Working towards being carbon net zero is a topic many businesses talk about, but what progress has been made? The Lamington Group Is a property development company that’s achieved significant progress in this space in just a few years by creating room2, the world’s first hometel brand. First established in 2015, this brand is disrupting the hotel industry, combining the comfort and flexibility of home whilst offering the best elements of a hotel. The aim is to give people a place to live, not just an overnight stay.
Keen to find out more, I met Stuart Godwin, one of the two founders, and he told me how their business is driven by a desire to invest in the planet by ensuring that hometels operate on low carbon, low energy and zero waste. This allows guests to make conscious decisions about usage and waste, even when travelling.
A unique proposition
Planning took years and a bucketload of perseverance. Stuart said, “The room2 concept was born as a result of a deeply felt need to make a difference and meet the demands of being carbon neutral”. The results speak for themselves – room2 is the first hotel group in the world to be 100% carbon neutral. Stuart said, “We make a conscious effort to use local suppliers, such as artists, furniture makers, and food & beverage suppliers”. This gives each hometel a strong local connection and guests an experience few other brands can offer.
The first hometel was launched in Hammersmith, then another in Southampton. The third hometel was launched in Chiswick with 89 studios, a café, cocktail bar, gym and laundry room. It’s thriving and ideally located for travellers wishing to stay in Chiswick and experience all the area has to offer. There are ambitious plans to have 5000 hometel rooms in place by 2030. A Belfast hometel is coming soon, and other target locations, including Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow, have been identified across the UK.
Low energy consumption
To heat and cool the Chiswick hometel, 17 heat pumps were installed, going as far as 200m below the building to extract heat energy. Solar panels on the roof provide about 5% of the energy and hometel uses 89% less energy overall than other hotels. Unable to find an ideal recycling bin for each room, the team designed their own. Showers have water limiters to restrict usage and sensors monitor whether a room is empty, helping to reduce unnecessary energy consumption. A sustainability wall provides data, so everyone can see how the building’s energy consumption is performing.
Awards are rolling in
Room2 has a visitor rating score of 96% on TripAdvisor and 9.3 on Booking.com. Awards for the brand are rolling in – wins include Best Independent Hotel (the Marie Claire Sustainability Awards) and Hospitality Business of the Year (the West London Business Awards).
Tips for growth
- Take risks to bring something new to the market
- Understand the financial impact of all decisions that you make
- Be prepared to back up what you do with data, especially if you seek to be a green-orientated business
Stuart is passionate, knowledgeable, and driven; I enjoyed meeting him and learning about the amazing progress room2 has made to date. I’m also looking forward to seeing room2’s continuing growth towards achieving 5,000 rooms by 2030.
To find out more about room2 visit room2.com.