One Planet Rating: A Search Engine for Sustainable Tourism
Have you ever wished for a platform that was like a travel guide, but with a sustainable and eco-friendly stamp of approval from passionate travelers and insiders? Then One Planet Rating is for you. Whether it be finding a environmentally responsible hotel or searching for a restaurant serving up sustainable seafood, the options are endless. This week’s blog post will explain more about the purpose of this global platform and also the ins and outs of how it works via our interview with co-founder, Richard Lindberg.
What is the One Planet Rating?
One Planet Rating is the world’s first dedicated user review platform for sustainable travel and tourism. Travelers rate hotels, restaurants, cities and tourist activities from a sustainability perspective.
How was it founded?
Both myself and the other co-founder love to travel and have lived abroad on multiple occasions so the subject matter comes natural to us. Combined with us working with sustainability in various ways for the last 8-9 years meant that we could fuse two passions. The idea was born out of frustration of a littered beach where we felt the desire to complain but lacked the proper tool to do so. What better way to fix this gaping hole than to build it ourselves?
What are the different categories for your ratings, how many countries/cities does it cover?
It’s a global platform so you should be able to find all countries and cities, we add to our database continuously as well. There are three main categories to rate; Environmental, Social and Cultural that are each divided into subcategories like Energy, Food, Waste, Local Culture, Equality etc. We are confident that you will be able to find topics that are important to you. And that’s important to remember, you will see quite a few categories but you only rate what you know and what you seen, one category, 10 or more, it’s up to you. Every situation is unique, maybe you just want to say that you liked the vegetarian offerings in a restaurant, that is fine. Every data point and rating is important.
How is sustainability rated?
It’s a 1-5 globe scale where 1 is bad and 5 is really good so choose the number of globes that you think it deserved. Pick the number of categories you want to rate and press submit. Text is optional but can give other users a more in depth look. We value everybody’s opinion and we believe that the truth lies in volume, in the wisdom of the crowds.
Users of the platform are the eyes and ears on how a particular destination, restaurant or hotel is doing, from detailed questions concerning energy use to more easy to spot things like recycling in the room, requests to reuse their towels etc. Does the city have affordable public transport or enough green spaces?
How do you acquire reviews?
Reviews are done by users, meaning travelers or citizens around the world. This platform is for you, we think the time has come for a bottoms-up approach to sustainability so we can get more people engaged in this important transition. We know people care and want to contribute to making destinations more sustainable and on One Planet Rating they have a chance to do so. At the same time it gives other travelers insight of where to go, stay and eat which has been a problem in the sustainable travel sector, namely lack of information.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Still early days for us but so far the biggest challenge relates to the user experience in terms of the ratings. We want to make it easy and fast to use but at the same time allow for more in depth categories and questions so we ensure that the platform delivers value to users, partners and ultimately society. Sustainability is the DNA of One Planet Rating so we want to guarantee users can go as deep as they want but also have other users with less experience with sustainability to find it easy to use. This balance is something we will tinker with for the foreseeable future and welcome all feedback from our users and partners.
What is your vision for One Planet Rating?
Ultimately we want to accelerate the mass market adoption of sustainable tourism and travel while creating as much positive impact as possible in the process, for example in getting more people to choose sustainable options, thus reducing CO2, water, waste and improving working conditions at a local level. The vision is to make One Planet Rating a natural go to source as you book your travel to make sure the places you pick align with your values.
What does sustainable tourism mean for One Planet Rating?
Travel is something that the vast majority of us loves to do. Just think back to incredible memories from childhood family vacations, trips with friends or a significant other, or solo journeys where you grew as a person. Sustainable tourism for us is ensuring you can keep creating memories by having destinations become more sustainable in the way it boost the local community and protects the environment. One Planet Rating makes it easy for you to encourage the industry to take up more sustainable practices. Simply voice your opinion and allow others to make better decisions because of it. The right choice should become the default choice.
How can we all be a little more sustainable when we travel?
From our perspective the best thing you can do is to make informed choices and let the hotels, restaurants and travel related businesses know that you want to see more sustainable offerings. Let the best performers know that they are doing great and let the laggards know they should shape up or loose your business. When the market (you) demands more action it will come quicker than if they have to start on their own. And this is why we see a platform like One Planet Rating as a scalable accelerant in the process.
What is your favourite travel destination and why?
To me the Mediterranean has always had a special allure, I believe I have visited a Mediterranean country at least once every year of my life and plan to keep on doing so. The mix of culture, history, beauty, great food, sunshine and ease of travel is magnificent. Côte d’Azur, The French Riviera is a personal favorite.