COP26 Airbnb hosts in Glasgow raise £180,000 for Zero Waste Scotland

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Airbnb hosts in Glasgow have raised £180,000 for Zero Waste Scotland for accommodating guests during COP26.

Airbnb has announced that thanks to the efforts of the Glasgow host community, it is donating £180,000 to Zero Waste Scotland to support their vital work on the sustainability front line.

Nearly 40,000 delegates registered for the largest COP in history, and local hosts played a vital role in accommodating guests from around the world.

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Airbnb committed to donating service fees from stays in Glasgow during COP26 to sustainability causes so that hosting during the event could have a lasting legacy and contribute directly towards Scotland’s sustainability efforts.


With 40,000 registered attendees and an estimated local hotel room capacity in Glasgow of just 15,000, traditional hospitality accommodation could not have coped alone.

According to analysis from BiGGAR Economics, during Scotland’s peak tourism season prior to the pandemic, hotels were already operating at nearly 90 per cent occupancy.

To help address the accommodation shortage, Airbnb offered a £100 welcome bonus to new hosts who hosted a qualifying stay during the event with thousands stepping forward to make their place available.

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During the two weeks of COP26, Glaswegians earned an average of £3000 through hosting, equivalent to more than a month's median pay in Scotland. BiGGAR Economics estimates that Airbnb guest arrivals during COP26 generated over £2 million GVA (Gross Value Added) for the Glasgow economy and supported over 80 local jobs.

What is Airbnb saying?

Amanda Cupples, general manager for Northern Europe at Airbnb, said: “In the run up to COP26, more and more Glaswegians stepped up to host on Airbnb and played a vital role in making the city’s hosting of the conference a success.

“In the face of a squeeze on local accommodation supply, Glaswegians were able to list their space on Airbnb and offer vital, immediate supply to the city. This economic activity has benefited both hosts and the city of Glasgow and will have a lasting legacy through a donation to Zero Waste Scotland too.”

What is Zero Waste Scotland saying?

Iain Gulland, chief executive, Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Zero Waste Scotland is a lighthouse for the nation’s burgeoning circular economy. Our work focuses on where we can have the biggest impact on climate change, specifically through responsible consumption, responsible production and maximising value from waste.

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“We're currently gathering views from our colleagues on how best we can use this wonderful donation. It's certainly a fantastic and welcome boost to the work we're doing in Scotland to help tackle the issue of consumption, while helping businesses and citizens look for more sustainable ways of living.”

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