Vote Now in the HI Sustainability Fund 2015 Competition!

Last modified on May 24th, 2016 at 2:15 pm

October 05, 2015

**See the results of the 2015 HISF Competition here** 

**The voting period has ended, stay tuned for the 2016 edition of the Competition!**

Have your say in the HI Sustainability Fund Competition 2015! All our running projects are on deck to impress; the projects leaders are now waiting for you to deliberate!

So far, the HI Sustainability Fund has allowed ideas to bloom, emissions of CO2 to lower, solar energy to be created, and the environment to benefit. And you can help enhancing the effect! You will find the voting survey link at the end of the description of each project and on this page. Scroll down to learn more about the participating projects, the competition and the jury members and to vote!

Click on the image to access the quiz!


What is the HI Sustainability Fund?

The jury

Previous winning projects

100% of the donations made to the HI Sustainability Fund go directly to the winning projects. This year, a total amount of £12,000 has been raised and is about to be given to the best projects. Who will you give your vote to?
Canada - Solar power installation at HI-Athabasca

005 - Solar power installation at HI-Athabasca - CanadaProject type: Sun

Estimation of number of tonnes CO2 reduced: 15 tonnes of CO2 per year.​

Project: This project consists in implementation of existing solar power installation at HI-Athabasca Falls in the Jasper National Park in Alberta to become totally independent of the current diesel generator in operation. The project also includes an educational dimension, giving information to guests and employees through signage about the off-grid power system. Read more

England & Wales - YHA Hadrian's Wall at The Sill

006 - YHA Hadrian’s Wall at The Sill - England & WalesProject type: Energy efficiency, Education in sustainability, Sun, Other

Estimation of number of tonnes CO2 reduced: 16.3 tonnes of CO2 per year

Project: The Sill (UK’s first dedicated landscape discovery centre) will attract more than 100,000 visitors each year to the all-weather, year-round facility that will incorporate a new Youth Hostel, YHA Hadrian’s Wall, retail facilities and a café. Read more

France - Solar cells at Belle Ile Youth Hostel

009 - Solar cells, FranceProject type: Sun, Energy Efficiency, Education in Sustainability

Estimation of number of tonnes CO2 reduced: 4.2 tonnes of CO2e emissions per year. It will also avoid the burning of about 2,000 litres of fuel per year.

Project: This project consists of the implementation of solar cells on the main building to warm cold water and to limit the use of the fuel oil boiler. Indeed, a solar water heater does not succeed in covering all of the hot water needs of the Youth Hostel, especially when the period of sunshine is too low or when the hot water demand is occasionally too high. That is why the Youth Hostel chose this project.

Read more

Iceland - Restore our Land

008 - Restore Our Land - IcelandProject type: Restoration and Carbon Sequestration on severely degraded land

Estimation of number of tonnes CO2 reduced: 28 tonnes of CO2 per year

Project: HI Iceland joins forces with Landvernd, the Icelandic Environment Association in order to offset the CO2 emissions of staff and guests staying at the HI Iceland Hostels by offering them the chance to take part in restoration and carbon sequestration initiatives.

Read more

Israel - HVAC system upgrading for better energy efficiency at Beit Shean Youth Hostel

007-Beit Shean Youth HostelProject type: Energy Efficiency

Estimation of number of tonnes CO2 reduced: 400 tonnes of CO2 per year

Project: The main purpose of the installation of this system is to increase the energy efficiency of the water heating and  air conditioning systems in the hostel . Read more

Netherlands - A breath of fresh air

Project type: Wind, Education in Sustainability

Estimation of number of tonnes CO2 reduced: 1,168 tonnes of CO2 per year

Project: Programme to involve guest in the realisation of an investment in wind energy. By developing an extra tool on our website where guests can offset the CO2 emissions of their stay. The total amount obtained from the voluntary fee will be invested in wind energy. Read more

Norway - Electric cars welcome!

