Green

Airbnb says it’s better for the environment than hotels

Update 5:36 p.m. ET: Airbnb has refused VentureBeat’s request to publish their study in full.

Airbnb today announced a self-commissioned study with an interesting claim: that Airbnb guests “use 63 percent less energy than hotel guests.”

The study rests on a survey by the Cleantech Group consultancy, researched between February and April of this year. The consultants say they surveyed “over 8,000 … hosts and guests,” and then compared the responses with “research on residential and hotel sustainability levels and practices.”

According to the study, North American Airbnb guests are more likely to use public transportation and to recycle than hotel guests are. Airbnb says this saves “the equivalent of 270 Olympic-sized pools of water,” and avoids “the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 33,000 cars on North American roads.”

Airbnb also says that 95 percent of its North American hosts recycle — far higher than claimed U.S. averages, which vary loosely between 58 percent and 75 percent, depending on where you look.

The study should certainly be taken with a grain of salt. In addition to the fact that Airbnb commissioned the study, many of the factors considered appear to rest on anecdotal evidence, and it’s comparing results from the survey with separate research results — not exactly a recipe for generating scientific results.

That said, Airbnb’s arguments are technically plausible and may aid in its quest to win over skeptical lawmakers.

Reached by VentureBeat, Airbnb refused to allow its full study to be published online. The company has yet to explain why it does not want the entire study published. You can view more highlights below.

In other news, Airbnb has a new logo.

More information:

Founded in August 2008 and based in San Francisco, California, Airbnb is a community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique spaces around the world online or from an iPhone device. Whether the available space is a ca... read more »

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