HI Hostels Blog

Make a difference: vote wisely! – The 2017 HI Sustainability Fund Competition

**The results are announced here!!**

You can still test your knowledge in sustainability with this quiz:

[vc_actionbox type=”primary” controls=”right” title=”How much do you know about sustainable tourism?” button1=”Take the quiz!” link1=”https://quiz.fbapp.io/how-much-do-you-know-about-sustainable-tourism-2133365″ target=“_blank” style1=”outline” size1=”big” style2=”default”]

Would you like to show your support for innovative sustainable initiatives in our hostels? Look no further than this year’s HI Sustainability Fund!

Stand out

Scroll down to read more and pick your favourite project (you can vote for up to 2!),

Find the voting survey link at the end of the description of each project and on this page. 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 by voting!


What is the HI Sustainability Fund?

The jury members

Previous winning projects


[vc_accordion_tab title=”Projects” icon=””]

100% of the donations made to the HI Sustainability Fund go directly to the winning projects. This year, a total amount of £19,799.57 has been raised and will be given directly to our lovely hostels to implement their project ideas. Who will you vote for?




Project type: Energy efficiency, Water, Education in sustainability, Other

Estimation of number of tonnes CO2 reduced: The hostel hopes to reduce its CO2 consumption by 20 tonnes per year.

Project: Creation of a vegetable garden in permaculture in 1,250 metres in height with 100% organic, local, fair-trades meals or produced in the Youth Hostel and in favor of vegetarianism. Read more…


[vc_accordion_tab title=”Israel – HEATING PUMPS – SAVING ENERGY WHILE HEATING WATER IN MITZPE RAMON HOSTEL” icon=””]Israel project

Project type: Energy efficiency

Estimation of number of tonnes CO2 reduced: The project will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 130 tonnes per year.

Project: In order to increase the environmental sustainability of Mitzpe Ramon Hostel, a new heating system will be installed. This will replace the use of diesel with electrical heat pumps, reducing the hostel’s overall CO2 emissions. Read more…


[vc_accordion_tab title=”Spain – BIO-ALBERGUE LUG2″ icon=””]Albergue_Lug_2

Project type: Energy efficiency, Education in sustainability

Estimation of number of tonnes CO2 reduced: 13,16 tonnes per year

Project: This project consists of the Bio transformation of both the facilities and the use of them and their own activities. It aims to reduce CO2 emissions through the use of LED lighting, implement campaigns to educate the city on sustainable hostelling, promote sustainability through Non-Regulated Housing Education programs, include sustainability through the hostel’s entrepreneurial spaces and create sustainable tourism packages. Read more…


[vc_accordion_tab title=”USA – A PATH TOWARD ZERO WASTE AT HI NYC” icon=””]Project USA

Project type: Energy efficiency, Education in sustainability, Other

Estimation of number of tonnes CO2 reduced: 8.94 total metric tons of carbon dioxide diverted (reduced plus offset) per year

Project: An in‐vessel composter will give the hostel a key tool to implement a complete waste separation program with the aim of one day achieving zero waste. The hostel currently recycles 25% of its waste, but this piece of equipment alone will help get near 50%. With better communication and equipment as part of this project, our recycling rate will increase as well. The goal is a 75% diversion rate (recycling plus composting) by 2020. Read more…



[vc_actionbox type=”primary” controls=”right” title=”Be the game-changer!” button1=”Vote Now!” link1=”http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/3751375/HI-Sustainability-Fund-2017-Public-vote” target=“_blank” style1=”outline” size1=”big” style2=”default”]

Make sure you read all 4 projects (and their descriptive sheets with all the details) before you vote! Your vote will allow the winning projects to implement CO2 emission-reducing measures in our global network of hostels.

What is the HI Sustainability Fund?

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

We are asking our guests, members and the public to help us select the 2017 winning project by voting for their favourite project/s. The voting period opens on the 6th October 2017 and closes on 20th of December 2017.

One third of the decision-making power will be handed over to you, through the voting survey. The other two thirds will be made up of an international jury and the sustainability coordinators of the HI’s National Associations.

GAME ON_Twitter

The jury members

4 international figures in the field of sustainability have kindly accepted to be part of our jury for the HI Sustainability Fund 2017 Competition.


[vc_accordion_tab title=”Léanne Bonhomme” icon=””]

General Director of Engineers Without Borders Québec, a Canadian Non-governmental Organisation working on the improvement of living conditions through sustainable engineering projects in collaboration with stakeholders from developping countries.


[vc_accordion_tab title=”Erika Harms” icon=””]

Founder of Planet4People, a consulting firm that promotes sustainable practices and economic alternatives as a solution to pressing issues concerning resources and poverty.


[vc_accordion_tab title=”Brianda Lopez” icon=””]

HI`s very own Head of Programmes, Standards and Sustainability. Brianda oversees the overarching strategy  of various global programmes in our network of hostels, supporting and promoting the positive effects of our activities on communities, the environment and economy.


[vc_accordion_tab title=”Yvonne Zueger” icon=””]

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

Since the first edition, this competition has granted 13 great projects with a total of £135,651.42, saving 1,525.0205+ tonnes of CO2 per year of activity of the granted projects.

Take a look at the winning projects from the past two years:


1st place: Bettmar Ecohostel, in Spain (see their project)

2nd place: HI Point Montara Lighthouse, in USA (see their project).

3rd place: HI Rampart Creek, in Canada (see their project).

4th place: Stayokay, in the Netherlands (see their project)

Runners up: FUAJ, in France; Hi Masada, in Israel; Gjøvik Hostel in Norway; Ullapool Youth Hostel in Scotland; Youth Hostel Tresor in Slovenia; STF Grövelsjön mountain station in Sweden.


1st place: HI Iceland, in Iceland (see their project)

2nd place: Stayokay, in the Netherlands (see their project)

3rd place: HI-Athabasca Falls, in Canada (see their project)

Runners up: YHA Hadrian`s Wall at The Sill in England & WalesBelle Ile Youth Hostel in FranceBeit Shean Youth Hostel, in Israel; NorwayAlbergue Juvenile Espinosa de los Monteros in Spain; HI USA.

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

Thank you for your support and interest!

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