Sustainability at Stayokay

Sustainability is super important to us at Stayokay! Curious about what we do? We'd love to tell you more.

We only have one earth and we should take care of it. Did you know that sustainability and holidays go hand in hand?

We work hard every day to make our stay sustainable. And yes, that takes time and doesn't happen overnight. But we do have ambitious plans! For instance, we aim to have 50% less residual waste by 2030 and are going for 50% less food waste. We also have the ambition to be completely climate neutral by 2050. We are working with 4 sustainability themes within Stayokay to achieve these goals: Mission Zero, Close the Loop, We love H2O, and Feel Good.

Green energy

Mission Zero

By 2050, we want to be climate neutral at Stayokay. We are going for zero: from Warm Sweater Day to green wind energy.

'Turning the heating down a degree makes you a lot cooler'

Saving energy

Green holidaying starts with saving energy. To do this, we take various measures in the hostels. We use energy-efficient equipment and LED lighting, insulate our buildings and inspire our guests to be energy-conscious. We do this through fun facts and tips spread throughout the hostel.

Pull out your favourite jumper on Warm Sweater Day or turn off the lights and light the candles during Earth Hour, because we organise the best sustainable events in our hostels! Not only are these events super cosy and fun, but they also contribute to awareness and involvement around the topic of energy, both among our hostel guests and staff.


Our carbon footprint has already dropped 40% compared to 5 years ago!

It was 0.92 kg per overnight stay in 2018 and 0.55 kg per overnight stay in 2022.

Sustainable energy

The sun is not only great for your daily dose of vitamin D, but it also has super powers! It keeps you warm not only outside, but also inside! A number of hostels have solar panels and we will continue to expand this. From January to October in 2023, 148,129 kWh have already been generated by our solar panels. This could supply electricity to as many as 59,754 Dutch households! (Source: milieucentraal, based on consumption of 2479 kWh per household per year). In addition, Stayokay also purchases 100% sustainably generated energy (from Dutch solar power stations and wind turbines) and green gas for all hostels (we compensate our gas consumption with CO2 certificates).

Sustainable mobility

We believe it is important for our guests to travel to their accommodation in the most sustainable way possible. Therefore, we provide charging stations for electric cars and encourage our hostel guests to take their bikes to go on adventures and explore the surroundings. We also motivate the use of public transport. We enthuse our employees to get on their bikes to work through our bike plan.


is the average score guests give us for sustainability

According to the guest satisfaction survey of our guests from January to October 2023.

Separating and reducing waste

Close the loop

Did you know that 50 million kilos of litter end up on Dutch streets every year? By recycling waste, it leads a useful life again. Read below how we do it!

'Reduce, reuse & recycle'

Separating and reducing waste

At Stayokay, we separate our waste; paper, plastic and drinking cartons and residual waste. And you as a guest can help us do that! In the kitchen, we also separate organic waste, glass and frying fat. The deep-frying fat is turned into biodiesel, a sustainable fuel. Moreover, not only do you drink delicious coffee in our hostels, but we also collect coffee grounds! This coffee grounds are full of valuable nutrients. You can use it for your plants, or for growing delicious fungi, for example! Did you know that you can eat the tastiest oyster mushroom bitterballs with us, made from our home-grown oyster mushrooms?

We also collect caps for KNGF in all hostels and at the head office. In fact, waste processors give a fee per kilo of plastic caps. Part or all of these proceeds go to KNGF guide dogs. The plastic from the caps serves as raw material for new products.

We've saved
kg of vegetables

Preventing food waste

We know that eyes are bigger than our stomachs and therefore we sometimes scoop up our plates a bit too enthusiastically. But food waste is fortunately preventable. That is why we encourage you to make an extra round of the buffet and take smaller portions. We also buy products made from ingredients that would otherwise be thrown away. Like the delicious soups from the Verspillingsfabriek. Is there food left over? Then we offer it through Too Good To Go.

We also have a partnership with Orbisk. Orbisk is a smart machine that measures and recognises what food is thrown away and at what time of day. This allows us to constantly adapt our food offerings to the needs and eating behaviour of our guests. In just six months of 2023, Orbisk has already helped us waste 2803 kg less food!

