Hoteliers unite to restore forest in the Netherlands

Hotels for Trees, a nonprofit tree-planting foundation powered by hotels, joined hands with its hotel partners and afforestation partner Trees for All to restore forests in the Netherlands.   

The collective, founded in 2021, planted its first forest in Zuylestein Estate in Leersum. Storms damaged the forests in June 2021, and this past February 17th, Hotels for Trees and several hoteliers planted the first batch of 500 out of 11,500 trees. 

During the extreme weather conditions in the Netherlands, most of the trees were uprooted, blown down or severely damaged. The existing trees were so badly damaged that the province of Utrecht immediately issued a felling license for many areas of the forest.   

Guests from over 140 hotel partners in 20 countries skipped the interim cleaning in exchange for tree planting. On certain days of the week, this option reduces the number of rooms to clean by 5-15%; this not only saves energy, water and cleaning agents used by hotels, but it is also cost-effective, allowing participating hotels to contribute to the donation of a tree. 

More than 100,000 trees have been donated since the foundation was founded. So far, Hotels for Trees has contributed to 16 afforestation projects.   

“We have already had the opportunity to participate in several tree planting days organised by our partner Trees for All, but it was very special for us to this time organise our own day exclusively for our foundation. It was great to get to work with our partners Blycolin, Mews, Lacoly and so many hotel colleagues. The results shown on our website are fantastic, but it is only on a tree-planting day that the impact we are making together really becomes apparent,” said Floris Licht, chief tree planting officer.  

Created with the help of founding partner Blycolin in July 2021, Hotels for Trees enjoys ANBI status, which means donations to the foundation are tax deductible in many countries. The collective is managed by a board and overseen by a supervisory board. The foundation aims to plant at least 1 million trees every year.