In December, Lamington Group’s hotel brand, room2, opened the world’s first whole life net-zero ‘hometel’ in West London’s Chiswick district. Their hometel concept blends the comforts of staying at an Airbnb (think in-room kitchens and extended-stay flexibility) with the amenities and services provided by a hotel—all without the negative environmental impacts. Sally Fouts, Amazon’s global leader of The Climate Pledge, sat down with Melisa Gooding, Lamington Group’s Sustainability Specialist, to learn about room2’s industry-setting sustainability standards, the company’s aggressive net-zero real estate goals and plans to scale room2 lodging capacity to 5,000 by 2030.
Sally Fouts: First, tell us: What defines a “whole life” net-zero carbon hotel? And what makes room2 the world’s first with this status?
Melisa Gooding: A whole life net-zero carbon hotel takes all of its emissions into account, reduces them and balances unavoidable emissions to zero. That means that all carbon emissions associated with the hometel’s production and construction—including materials used, operations, maintenance, refurbishment and eventual demolition—will equal zero. We’re able to achieve whole life net-zero status by measuring our entire carbon footprint, reducing it wherever possible and offsetting unavoidable carbon emissions through a nature-based carbon removal project in Nicaragua, which uses bamboo to rapidly capture carbon.