Taking Sustainable Steps: TSH Achieves BREEAM In-Use Certification for All Dutch Properties

The Student Hotel (TSH) celebrates another landmark moment in its environmentally conscious journey, achieving BREEAM In-Use sustainability certification for seven of its Dutch locations.

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Amsterdam, December 14 2021 - From the day we opened our first hybrid property in Rotterdam, The Student Hotel (TSH) has cared about impact. Promising to help our guests and visitors to ‘explore their purpose and change the world’, it comes with the territory. Indeed, this ethos of progress and change is seen no more clearly than in our sustainability agenda: TSH is on a journey to remain as responsible and impactful as possible – both in terms of how we build our hotels and how we engage with communities. We aim to lead by example, drive industry change and set realistic, measurable goals.

It’s a statement we stand proudly behind today as we announce that TSH has achieved BREEAM In-Use sustainability certification for seven of its eight Dutch properties, marking a celebratory moment in our ongoing sustainability journey. BREEAM stands for Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (yep, that’s why we shorten it) and is a certification used in more than 80 countries to measure the sustainable built environment. Building projects, like ours, are assessed on land use and ecology, pollution and emissions, water and energy sourcing and usage, and quality of internal environments to ensure improved health and wellbeing. The accreditation offers deep insights into the current state of our hotels, and further highlights targets and benchmarks to future-proof them.

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A Step Towards 2030 Targets

For TSH, this is an achievement of particular note as all our new-build hotels are constructed to BREEAM New-Build criteria as standard. This includes our latest projects in Toulouse, Madrid and Barcelona. The process of retrofitting existing properties – like our seven Dutch locations in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Groningen, Eindhoven, and Maastricht – can prove much more difficult and costly. Having achieved this does mean, though, that including our new-build Delft hotel, all TSH locations in The Netherlands are now BREEAM certified – taking us one step closer to achieving our target of having all TSH properties BREEAM In-Use certified by 2030. 

“Overall, we’re very proud to get our Dutch portfolio certified as this is another great step in benchmarking ourselves and making TSH as sustainable as possible,” says Amber Westerborg, Director of Sustainability and Impact, The Student Hotel. With the help of our ever-supportive consulting partner, CBRE Netherlands, we chose to certify our existing Dutch properties on Part I (Asset) and Part II (Management) of the BREEAM In-Use criteria, with all seven properties achieving a ‘Very Good’ or ‘Excellent’ rating in Asset and ‘Very Good’ in Management. All certificates have been issued by the Dutch Green Building Council, and you can see an in-depth breakdown of our results here.

Measuring Sustainable Success

Beyond BREEAM, we measure sustainable success based on our overall ‘TSH Footprint’. This is split into the ‘Ecological Footprint’ – focusing on minimising negatives in terms of waste, greenhouse gases, land use, employee behaviour, supplier materials etc. – and the ‘Societal Footprint’, which optimises the positive, like improving diversity and inclusion in the workforce, making responsible product choices, partnering with the right local businesses, and helping to develop cities. 

TSH is on a journey to remain as responsible and impactful as possible – both in terms of how we build our hotels and how we engage with communities.

Using the TSH Footprint as our guiding light has in part been inspired by the Paris Agreement (2015), which outlined the very real need to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius. This, combined with a recent reorganisation of our many ongoing sustainability and social programs, gave us clarity of direction; allowing us to set up measurable, transparent goals, against which we hold ourselves accountable. Achieving BREEAM In-Use certifications for all our Dutch properties is just one example of this transparency in action, but it reaches far beyond.

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Tracking Goals with Transparency

We’ve imbedded transparency into the very DNA of what we do when it comes to built and social environments, making our TSH Impact Report (2019-2020) available for download each year to anybody with an interest. Here, you can read all about our biggest successes and failures, from our impact hubs to labour participation initiatives, long-term real estate sustainability goals, power usage in hotels, recycling stats, pilot projects and more.

Beyond this, you’ll find our ambitious targets for 2030. We’ll start this year by setting Science Based Targets to create a pathway to reduce our carbon emissions and use the next decade to achieve zero waste by diverting away from landfill or incineration, produce half of our full energy supply on-site across all locations, certify our full portfolio as BREEAM In-Use and ‘Paris Proof’ our buildings (50 kWh/m2) and monitor all suppliers on a bi-annual basis.

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We recognise that these aims are bold. But we know that through innovation, transparency and accountability they are achievable. Securing BREEAM In-Use certifications for our Dutch properties may be a moment of celebration at TSH, but it’s not a pause. We continue to leap from one goal to the next, at pace, to realise our sustainability agenda, collaborating with brilliant minds, visionary leaders and industry experts along the way – all with the ambition to make the world a more liveable place today and in the future. 

Learn more about our sustainability journey here.

About The Social Hub

The Social Hub hosts a diverse community where people come to learn, stay, work and play. The Social Hub’s leading hybrid hospitality concept is designed to welcome students, tourist, neighbours and entrepreneurs to create meaningful and fun experiences under one roof. From hotel facilities, student rooms and coworking spaces to auditoriums, gyms, event spaces and social initiative programmes. It’s a place where people can connect and learn from one another, a place to find and build a community, where connections grow, ideas spark and change happens. Whether a local, traveller, student or professional, The Social Hub connects guests with passionate people from all walks of life to meet, while sharing ideas and experiences. The Social Hub is on a journey to be as responsible and impactful as possible. With ‘social’ at the centre of its name, The Social Hub focuses on creating a better society and a fairer and greener world through its programming for the community and impact from business operations. Founded in 2012, The Social Hub, formerly known as The Student Hotel, is headquartered in Amsterdam and has more than 800 employees.

The Social Hub’s total locations amount to 23, with 16 properties open in Amsterdam City, Amsterdam West, Barcelona, Berlin, Bologna, Delft, Eindhoven, Florence, Groningen, Maastricht, Madrid, Paris, Rotterdam, The Hague, Toulouse and Vienna. Three new hubs will soon open in Glasgow, Porto and San Sebastian, with properties also opening in Florence Belfiore, Lisbon, Rome and Turin by 2025. With nearly 10,000 rooms across Europe, The Social Hub aims to offer unique experiences to its community of international guests and locals. https://www.thesocialhub.co/

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