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Hotelplan Group investing in sustainable aviation fuel and removing CO2 from the atmosphere

Hotelplan GroupJuly 1, 2024

Hotelplan Group is using innovative solutions as part of the next step in its sustainability strategy. The travel group is promoting the use of sustainable aviation fuel and supporting the removal of carbon dioxide (CO₂) from the atmosphere. To achieve these goals, it has committed to key partnerships with Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS); Neste, the world’s leading manufacturer of sustainable aviation fuel; and Danish start-up Klimate, which specialises in promoting innovative solutions for extracting CO₂ from the atmosphere.

Accounting for 87%, flights taken by its customers are the main source of Hotelplan Group’s greenhouse gas (CO₂e) emissions. Business travel company Finass Reisen, the 82 branches of Hotelplan Suisse across Switzerland and the brands travelhouse and tourisme pour tous are already successfully using sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to give customers the opportunity to travel more sustainably – every fifth travel itinerary provided by the branches already contains a SAF contribution.

Hotelplan Group expanding use of SAF across group
Thanks to partnerships with SWISS, (part) of the Lufthansa Group, and Neste, the world’s leading SAF manufacturer, this strategy is now being extended to the entire group. In the 2024 financial year, Hotelplan Group will purchase SAF worth CHF 400,000 to enable the use of this more sustainable fuel for flight bookings. The group’s second business-travel company, BTA First Travel, started selling SAF in May 2024. Small group adventure company Explore, part of Hotelplan UK, will follow suit during the course of the year. Hotelplan.ch and Migros-Ferien.ch will also begin offering SAF in a further step. Customers can choose whether and to what extent they wish to support the use of SAF. This gives them an effective alternative to the climate protection contributions that have been provided until now and which will continue to be available. In addition to climate protection contributions, Hotelplan Group also uses SAF for some of its own business travel.

SAF, made from biobased residues such as used cooking oil and animal fat waste generates 80% fewer emissions over its entire life cycle than conventional kerosene (1). Through this measure, Hotelplan Group is hence directly addressing its travel offerings. Hotelplan Group CEO Laura Meyer says: “SAF is currently only available in limited quantities and is still very expensive to produce. By purchasing for the entire Hotelplan Group, we can secure larger volumes of SAF and make it available to our customers. This will also allow us to support the ongoing development and scaling of this forward-looking technology.”

Innovative technologies: a key factor for more sustainable tourism
While SAF plays a key role in more sustainable development of air travel, Hotelplan Group recognises that, in spite of intensive reduction efforts, further approaches will be needed to achieve its climate targets. Hotelplan Group is therefore focusing on the removal of CO₂ from the atmosphere as an additional key element of its sustainability strategy. Innovative technologies, such as direct air capture (where CO₂ is filtered out of the air directly), enable CO₂ to be extracted from the at-mosphere in a targeted way and then stored long-term, for example in underground rock formations.

Hotelplan Group has committed to a three-year partnership with Klimate, a Danish start-up that offers companies the opportunity to invest in innovative solutions for extracting CO₂ from the atmosphere. The aim of the collaboration is to promote innovative technologies, while at the same time taking responsibility for emissions that haven't been reduced or avoided up to now. Hotelplan Group is involved in various projects around the world, including in Switzerland, Germany and the United Kingdom. “We don’t yet have all the answers to the issues related to more sustainable development of tourism. But we are adopting a proactive approach to develop our sustainability strategy, focusing on innovative solutions and actively seeking ways to assume responsibility”, Meyer says.

An integral sustainability strategy with clear goals
Hotelplan Group feels duty-bound to promote more sustainable tourism. That is why it is pursuing an integral sustainability strategy that encompasses ecological, social and economic aspects centred on three priorities: ‘One Planet,’ ‘People & Places’ and ‘Responsible Business’. Climate change is presenting major challenges for the travel industry. Within the framework of One Planet, Hotelplan Group has set itself ambitious targets by signing the Glasgow Declaration, thereby aiming to achieve a 50% reduction in CO₂e emissions by 2030 compared to 2019 levels and achieving net zero by 2050.

*How does SAF work logistically?
SAF - also known as ‘drop-in’ fuel - is mixed with fossil fuel kerosene. This process takes place before transportation to the airplane. According to the current fuel specifications, the maximum ratio of SAF to fossil fuel kerosene is 1:1. This means individual flights are not fuelled solely with SAF and some airports do not yet have the technology needed for refuelling with SAF.

Projects supported as part of the partnership with Klimate
• Direct Air Capture with Octavia Carbon
• (Artisanal) Biochar via ÖKT Offenhausen, Carbuna and Carboneers
• Bio-oil from Charm Industrial
• Enhanced Weathering with InPlanet

1 When used in neat form (i.e. unblended) and calculated with established life cycle assessment methodologies, such as CORSIA methodology.

Muriel Wolf Landau

Head of Communications

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