002 - Electric cars welcome! - NorwayProject type: Energy Efficiency, Water, Education in Sustainability

Estimation of number of tonnes CO2 reduced: 5.2 tonnes of CO2 per year

Project: To install and promote charging stations for EV cars in hostels in designated areas in Norway where we believe the environmental benefits will be the greatest. Read more

Spain - Forest of Senses

003 - Forest of Senses - SpainProject type: Energy Efficiency, Education in Sustainability, Other

Estimation of number of tonnes CO2 reduced: 83.2 tonnes of CO2 per year

Project: To quantify the amount of GHG emissions which are released into the atmosphere as a result of our daily activities or the commercialisation of a product. To carry out and encourage the participation in environmental education activities aimed at reducing the carbon footprint. Read more

USA - A study for future Solar across HI USA

004 - Solar Study - USAProject type: Sun, Education in sustainability

Estimation of number of tonnes CO2 reduced: 152 tonnes of CO2 per year

Project: We will be partnering with a developer to install solar panels at as many feasible locations across our network as possible. In our agreement, the developer will own and maintain the systems while we get an instant discount on the renewable electricity generated. The savings can then be reinvested immediately into other energy efficiency and sustainability education programs. This assessment will provide the developer with all the information they need to determine solar feasibility for 38 of our hostels. Our goal is for the developer to install 5-10 systems in the first phase. Read more

Let the associations know that you value their project

Your vote will allow for reduction of CO2 emissions in our network.

What is the HI Sustainability Fund?

The Hostelling International Sustainability Fund (HISF) was launched in April 2012. The idea of this being that the HI traveller can donate a small amount of money per overnight stay through our booking platform to the HISF in order to help our network to finance projects to reduce their CO2 emissions. Following a great success in the first two editions, the HI Sustainability Fund will award the best hostel projects with a grant from the fund again this year!

However, this year’s events will feature a new and exciting twist! One third of the decisional power will be given to you, through our voting survey, and the two other thirds of the decisional power will be assumed by an international jury and the sustainability coordinators of the National Associations that are part of HI. We are asking our guests, members and the general public to help us select the project to win the HISF 2015 by voting for their favourite project/s. The voting period opens on the 5th of October 2015 and closes on 5th of December 2015.

The jury members

4 international figures able in the area of sustainability have kindly accepted to be part of our jury for the HI Sustainability Fund 2015 Competition:

Nathalie Colguhoun
Team Manager in the Materials department at the British Board of Agrément and active participator of product assessment.
Erika Harms
Founder of Planet4People, a consulting firm that promotes sustainable practices and economic alternatives as a solution to pressing issues concerning resources and poverty.
Brianda Lopez
HI’s Sustainability Manager
Yvonne Zueger
Project Manager and a specialist in sustainable building in the city of Zurich, currently involving herself in a new project called the ‘2000- Watt- Society aiming to reduce energy usage.

Previous winning projects

So far, this competition has granted 6 great projects with a total of £105,000 :


1st place: YHA Boggle Hole in the UK (see their project)

2nd place: HI – Whiskey Jack in Canada (see their project)

3rd place: Eilat hostel in Israel (see their project)

Runners up: Shining hostels, in Brazil (see their project); Paris Yves Robert YH, in France (see their project); HI Iceland, in Iceland (see their project); Stayokay, in the Netherlands (see their project); YHA Rotorua, in New Zealand (see their project);  Seohae Youth Hostel (Timber House), in South Korea (see their project); Youth Hostel “Mar i Vent”, in Spain (see their project); Davos Youth Hostel, in Switzerland (see their project); Dubai Youth Hostel, in UAE (see their project).


