Lonely Planet Writer

Rate hotels and other businesses on sustainability when you travel

This Sweden-based company wants to bring sustainable travel into the mainstream. Entrepreneurs Richard Lindberg and Johan van As created One Planet Rating (OPR) one year ago, “the world’s first dedicated review platform for sustainable travel & tourism.”

One Planet Rating landing page. Image by Richard Lindberg

The platform allows users to rate hotels, restaurants, activities, and even whole cities on different sustainability categories regarding environmental, social, and cultural impact. Concerned about making tourism more sustainable in the future and struggling to find out on their travels if a place was truly sustainable, the two co-founders decided to create a service they would like to use in their travels but wasn’t yet available in the market.

One Planet Rating co-founder Richard Lindberg. Image by Richard Lindberg

“[There are] speciality forums and blogs [on sustainable tourism and travel], but it’s not that mainstream, so we decided to do something that has the potential to become mainstream. I think that’s what’s needed in the business”, Richard Lindberg told Lonely Planet.

OPR’s mission and values align with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and, according to Lindberg, the goal is for anyone to be able to use the platform as a travel resource, whether they’re a sustainability expert or just a concerned tourist. The same goes for the businesses they’ll be rating; users are able to rate any company, from small and local to large chains, regardless if they already market themselves as sustainable or not.

Rate hotels based on sustainability. Image by levente bodo/Getty Images

“[OPR wants] to engage [the travellers] to put pressure on the industry to change. If competitor A sees competitor B suddenly has an advantage, they have an incentive to change, and that’s what we want to create here, some race to the top on positive impact and sustainability,” pointed out Lindberg.

You can start browsing the platform to find what businesses are sustainable on your next travel destination, although it’s currently in a type of Beta version. Improvements and fine-tunes are expected to happen in the upcoming months.