New Report Makes Clear: Home Sharing Reduces Carbon Emissions Airbnb Stays Add Up to Measurable Impact on COP21 Country Emission Reduction Goals

SAN FRANCISCO—December 10, 2015—Airbnb, the world's leading community-driven hospitality company, today announced the results of a new study that demonstrates Airbnb’s potential contribution to the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction efforts. The study builds on the excitement coming out of the 21st annual Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) that concludes this week in Paris.  

“Climate change is one of the issues of our time and we all need to do our part to do right by the next generation.  In an age where the world is more connected than ever, where more people are travelling than ever and where there is a growing recognition that we all have a common interest in reducing our carbon footprint, home sharing can play an important role.  In comparison to staying in traditional accommodations, home sharing significantly reduces energy and water use, GHG emissions, and waste generation,” said Chris Lehane, Head of Global Policy and Public Affairs at Airbnb.

Lehane continued, “This study is a way of sharing with our hosts and guests the significant contribution they can make to the COP21 goals. Airbnb is a people for people community - for the people, of the people and by the people.  As part of the larger societal value proposition of home sharing we are very proud that our hosts and guests are helping to do their part to reduce carbon emissions. We look forward to working with travelers, companies and other organizations that want to use our platform so when they travel they are doing so in ways that will reduce their carbon impact. In particular, we look forward to working with companies and other organizations that want to use the Airbnb platform for business travel so as to help them integrate home sharing for business travel into their sustainability plans.”

COP21 Conference

With COP21 as a backdrop, the study examines what the environmental impacts would be if COP21 travelers used Airbnb.  If the estimated 50,000 participants in COP21 had stayed in Airbnb listings instead of traditional accommodations during the conference, the study found that they would have saved approximately 71.7 million kBtu in energy, 71.4 million liters in water, and 2.6 million kg CO2-equivalent in GHG emissions. Those savings in GHG emissions are equivalent to either:

·      restoring 175 hectares of tropical rainforests for one year; or

·      taking 1,033 passenger vehicles off the road for one year.

In the United States

The study also considers the impact of Airbnb on the US’s COP21 commitment to reduce GHG emissions by up to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.  The study projects that in 2025, people who choose Airbnb instead of traditional accommodations in the US could contribute 9.5 Million Tonnes in emission reductions under business-as-usual conditions (i.e., if no additional national GHG mitigation policies are put in place). That’s approximately equivalent to either:

·      the City of Denver’s current (2013) community-wide emissions; or

·      the City of Atlanta’s current (2012) community-wide emissions.

In the European Union

The study also considers the impact of Airbnb on the EU’s COP21 commitment to reduce GHG emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.  The study projects that in 2030, people who choose Airbnb instead of traditional accommodation in the EU could contribute nearly 21 Million Tonnes in emission reductions under business-as-usual circumstances. That would be approximately equivalent to either:

·      twice the magnitude of the City of Rome’s current (2010) community-wide emissions; or

·      nearly three times the magnitude of the City of Paris’ current (2009) community-wide emissions.

You can view the summary of the report’s findings  here.

A signatory to the White House’s American Business Act on Climate Pledge, Airbnb has committed to increase the efficiency of our already more sustainable travel platform. In 2014 Airbnb released a study that found that home sharing is a more sustainable method of travel, in comparison to staying in traditional accommodations, with significantly less energy and water use, greenhouse gas emissions, and waste generation. In November, Airbnb announced a partnership with NRG Home Solar that will provide incentives to new and existing members of the Airbnb community.  The incentives will make going solar more affordable and provide travel credits to encourage individuals to experience home sharing - a more environmentally sustainable method of travel. Earlier this year, Airbnb partnered with Tesla to install charging stations at a number of current Airbnb listings. In 2014, Airbnb provided selected hosts in the US with the Nest Learning Thermostat, free of charge.

About Airbnb

Founded in August of 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world – online or from a mobile phone. Whether an apartment for a night, a castle for a week, or a villa for a month, Airbnb connects people to unique travel experiences, at any price point, in more than 34,000 cities and more than 190 countries. And with world-class customer service and a growing community of users, Airbnb is the easiest way for people to monetize their extra space and showcase it to an audience of millions.