1st place: Snowdon Pen-y-Pass in the UK (see their project)

2nd place: As Corcerizas in Spain (see their project)

3rd place: HI-USA in USA (see their project)

Runners up: Grampians Eco YHA, in Australia; Youth Hostel Sucre, YH El Villar and YH La Paz, in Bolivia; Shining hostels, in Brazil; HI Kananaskis, in Canada; Heart 2 Heart Youth Hostel, in China; Reykjavík Downtown Hostel, Loft Hostel and Reykjavík City Hostel, in Iceland; Youth Hostel Ein-Gedi, in Israel; Youth Hostel Nuovo Ostello di Bergamo, YH Mergellina Naples and YH Villa Camerata Florence, in Italy; Stayokay, in the Netherlands; YHA Rotorua, in New Zealand; HI Slovenia, in Slovenia; Davos Youth Hostel, in Switzerland. Should you be interested in seeing the details of any of these projects, please leave us a comment.

In addition to the winning grants, we believe that sharing of ideas on sustainability is an important step forward. Not only did the hostels that presented a project during the past editions get to put down a detailed plan which otherwise may not have been put into action; they also were able to compare their work to that of others, and to learn and share with inspiring sustainability agents within our network.

Thank you for your contribution!

17 Comments. Leave new

They should put water turbines at the mouth of the river Mersey.

How about directly turn wind energy into warm air? Think of a pump for your bike which gets heated when force is used. A wing can create low pressure which next may be compressed, preferably in a windmill with (not disturbing) vertical axis. P.e. it can be used on a bus shelter, to warm up a tent or small boat and at large scale….. Of course the mill will generate electricity too. I propose a contest among students or universities with a rewarding prize for needed theory. If construction succeeds that will pay itself.

Thank you Peter and Jitso for your interest in our sustainability projects and for your suggestions; they are very welcome and these are great ideas that will be taken into consideration in the future.

Think that ground heat source technology worth looking at especially in remote hostels. Also investing in full solar roof systems when roofs need renewal of whole thing. See Dr. Sue Roaf of Oxford England, featured in Greenpeacee literature some years ago. Entire house and car solar. Also worth looking into vortex technologies, have heard this is something new. Best of luck, this is a very good idea for future generations of hostelling.

Carlos Humberto Andrade Moraes
Saturday October 31st, 2015 03:41 AM

It was a pleasure to stay at HI Chicago.
Great atmosphere, nice staff.
I wonder returning to HI Chicago as soon as possible.

Nice project for this hostel in an island

I vote for Island

Of the many hostels I’ve stayed in over the past 40 years, I have yet to see any promote preservation of our most important resource: clean, freshwater. This can be achieved two ways: using a tankless water system (currently installed at he 5-star Ferry Inn, Stromness,Orkney Islands) or a shut-off valve. Both can interrupt the flow of water, eliminating the “Hollywood” shower, allowing for a naval tradition: “wet down, soap down, rinse off”. I’ve practiced this consistently, and have even used a 2-gallon bucket of clean freshwater that I had filled during the “water hours” rationing aboard ship while in the Indian Ocean!

All hostels/overnighteries need to promote effective clean freshwater conservation by installing shut-off valves behind the showerheads to keep water from continuing to flow while applying shampoo, soap, etc. This avoids “Hollywood” showers and excess use of a precious resource.

I think that it is wonderful that you devote part of your incomes to Sustainable Projects

Please include other countries like Argentina
kind regards

One night in Rekyavik, before riding tour. Nice house near the swimming pool; a lot of opportunities inside and just around the hotel. Great !!!

I recommend as a environmental sustainability project; funding for Nonviolent Peaceforce. Reducing violence and protecting civilians so they can address the conflicts in their community non violently is a great contribution to the environment.

I heard there are some great airfares from the US stopping in Iceland…can you say anything more about them?

Wish to stay
Inout hostel Spain
Many times in life

Thanks for asking, Scott! Unfortunately we aren’t airfare experts, but it does seems like recently there have been great airfare deals all over the place!

You need to update the sustainability fund page, it dates to 2015 with no updates. It is now 2018!

Hey, Harvey! If you’re at our blog homepage and click “HI Sustainability Fund”, it should take you to this year’s competition! Here are our 2016 and 2017 HISF Competitions:

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