Hotel booking site Goodwings is using revenue saved from company ad spend to offset carbon emissions from users’ holidays – for free on their behalf. Olivia Palamountain reports

Goodwings is an environmentally conscious hotel booking site for both businesses and consumers that enables users to travel “net zeo” by paying for carbon offsets on their behalf.

How can it afford to do this? According to the Goodwings, online travel agents spend a combined US$40 billion a year on Google, Facebook and TV ads. So it saw an opportunity.

The Danish impact-driven platform is instead committing to lowering its advertising spends so that it can invest funds in planting trees.

By cutting down on ads, Goodwings can afford to pay for verified carbon removal on behalf of its clients. What’s more, travellers can still choose from one million-plus hotels worldwide at the same rates as any other major booking site.

Instead of relying on online advertising, the company has a global network of 100 nonprofit partners in more than 40 countries that act as ambassadors and marketing channels, spreading good news about the initiative.

The Goodwings model also enables conscious businesses to get access to wholesale prices on hotels, saving money on travel while supporting customers and planet for free.

Ultimately, it aims to be a catalyst for sustainable change and turn the travel industry into a force for good.

How does Goodwings work?

GoodwingsUsers input their destination, choose the hotel they want to stay in, and select the method of transportation they are using to get there. Then, Goodwings will calculate the carbon spend of a trip using its carbon calculator.

Not only is this a useful learning tool for the green globetrotter, the calculator also suggests the least carbon-heavy transportation method, and provides data on how much carbon every option emits.

In order to offset CO2, Goodwings has partnered with a a tree planting project in Uruguay where some 23,000 hectares of over-grazed land is being turned into major forests via this VCS-verified carbon removal project.

The VCS Program is the world’s most widely used and most cost effective voluntary greenhouse gas (GHG) programme.

While there are plenty of tree planting projects around the world, not all are created equal and planting a tree is not necessarily the same as removing CO2.

Trees need to be properly taken care of and verified by an independent third-party who  regularly measures the amount of CO2 stored in the trees.

Goodwings’ project is highly scalable and the company can document and verify the actual removal of CO2 tonne by tonne.

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