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Ask Me Anything: Sustainability with Thomas Loughlin, Sustainability Manager - Supply at Booking.com

Hello everyone!

I'm Thomas Loughlin, the Sustainability Manager - Supply at Booking.com. I've been working in the travel and hospitality industries for 19 years. Following the completion of my masters in tourism and business from Dublin Institute of Technology, I moved to the USA to work for one of the USA's first LEED accredited hotels. At Booking.com, I focus on product innovation/development, working to help both partners and customers on their sustainability journeys.

With Earth Day coming soon and sustainability remaining an increasingly hot topic in the guest experience, I'd like to invite you to share your questions, feedback and suggestions on this topic below and I will answer the most relevant ones as best as I can.

Please note: we are unable to answer any questions specific to your property or guests.

Guidelines:

  • All Booking.com partners on the Community are welcome to ask questions.
  • Questions must be on topic.
  • Questions that are off-topic, contain abusive language or are offensive in any nature will be removed.
  • Questions regarding individual claims, specific guests and reservation numbers will be removed.

I hope you will join the conversation and discover new ways to make your property more sustainable and attractive to travellers looking for sustainable stays.

Thank you and happy Earth Day!


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Bur'Dera a Bou… 1 year ago

Hello Thomas,

Can you suggest me how we can be more sustainable, like it would be great if you can suggest something which should be do to become more sustainable brand.

Thanks,

Vijay

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1 year ago
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Thomas Loughlin 1 year ago

Hi IBur'Dera a Boutique Luxury Hotel, I really love that you are asking this question, it all starts with small steps and it's perfectly okay not to know everything. It's a journey and something to embrace. Firstly I would check out the customer facing research here to give you an idea of what travellers are saying.Then I would read the sustainability handbook and at the same time I would suggest taking a look at the list of actions in the partner extranet under ‘Sustainable practices’. Use these two in combination as your starting point, almost as your checklist and manual. Finally engage your customers, bring them on the journey with you. Engage your community and look to create a support network with the businesses in your area. Sustainability is not a competitive advantage, we need it to maintain our destinations.

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1 year ago
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Nitin Sharma 1 year ago

I am Nitin Sharma have a home stay property in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India. We work very closely with the local artisans and women in slums. Where we teach them and their kids for free. We also have project where we teach sewing skills to women there. And we use the home furnishings items made by these ladies. So whatever we earn part of the profit goes for their financial upliftment. 
i would like to know how we can use this practice as a part of sustainability drive at our property. Would be great to know. Also is it possible where we can ask our guest if they would like to volunteer at our project. By this they will feel to be a part of sustainable living at our property.

looking forward to hear you.

thank you so much 

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1 year ago
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Thomas Loughlin 1 year ago

Hi Nitin Sharma, it’s so amazing to read about your efforts. You must be so proud. As these actions are related to supporting and investing in your local community we do have actions in the extranet that you can check as YES under the ‘Sustainable Practices’ section. We will continue to add more of these supporting community actions in the coming months so please keep an eye out for them.    


We know from research that guests are looking to travel more sustainably and want to leave destinations better than they found them. Check out the research here. Share your story with your guests, they will want to hear it and some will want to play a role. Find the right way for you to share with your guests, maybe at check-in or in the room or via email before they arrive.

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1 year ago
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Fluff (new account) 11 months ago

@Didem - Community Manager

 

@Thomas Loughlin

 

We have just received a questionnaire, from a third party on behalf of BDC, asking for evidence of sustainability practices.

 

Of the practices we do, ALL of these are handled by small man-with-truck services, as is normal in a third world country, with no paperwork involved. 

We make the effort but cannot prove it via any kind of certification. Only the much larger establishments can deal directly with actual recycling etc. companies. 

 

Therefore the questionnaire cannot be fulfilled despite us doing our part.

Photos = OK

Proof of purchase and installation of LED lighting = impossible

80% food etc. = we no longer serve food at this premises. Request is void and out of date.

Charity = we support several local charities but do not receive certification for this, all is done on a handshake (or a "wai" in our our case).

Showers = proof of purchase and install? Don't be ridiculous! Done by the janitor on our instruction, nothing to show.

 

Food waste = again done at local level, no proof available.

 

 

This shows a total lack of local knowledge from BDC, thinking that European standards and paperwork can be applied worldwide, it cannot!

 

What provision will be made for smaller properties that do their best but have no access to officialdom because of being too small???

 

form

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11 months ago
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Thomas Loughlin 10 months ago

Hello Fluff (new account), I want to start by saying thank you for taking the time to leave this comment. The information you shared was very helpful. I was able to share these comments with a number of members involved in developing the process of verifying data. We completely understand your position and we will take this feedback onboard for the next developments. 

 

Thank you again, 

Thomas 

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10 months ago
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Noubar Yessayan 11 months ago

HI ,

 

I have requested to remove the sustainability position from our page

this has not been done, can you please act on it?

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11 months ago
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Thomas Loughlin 10 months ago

Hello Noubar Yessayan, Thank you for your comment. Could you please clarify what you mean by “Sustainability Position”. If you are referring to the Travel Sustainable badge, you can do this by setting all the attributes to “No” in your extranet under the “Sustainability Practices” section.  

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10 months ago