In December, world's first net zero carbon hotel will open in London

Paperless check-in, no more tiny bottles of shampoo — hotels have long been taking (baby) steps towards sustainability. A new hotel in West London, however, will be the first whole life net zero carbon hotel. To make that claim, room2 Chiswick is stacking up a host of green initiatives.

The newly-built, all-electric hotel will use geothermal pumps for 100% of its heating, cooling and hot water. Energy for other purposes will be sourced renewably, including 5% from its own solar panels. Covering the building is a green roof on top of a blue roof — the upper layer to increase biodiversity, the lower to store up to 50,000 liters of rainwater and decrease local flooding.

Two lab rooms provide data on energy and water use as well as air quality, and the hotel will be partnering with universities to test new technologies for reducing carbon emissions. Then there's in-room recycling, low-flow showers... In short, room2 is upping the ante on hotel sustainability.

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Booking.com's annual Sustainable Travel Report found that 81% of  travelers intend to stay in a sustainable accommodation at least once in 2021. That's up from 62% in 2016. To attract those consumers, the travel industry will snowball its efforts to be environmentally responsible, with sustainability added to a hotel's features alongside design, comfort and location. 

So expect to see more 'world's firsts' pop up around the world — the ITC Windsor in Bengaluru, for example, just announced that it's the first hotel in the world to be certified LEED Zero Carbon.

Whatever industry you're in, room2 in Chiswick is a reminder that sustainability requires a thoroughly holistic approach. Which elements will your brand tackle next?

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