31 Japanese Hotels Certified as Climate-Friendly SDG Locations

Amid a growing global trend for environment-friendly travel offerings, 31 hotels and “ryokan” traditional inns across Japan have been certified as locations striving to achieve UN sustainable development goals.

The recognition of the locations, given as of the end of April by a Japanese organisation, comes as more facilities aim to attract inbound travelers and revitalise the country’s tourism industry badly hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Tokyo-based organisation oversees the evaluation of accommodation facilities. Under its “Sakura Quality” scheme, an establishment is judged using criteria that include decarbonization and cutting down on waste.

The group said it has received requests for evaluations from about 200 facilities and hopes to certify around 2,000 establishments in the future, according to a Kyodo News report.

The ‘Sakura Quality an ESG Practice Standard’ for hotels and ryokans in Japan consists of 172 items: 117 environment-related items, 17 social-related items, and 38 business-related items.

Sakura Quality began research in April 2011, and under its “Sakura Quality” scheme, an establishment is judged using criteria that include decarbonisation and cutting down on waste.

Of the authenticated hotels, Kamikochi Imperial Hotel in Nagano Prefecture achieved carbon neutrality by purchasing energy derived via hydroelectricity. Sapporo Prince Hotel in Hokkaido ditched plastic straws and has been disinfecting wastewater and reusing it in bathrooms.

According to a survey last year by hotel reservation website Booking.com, 81% of respondents said it was important to travel sustainably.

#decarbonisation #sustainability #hydro