Our sustainability strategy

The Swiss Youth Hostels are committed to sustainability. Sustainability is an integral part of our organisation philosophy when dealing with stakeholder groups, designing our products and ensuring environmental protection. We believe that sustainability means taking into account not only social and ethical issues, but also the sensible use of resources.

Our sustainability partners

We work with the following sustainability partners:

  • Swiss Youth Hostels defines its emission targets in conjunction with the Energy Agency for Industry (EnAW).
  • öbu is the Swiss association for sustainable economic activity. Its members include around 360 companies, organisations and institutions.
  • The support association ‘Barrier-free Switzerland’ is the coordinating body for information about barrier-free tourism.
  • Since 2008, together with myclimate, SYH has given guests the option of compensating for the unavoidable emissions of their stay.
  • Max Havelaar
    Since 1 December 2008, Swiss Youth Hostels has stocked products bearing the Fairtrade seal of approval from the Max Havelaar Foundation.
  • Das Label bescheinigt die nachhaltige Betriebsführung in den Bereichen Unternehmensführung, Betriebswirtschaft, Umweltmanagement, Mitarbeitende, regionale Wertschöpfung und Kultur.
  • Minergie
    2003 wurde mit der Erweiterung und Erneuerung der Jugendherberge Zermatt, das erste Haus nach Minergie zertifiziert. Heute werden, wann immer möglich, alle Um- und Neubauten mit dem Minergie-P-Eco-Standard realisiert.
  • Solar
    Swissolar ist der schweizerische Fachverband für Sonnenenergie und representiert die Schweizer Solarbranche. Die Schweizer Jugendherbergen verfügen über 20 Solarhostels die mit Modulen oder Kollektoren ausgerüstet sind.
  • Ecobau setzt Standards für gesundes und ökologisches Bauen in der Schweiz. Seit dem Umbau der Jugendherberge Valbella- Lenzerheide im 2006, bauen die Schweizer Jugendherbergen nach ecobau Standards.

myclimate Cause We Care

On average, a night at a Swiss youth hostel is 10 times more environmentally friendly than a night at a five-star hotel. As a non-profit organisation, we have dedicated ourselves to sustainability. We are continually reducing our environmental footprint in all areas while still ensuring a flawless service for our guests.


Distinctions and awards

We feel greatly honoured to have received numerous different awards. Swiss Youth Hostels is happy and grateful for all of this recognition. You can view the most important awards here:

  • 2020: Best of ibex geht an die Jugendherberge St. Moritz. Dank starkem Engagement für einen verantwortungsvollen Umgang mit den Ressourcen konnte der Best of ibex Preis nach St. Moritz geholt werden.
  • HI Quality & Sustainability
    Hostelling International | «The most Sustainable National Association»
  • Special award for our long-standing commitment and achievements towards environmental and climate protection, received on 12 January 2016.
  • myclimate Award as a ‘pioneer for integrated climate protection in the hotel industry’.
  • Second place in the Green Accommodation Initiative at the Global Youth Travel Awards 2016.
  • Watt d'Or 2015
    On 8 January 2015, the Swiss Federal Office of Energy awarded us the Watt d’Or in the category ‘Buildings and Space’.
  • 2015: The wellnessHostel4000 received third place in the wood-based award in the central Switzerland category.
  • 2014: Awarded to the wellnessHostel4000. 2007: Milestone in Switzerland: tourism award for our sustainability strategy.
  • 2013: Basel Youth Hostel received the Good Building Award from the cantons of Basel-City and Basel-Landschaft.
  • 2012: Special award for the renovation and extension of the St. Moritz Youth Hostel.
  • In 2011, SYH received the ZKB Sustainability Award for SMEs. This award takes economic, environmental and social aspects into consideration.
  • Swiss Solar Prize 2011 in the area of personalities/institutions for comprehensive environmental management and a pioneering role in environmentally compatible tourism.
  • 2010: Award for the best integration of CO2 compensation.
  • 2010: Awarded to Scuol Youth Hostel: overall winner, category winner in Hotels, Restaurants, and the special Green Technology award.
  • In 2008, Youth Hostel Zurich was singled out for its ‘successful conversion from the 1960s, as well as its outstanding corporate philosophy in social tourism’.


Sustainability is our passion. We love to implement projects that promote sustainable tourism. We are happy to entertain you with tips and stories about sustainability in tourism. Learn more about how we live sustainability and how you can contribute.