Guillaume Jouffre: GreenGo promotes responsible travel

Traveler better and less far

Originally from Corrèze, I studied engineering at Polytechnique, then worked for five years in strategy consulting. While travelling, reading the IPCC reports, following personalities like Jean-Marc Jancovici, I had a real vertigo linked to global warming. Tourism then interested me: the sector is responsible for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions, of which three quarters are due to transport and a quarter linked to accommodation. According to the Paris Agreement, it is now accepted that we should not exceed two tonnes of CO2 per year and per person, in order to limit global warming to two degrees, the equivalent of a Paris-New York flight. For my part, I understood that I had visited the depths of Vietnam but that I had never set foot in the terroirs near my home, which however are just waiting to be discovered.

Eco-friendly accommodation at a fair price

To promote more sustainable and ethical tourism, I decided to turn at the end of 2019 to the tourist accommodation sector. With Félix and Antoine, friends from Polytechnique, and Mathieu, who has more of a business school profile, we put online last year a platform selecting charming accommodation in France, respectful of the planet, run by hosts engaged in their own way. Or how to make vacationers want to travel locally. Accommodation ranges from 50 to 300 euros per night, approximately, with, among the most popular destinations, the Dordogne, Morbihan or even the Ardèche, i.e. regions which have the DNA of getting off the beaten track, with this very nature. On classic reservation platforms, commissions have become very high and margin rates high. We therefore offer fair commissions – 8.33% excluding VAT – for a fair remuneration of the hosts and the fair price of the travellers.

Guillaume Jouffre (GreenGo): “Beyond the accommodation, we are also wondering about the experience offered, from the presence of bicycles to the activities that can be practiced in the surroundings.”Amanda Sellem for Les Echos Weekend

Criteria to guide the customer

In 2021, we received more than 1,200 registration requests. We kept 70%, judging according to the eco-responsible approach of the place, its originality or its value for money. Then, we establish, on a declarative basis, a description of the accommodation according to 80 ecological criteria. Among the questions asked: Does the accommodation use a heating method with a low carbon footprint? Is it well insulated, with natural materials? Does the host promote an active waste reduction policy? Are eco-labelled and local products available? Is there a train station nearby? Beyond the accommodation, we also wonder about the experience offered, from the presence of bicycles to the activities that can be practiced in the surroundings.

A tool to help hosts

Over the next twelve months, we want to improve our offer in the city, which is still weak, but above all the measurement of the carbon footprint for each accommodation that requests it. We have developed an analysis tool to help hosts better carry out their energy transition, by offering them concrete solutions in terms of sustainability. We also want to guide customers personally by offering them a centralized service, ranging from more themed tours, according to desires, budget, to a selection of activities depending on the area chosen. While we list approximately 1,500 accommodations, there is still plenty of room for improvement: on the French market, between 20 and 30% of the offer corresponds to the GreenGo criteria, i.e. a good balance between ecology and pleasure.

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Guillaume Jouffre: GreenGo promotes responsible travel