 4 stars it already becomes a doubling and at 5 stars we get to more than a quadrupling of emissions.
Surely that calls for action from both governments and the environmentally conscious traveler.
Call to governments
We feel that hotel comfort ratings no longer fit into the green deal philosophy. There must be a decoupling between comfort and CO2e emissions. One possible way to achieve this is to require hotels to post CO2e emissions per night per room. This allows travelers to make a more informed choice, and encourages hotels to reduce their emissions.
Tips for sustainable travelers
When booking a hotel, pay attention not only to the comfort rating, but also to the CO2e emissions. Chances are very good that a 5-star hotel with a green label will emit more than a 2-star hotel without a label. A green label does not always mean that a hotel is truly sustainable. A hotel may have achieved its label by making small changes, such as using LED lights or reducing water consumption. But that outweighs the great impact of the luxury amenities, such as a pool, a sauna, a minibar, and so on. So always look at how a hotel achieved its green label, and compare that to its CO2e emissions per night per room.