Love at second sight

We think throwing away things and materials unnecessarily is a waste. That is why our employees work in circular company clothing; we turn our old, worn-out shirts into beautiful new ones! So the old clothes are reunited with the employee. How cool is that! When the hostels are renovated, part of the interior is bought second-hand or an item, such as a piece of furniture, is refurbished and prepared for a second life. In 2022, we launched the 'circular wood' pilot in cooperation with the Hogeschool van Amsterdam. This involves transforming an old bunk bed into a new chair, for example! Our Wikkelhouses are also made of almost 100% recyclable material, which is nice and sustainable!

A healty water cycle

We love H20!

Every drop counts! At Stayokay, we strive for a healthy water cycle and try to reduce water consumption.

'Singing while showering is great, but save your voice and the water a bit!'

We say no to the plastic soup!

If we don't do anything now, by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea (by weight) than fish (source: Plastic Soup Foundation). In our hostels, we try to make our guests aware of the plastic soup through, among other things, the 'Message on a bottle' art wall. We reduce the use of single use plastic as much as possible; for instance, you won't see small sandwich fillings and butter containers on the breakfast buffet. We continue to take a critical look at our plastic use and look for good and suitable alternatives.

A healty water cycle

We work with sustainable cleaning agents that pollute water less. These detergents have a good dosing system, saving us an average of 300 kg of plastic packaging every year.

Water consumption must also be reduced. Through shower hangers, we inspire our guests to take shorter showers. 5-minute showers really do take longer than you think! 😉 Within the organisation, we reduce water consumption by critically looking at the purchase of company clothing, among other things. Did you know that making a pair of jeans takes up to 7000(!) litres of water? That is why we work together with MUD Jeans. These jeans are made of 100% organic cotton under fair conditions. Every MUD Jeans is recycled into a new MUD Jeans. This means; no waste and 92% less water.

We also have our bedding and towels washed as sustainably as possible. We do this consciously with our supplier Lamme, who, like us, considers sustainability very important. Extra clean for you and the planet!

Tap water

In the Netherlands, we all grew up drinking tap water and for us this is the most normal thing in the world. But guests from abroad often do not know that Dutch tap water is drinkable and very healthy! We like to make them aware of this through our water tap points, with which we want to encourage drinking tap water. We also sold more than 1157 Doppers to our guests (in 2022 and 2023 through November), preventing about 46,280 single-use plastic water bottles!

We've saved
litres of water

Health & well-being

Feel Good

We pay attention to our employees, guests and the world around us. A nice, green environment makes you feel good!

Respect for nature

We love sustainable events, contributing to awareness and engagement for truly all ages. How much trash will you pick up during one of our cleanup days? Who knows, you might even have a bingo at our waste bingo that you can take on the road! We also partner with Nederland Schoon, where together we are on a mission to prevent litter.

On Black Friday, we go green and join the counter-movement Green Friday. For example, we partner with Trees For All; during the Green Friday weekend, we donate a tree to Trees For All for every booking made.

We also have hostels for our very youngest guests: BeeOkay's! Here the bees feel at home and have a nice shelter. Insects also find a home at one of our many insect hostels. At several hostels we have a cool green roof. Not only very nice to see, but also incredibly good for nature! All these initiatives promote biodiversity.

Did you also know that we offer the cutest sustainable group activities? How about a visit to an open-air rooftop farm among the skyscrapers or an upcycling workshop? Or maybe you would like even more to grow your own oyster mushrooms and cook with them? Learning about sustainability is much more fun than you think and that's what we try to pass on to the groups that visit Stayokay.

We also work together with CuNa education, where students learn about sustainability and the climate in a fun and active way. Together with a sustainability expert, you'll search inside a Stayokay hostel for ideas on how to make this location even greener!

Stay4all Foundation

We believe that every child should be able to attend a school camp and that every family deserves a carefree few nights away once a year. Through the Stay4all Foundation, families in financially difficult situations get this opportunity. Since 2022, we have already been able to make more than 40 families happy with a short holiday in the Netherlands! Did you know that you can contribute to this as well? For example, by making a donation when making your booking on Read more about the foundation here.


children have already been able to join the school camp thanks to the Stay4all Foundation!

