5 Reasons Serviced Apartments are Leading the Way in Sustainable Travel

5 Reasons Serviced Apartments are Leading the Way in Sustainable Travel

5 Reasons Serviced Apartments are Leading the Way in Sustainable Travel
17th February 2022

In recent years sustainability has become a core component of many corporate travel programmes. As predicted in our recent 2022 forecast, corporations adapting to new sustainability and carbon offsetting initiatives are factoring in the sustainability of accommodation options when making bookings. In many cases, these requirements quickly eliminate large hotels and sharing economy options which do not typically offer robust sustainability measures. Consequently, serviced apartments are rapidly becoming the environmentally conscious corporate choice for sustainable travel. Discover exactly how serviced apartments are providing a greener pathway for corporate travellers with our countdown.

1. Sustainable by Design

sustainable apartment
The very design and proposition of serviced apartments makes them innately more sustainable than hotel equivalents

Compared with other forms of accommodation, serviced apartments are by nature more environmentally friendly. Utilising new buildings and units, or retrofitting existing developments, operators have been able to implement a clear and adaptable energy efficiency programme when designing or enhancing their serviced apartments. With the serviced apartment experience revolving around guest independence and privacy, the mass use of carbon-reliant supply chains associated with hotels is eliminated, as is the reliance on consuming in-house services. Indeed, as mentioned in our article outlining our partnership with Trees4Travel, serviced apartments produce, on average, less than half of a single hotel room’s 31.1kg of CO2 a night. This, combined with clear guest wellbeing benefits, makes the CSR value of serviced apartments especially attractive.

2. Standardisation and Compliance

apartment buildings compliance
Many serviced apartment buildings obtain environmentally focused compliance certificates to demonstrate their sustainability commitments

The serviced apartment sector has evolved – particularly within the last four years – to demonstrate enhanced levels of standardisation. In doing so, apartments present a more competitive offering to contend with the established, widely recognised regulations of hotel accommodation. In 2019, prior to the advent of COVID-19, SilverDoor introduced its health and safety compliance programme in partnership with leading accreditation bodies Common Sense Compliance and Quality in Tourism. This resulted in an upsurge of properties earning specified health and safety accreditations and narrowed the gap between serviced apartments and large hotel brands in terms of compliance. Building on this momentum, we have launched a programme to encourage our partners to share their environmental practices and accreditations as to better place them for bookings with sustainable travel programmes. Ultimately, this will enable corporate clients to search properties based on their sustainability offering – making serviced apartments’ sustainability practices completely transparent. As an agent, we have also earned accreditations with albert and REST – as well as ISO certification – and we are seeing more and more of our partners follow suit.

3. Extended Stay – Reducing the Need for Travel

sustainable travel remote working apartment
Extended stay living in serviced apartments reduces the need for multiple corporate journeys across the year

One of the innate benefits of serviced apartments is their suitability for extended stay bookings. With corporations opting for fewer journeys and longer stay periods post-pandemic (as detailed in our Nomadic Travel blog) the ‘liveability’ factor of serviced apartments makes them the natural choice for traveller accommodation. With guest wellbeing at the core of serviced apartment stays, corporate travellers are guaranteed to experience high levels of comfort and independence regardless of the length of their booking. The capacity to deliver this long-stay experience helps to reduce dependence on frequent flights and large hotel chains – instead capitalising on extended stay trips, with the option to house multiple colleagues in shared apartments for more sustainable travel programmes. Furthermore, with our extensive portfolio of apartments in every major city, we can source accommodation as close to the client’s office as possible, further mitigating CO2 emissions incurred through commuter travel.   

4. Economic Practices

economic cleaning
Housekeeping is an important feature of serviced apartments, but one that takes place at economically viable intervals

Serviced apartment operators typically deploy a less carbon-intensive incarnation of traditional hotel services. Partly the reason why serviced apartments provide such excellent value, these economic practices are also geared towards enhancing guest autonomy and reducing associated carbon emissions. For example, most serviced apartments offer a weekly or bi-weekly housekeeping service – enabling guests to live free from regular intrusions whilst also greatly reducing the carbon footprint of regular (and often unnecessary) laundry and cleaning services. Similarly, the majority of serviced apartments utilise energy saving technology – from dishwashers and showers to solar panels and storage heaters. Naturally these facilities reduce cost for the operator and make their properties more attractive to sustainable travel conscious clients. The financial incentive this brings is motivating providers to install such energy saving features throughout their premises – in turn instigating healthy competition within the sector to demonstrate enhanced sustainable innovation and ultimately win larger corporate clients.

5. Co-working and Sharing Ethos

co-working sustainable travel
Serviced apartments provide plentiful space for co-working

Another way in which serviced apartments are optimised for sustainable travel is their capacity for multi-guest use. Unlike restrictive hotel rooms which are rarely suitable for more than two people for a short stay, serviced apartments come with a breadth of bedroom options and proportionate living space to enable comfortable co-habitation. This affords obvious sustainability benefits, with shared apartments generating considerably less CO2 than individual hotel rooms. Beyond the environmental benefits of booking multiple travellers into a single unit, apartments also provide co-working advantages. Often featuring dedicated working spaces, apartments are ideal places to host impromptu co-working sessions or even fully remote workdays. With a kitchen and ample sitting space, serviced apartments can be used to relax with colleagues – reducing the CO2 footprint of visiting multiple venues for meals and meetings. Indeed, with facilities such as dedicated meeting rooms, cafes and collaborative spaces often included on-site at apartment properties, the sharing ethos can extend to every aspect of a guest’s stay to significantly reduce the impact of corporate travel.  

Eager to discover how else serviced apartments can benefit your travel programme? Read our articles about how traveller tracking can benefit your business, and how the SilverDoor service can take the strain out of your bookings.

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