“We are on a journey” says Paul McGrath, YHA

“We are on a journey” says Paul McGrath, YHA


YHA Sydney Harbour  – The Rocks hosted an intimate tour and lunch for a group of travel media on Thursday, and the take away was clear, environmental sustainability and regeneration is top of the bill.

Having recently released its first ‘integrated report’ highlighting a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, YHA Australia’s CEO, Paul McGrath, said, “(the report) reflects the changes YHA Australia has undergone in the last two years and how we as an organisation have evolved into a more innovative and impact-focused organisation because of it.”

“We are proud of the commitment we have all made across all areas of the organisation to operate in a more responsible and transparent way and know that our focus on regenerative practices and experiences will continue to resonate with travellers who stay with us as we look to 2023 and beyond.”

Private rooms at the YHA Sydney Harbour are very impressive. (Supplied)

The Youth Hostel Association (YHA), which has over 40 accommodation options around Australia, has undergone a significant change in their strategic outlook since the pandemic halted majority of its operations.

Gone are the days of catering to backpackers keen for a game of beer pong in the common area, instead, the goal is to provide classy, low cost accommodation to the modern traveller – one who is more likely to arrive with a designer suitcase rather than a rucksack, according to McGrath.

One of the best views of the Opera House in Sydney. (Supplied)

Locations around the country are in the process of being overhauled. In the case of the Sydney Harbour property, there are a range of features that have been incorporated into the revamp that limit the carbon footprint of every guest.

While each room is fitted with air-conditioning, modern louvers have been installed to the outer of every window to promote airflow as well as a sensor that will switch off the A/C automatically when the window is open. The entire building has an open air rooftop, and has been built in a way that cool air flows from the base of the building up through each floor and out the roof, eliminating the need for A/C in the hallways and common areas.

Couple this with solar panels on the roof or the use of only emergency lighting in hallways or a seemingly endless list of sustainable practices and you end up with an incredible difference in carbon usage numbers per guest compared to most other hotels. YHA Sydney Harbour – The Rocks the have a carbon footprint averaging 5.4kg per guest, whereas the broader hotel market can sit anywhere between 40 and 60 kg per guest.

YHA Sydney Harbour – The Rocks has a number of accommodation options to suit all travellers, from 6-bed co share dorm rooms, to king and queen private rooms the property is the perfect base for anyone looking to explore Sydney’s bustling harbour precinct at not only a low cost but with sustainability in mind!

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