UK: Airbnb is partnering with British bank NatWest and Energy Saving Trust to launch a new Sustainable Hosting Hub that will help hosts in the UK retrofit and improve the energy efficiency of their homes.
As part of the partnership, Airbnb will invest a further £500,000 to its £1 million Sustainable Hosting Fund to provide more grants to hosts looking to make energy efficiency improvements. UK hosts will be able to take an energy efficient assessment of their listing and apply for a grant in the aforementioned hub.
The new platform will provide additional financing options from NatWest and include a marketplace with government accredited installers and contractors in the local area. On top of that, it will feature a dashboard to monitor the progress of all works through to completion so that hosts can maximise the energy efficiency of their homes and save on energy costs amid a cost of living crisis, all in one place.
Amanda Cupples, general manager for Northern Europe at Airbnb, said: “As living costs continue to rise, we look forward to collaborating with NatWest on this campaign to bolster the UK’s stock of energy-efficient homes, benefit everyday hosts, and help to build sustainable communities across the country. Our Sustainable Hosting Plan has already helped hundreds of hosts make energy-efficient changes to their homes and save on their bills in the process and we recognise the difference it can make to our community.”
The news follows the launch of Airbnb’s Sustainable Hosting Plan last November.
In March, Airbnb and the Energy Saving Trust Foundation joined forces to launch a £1 million climate action fund for disadvantaged young people across the UK. The climate action fund was made up of equal donations from Airbnb and Energy Saving Trust in a bid to build a sustainable future for young people.
Home energy efficiency improvements such as fitting insulation or replacing an old boiler can reduce bills and carbon emissions but they often come with daunting upfront costs, according to Airbnb. The latest data from NatWest indicated that for UK homeowners, the cost of having work done was by far the greatest barrier to energy efficiency home improvements – although one in four millennials see a high Energy Performance Certificate [EPC] rating as essential when buying a home.
Tanvi Gokhale, head of strategy for retail banking at NatWest Group, said: “Our partnership with Airbnb brings together two organisations proudly committed to supporting people to navigate this acute squeeze on their finances. By surfacing our innovative financing options in the Airbnb journey, we will empower hosts to take proactive steps to improve the sustainability of their properties.
“This will enable them to make their homes more comfortable whilst also saving money on bills. Through this collaboration with Airbnb and by bringing together our respective areas of expertise, we hope to have a greater impact on the communities that we serve,” added Gokhale.
Airbnb committed to becoming a net zero company by 2030 two years ago. Since then, the company has set out to reduce its corporate greenhouse gas emissions and address residual emissions by investing in solutions such as nature-based projects.