Sustainability as an experience

Sustainability is a matter close to our hearts

The topics environment and sustainability are not only firmly anchored in the guiding principles of the regional association in Baden-Württemberg, they are actively lived in the youth hostels. This became apparent in the construction and energy management, in catering and operation, in the profiling of youth hostels as well as by creating innovative, sustainable projects and programmes.

The efforts already made need to be strengthened to experience comprehensive sustainable minimum standards in the future all over Baden-Württemberg in the sense of our quality understanding. The sustainability standards of the regional association Baden-Württemberg are based on the current standards of the quality concept “Youth Hostels – 100% proofed quality”. Our business activities are therefore focussed on clear and measurable goals and standards, which are effective and improve absolutely the social and environmental compatibility of our activities.


The Concept: “Sustainability as an experience”

The pilot youth hostels in Bad-Urach, Herrenwies, Heidelberg and Ueberlingen were successfully audited by the main association on June 29, 2017. The entire implementation in the whole regional association has started in the second half of the year 2017.

With the additional certificate “Sustainability as an experience” we guarantee our guests from end of 2018 an environmentally, economically and socially sustainable minimum quality in all youth hostels in Baden-Wuerttemberg. Among other things, this includes the following:

  • 100% renewable energy (green power)
  • CO2 foot print (greenhouse gas balance) and climate-neutral overnight stay:
  • energy efficiency measures regarding lamps, water flow and heating
  • organic food in the group catering and supply of organic drinks
  • supply of coffee and fish only with sustainability certificate
  • a meat-reduced catering or a veggie day
  • fresh and mainly regional fruit and vegetables
  • papers with environmental labels 
  • climate-neutrally printed products
  • programme offers to promote an education for sustainable development


Compensate for unavoidable CO2

Starting in January 2018, our guests have the possibility with a voluntary payment of additional 0,20 Euro per overnight stay to compensate the unavoidable C0² emissions of their overnight stay with a gold-standard, externally certified climate-protection project.. The program selected by the regional association of Baden-Wuerttemberg reduces CO2 emissions, improves human health and reduces the pressure on the local forests in Bolivia and Paraguay. In six different regions in Bolivia and Paraguay the inefficient traditional wood-fired ovens will be replaced by solar cookers or cookers with high efficiency.


Check-In Energy efficiency - model project dena

The Martin-Buber-Youth Hostel Ueberlingen takes part in the nationwide model project of the Germany Energy Agency (dena)  – check energy efficiency. The model project should indicate systematically energy saving potential in the accommodation sector. It runs over four years and comprises different stages: energy consulting, the implementing of the recovery measures and the monitoring of the energy consumption. The youth hostel at the lake Constanze restarted its operation in 2016 after it has been completely modernized. From now on the modern and ecological standard includes a multi-layer insulation systems, triple glazing, a local heating with a block heating power plant as well as LED illumination.