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Global Youth Travel Awards 2017

Best Green Accommodation Initiative 2017

YHA Australia

As part of the world’s largest budget accommodation network, Hostelling International, YHA Australia has fully embraced 2017 as the UNWTO’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, implementing initiatives to reduce the environmental impact of their eighty-five hostels around Australia.

In 2017, YHA adopted a new Sustainability Action Plan, which encompasses all layers of the organisation – from the Directors setting strategy, down to the chickens laying fresh eggs for their guests at Port Stephens YHA. They also bring their guests along on the green journey, with initiatives such as ceasing the sale of bottled water from vending machines at key hostels and installing drinkable water fountains instead.

As well as incorporating environmental initiatives into their everyday operations at YHA, they also operate a crowd-funded Sustainable Hostels Fund, to which guests can voluntarily contribute $1 per booking. YHA then matches these contributions dollar-for-dollar and uses this money for green projects at hostels around Australia, with the objectives of reducing energy and water consumption, carbon emissions and waste generation.

Since the scheme began in 2010, YHA’s guests have raised over a quarter of a million dollars. The Fund bankrolls one major project each year, meaning seven projects have been completed to date as follows: Adelaide Central YHA (solar hot water), Alice Springs YHA (solar power, feeding to the grid), Byron Bay YHA (solar hot water), Perth City YHA (solar power), Pittwater YHA in Sydney (solar hot water), Railway Square YHA (solar hot water), and Sydney Harbour YHA (solar power installed in 2017).

Read more about YHA’s committment to sustainability here.