Since 2012

Conscious eating and drinking

Eating and drinking is even tastier if we can do so consciously. That's why we serve UTZ coffee and fairtrade tea and the tastiest organic juices from Dutch soil by Schulp. In the evening, relax with our organic house wine or an organic and locally brewed beer. The bread and rice cakes are also organic, logical right? Our meats are certified with 'Beter Leven'. Healthy eating includes a varied diet, with vegetarian as an option, always. After all, eating less meat is better for the climate.

Open to everyone

Our thresholds are low, the atmosphere is informal. Everyone is welcome and allowed to be there! Diversity, inclusiveness, equality and development are very important themes for us. We employ 42 different nationalities and we are mega proud of that! Our core values are: accessibility, drive and sustainability. We strive for a workplace where everyone feels respected, safe and valued. No matter what - background, identity or orientation. Open to everyone is our motto at Stayokay!

To ensure inclusiveness, we think it's nice and super important to be socially engaged. So we work together with the wonderful organisation Join Us, which combats loneliness among young people and encourages social encounters among young people. In January, the community day will take place for the first time in the partnership between Stayokay and Join Us.

We also collaborate with Kinderzwerfboek. These are, as the name suggests, children's books that roam the Netherlands. These books have a sticker so you know it's a stray book. You can take these books home for free and enjoy reading them. Afterwards, you can let it roam the Netherlands again so another child can enjoy it. You can leave it on the train, in the waiting room or, for example, at the Zwerfstation in one of the Stayokay hostels!

Feel Good at Work

At Stayokay, we understand that being a good employer is essential for a sustainable future. Sustainability is not a trend, but an integral part of our work, whether you're in a hostel or in an office. Our colleagues are the backbone of the Good Business programme, in which we strive together for improvements in energy saving, waste separation, water conservation and reducing food waste.

The well-being of our employees is important to us and we pay attention to that. As part of the Feel Good at Work programme, the Feel Good at Work team inspires and motivates colleagues to work on their health as well as eating & drinking well, social engagement, exercise and relaxation. With the Feel Good at Work vitality programme, we encourage each other to take good care of yourself and be fit and happy in life! Fun at work and a good work-life balance are important to us at Stayokay.

What can you do?

Are you staying at Stayokay and would you like to do your bit for a greener planet? Thanks for helping! If you choose to stay in your own country, you are already taking the most important step towards a sustainable holiday.

Big changes start with the smallest actions; for example, you can turn off your lights in your room when you don't need them and turn off the heating when you leave your room. Grab small portions at the buffet and take another walk. Join one of our cleanup days, help separate waste and treat nature with love and respect during your day out.

Read more tips for a sustainable holiday here.


In recent years, we have won a number of sustainability awards of which we are very proud!

Gaia Green Awards
The Gaia Green Awards are presented to hospitality venues that have demonstrably taken major steps in the past year to make their organisation fully sustainable.

Stayokay Den Haag was nominated in 2018 en Stayokay Texel was nominated in 2022. Stayokay Terschelling was the winner of the Gaia Green Awards Plastic Free in 2021. Bergen op Zoom was the winner of Gaia Green Award in 2020.

Every year, Hostelworld organises the HOSCARS. These are elections among hostels worldwide, on 5 different themes: community, sustainability, digital nomad, best newcomer and best place for solo travellers. In 2022, Stayokay Terschelling was nominated for the Hoscars in the Eco Warrior category.

HSMAI Awards
Stayokay had an 'honorable mention' in the 'Best socially responsible initiative' category at the HSMAI Awards in 2016.

Sustainable certification

  • EU Ecolabel: All our hostels have the EU Ecolabel. This is the official European eco-label for non-food products and services.
  • Hostelling International Quality & Sustainability: All Stayokay hostels are certified by HI Q&S. This is a long-term programme that allows hostels to improve their quality and sustainability practices. Also recognised by Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
  • BREEAM: BREEAM is a sustainability label for achieving sustainable buildings and areas with minimal environmental impact. Stayokay Amsterdam Oost has received this hallmark.

Comfortable, affordable, social & sustainable

At Stayokay, you can spend the night in the most special places. From a castle to a cube house and from the heart of the city to the middle of nowhere. From your (private) room, adventure is at your doorstep. We don't like fuss, but provide a comfortable base with everything you need. We're aware of the people and world around us, which is why we work hard every day to ensure a social and sustainable stay.

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