24th February 2022

Meet the Start-up Helping Businesses Travel Sustainably

Millie Smith

Problem with hotel travel

People immediately think of planes or trains when considering the most damaging element of travel to the environment when booking a getaway. But did you know that hotels can also have a significantly negative impact?

All the waste generated by hotels from the long showers, clean linen changed daily, charging all electric items, room air con and heating, the list goes on. All contribute to hotels damaging the environment, especially when the emissions are not offset.

The real wider problem is business travel, with companies booking hotels that aren’t sustainable. It is estimated that 1 million tons of co2 will be caused by business travel alone in 2022!

On certain hotel comparison sites, they provide hotels eco certifications ticks which makes consumers think they’re making a sustainable choice by selecting them. However, companies pay for a very small amount of sustainable off set just to tick a box. Emphasising that there is lots of green washing goes on in the industry. This needs radical change.

 

Introducing Staze

As the climate crisis grows, and travel is coming back, is it still possible to travel with a clear conscience?

Start-up Staze say it is! The founders of Staze absolutely love travel but they don’t think travel should hurt the planet. So, they believe the answer isn’t to stop travelling, it’s to travel more thoughtfully and with more intention. Choosing the right hotel to stay with is vital when wanting to have only positive impacts when you travel. This may seem like a challenge, but Staze really have made it that simple for consumers to book sustainable accommodation.

Initially founded in December 2019, Staze had an app for people to book last minute holidays in a sustainable way. The founders quit their jobs and started Staze 3 weeks before lockdown. However, as they started Staze at this time, inevitably they had to rethink their offering. In hindsight, this period made them realise the real reason they created their start-up and emphasised why they’re doing what they’re doing. This led to their start-up becoming a sustainable hotel platform, reducing your hotel emissions to reach help achieve net zero!

Staze team

Staze believe that what can’t be reduced, needs to be offset properly. Using their market leading data and choosing hotels with lower CO2 footprints, Staze customers can do this effortlessly. They calculate the CO2e of each booking on their site and automatically double offset it for you by taking twice as much carbon out of the air as you emit. Meaning that all you need to do to travel sustainably is book on their site and leave the rest to them! They partner with a mixed portfolio of offsetting and have a large variety of green hotels onboard that really care which really makes a difference.

With business travel having a detrimental impact on the environment, Staze have set out to make it easy for businesses to book travel sustainably. They create a monthly report for businesses that’s actionable and simple, meaning they don’t need to worry about reporting or calculating hotel emissions. Allowing companies to use business travel to demonstrate the actual actions they’re taking to reduce their carbon footprint.

A lot of us believe that just one of us living sustainably won’t have a big impact. Yet, as an individual you can make a sustainable choice, by just booking the most sustainable hotels Staze customers have been able to reduce their emissions from hotels by up to 75%!

The aim for Staze now, is for people to think of Staze when they’re booking their next getaway instead of booking.com, lastminute.com or similar. To get people naturally putting sustainable and travel together effortlessly when planning their next trip.

Staze Product

 

Funding

As you can imagine it’s no surprise that, trying to get funding for a business in the travel industry during a global pandemic didn’t come without a struggle. Fundraising was made even harder than usual due to the fear investors had around investing in travel start-ups as well as the sheer uncertainty as what would happen in the travel industry. Despite these challenges, Staze still managed to raise £500,000 during the pandemic, primarily from angel investors.

 

Accelerator Programme

Staze were on the PropTech track of our Accelerator Programme, supported by HMLR. They had 6 months intensive support and 6 months hands-off support, received grant funding and workshops all to help progress their ideas and grow their start-up.

Henry Popiolek, COO of Staze told us that Staze wanted to join the Geovation Accelerator Programme to get access to a network of founders going through the same experience at the same time. It was invaluable for them to be surrounded by people in the same boat. They created some amazing connections with the other founders and keep in touch with many of them. Showing that the benefits of the Accelerator and the connections made on it go beyond founder’s time on the Programme. They still reach out to the other founders for help whenever they come across a challenge as they know one of them would’ve been through something similar.

They had 1 month in the Geovation office before the pandemic hit but this space was great for them to be able to meet up together and collaborate. The equity-free funding was extremely useful for them as it saved them from having to look for funding at the early-stages of their start-up and allowed them to fully focus on their offering.

Find out more about them on the Staze website here.