Finland: Helsinki Offers Environmentally Friendly Accommodation for Travellers
Hostel Domus Academica is the first in Finland to count the emissions generated by accommodation and to compensate for them.
Operating in Helsinki every summer, Hostel Domus Academica is the first known Finnish accommodation establishment to have extensively calculated the carbon footprint of its operations. Hostel Domus Academica also compensates for the emissions caused by running the hostel.
In 2011, the carbon dioxide emissions were compensated by supporting a windmill project in Zhangbei, located in the Chinese province of Hebei. The windmill project comprises the construction of 66 wind power turbines. The project will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by over 100,000 tons per year as wind power will replace part of the traditional power plant’s capacity. In practice, the compensation is done by buying as many emission allowances from the project as are needed to compensate for the emissions caused by hostel business. The emissions trading is realised by Nordic Offset Ltd. So far, the compensation for the running of Hostel Domus Academica has been a total of 100 carbon dioxide tons in one summer.
“Compensating for the greenhouse gasses is easy, it only takes one decision. Calculating the emissions reliably and extensively, on the other hand, is a much more challenging job,” says Tuula Pohjola from Crnet Ltd, who conducted the calculation of Hostel Domus Academica's carbon footprint.
The carbon footprint of Hostel Domus Academica consists of the greenhouse emissions caused by running the hostel: energy consumption, water consumption, waste water, cleaning services, linen services, transport of the personnel, procurements, waste collection and disposal along with recycling.
Hostel Domus Academica is a part of HYY Group, which is owned by the students of the University of Helsinki. The leading principle of the HYY Group is corporate responsibility.
“We don’t pay attention to eco-friendliness just because we believe it creates a competitive edge. We also do it because our owner, the Student Union of the University of Helsinki, wants that from us. In addition to the compensation, we try to reduce our carbon footprint in many different ways,” summarises Arja Kosonen of the HYY Group.
Environmentally conscious travellers are lured to Hostel Domus Academica with eco-friendly accommodation, especially this summer, when the European Athletics Championships and World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 are expected to attract large crowds.
For more information and to make your booking please visit Hostel Domus Academica.
08 June 2012