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Humankind is an awesome thing. However, we have put immense pressure on our planet's resources and have not always treated our world as kindly as we should.

Plastic Free Champions. Gold Green Tourism Members. We're doing everything we can to preserve our little part of the planet.

We recognise the effect of our business on the environment and our planet and are committed to minimising this impact. Sustainability has been designed into the very fabric of our beautiful Grade II listed building.

We are committed to:

  • Complying with and, where possible, exceeding all relevant legislation and regulations
  • Regularly reviewing the environmental impact of our hostel activity
  • Involving staff and volunteers in achieving our environmental goals
  • Monitoring and improving our energy efficiency usage of water, gas and electricity.
  • Communicating and promoting our green policy goals to hostel guests, encouraging them to also consider their environmental impact

Green Tourism award – Gold

Our GOLD Green Tourism Award is a reflection of our commitment to the environment and our Green Policies.

Cohort tree-planting Scheme

Read all about Project: Planet Rebuild where we are aiming to plant 2,500 trees by 2025. This is part of our wider commitment to being a carbon-neutral business.

In addition to ensuring the carbon emissions of our business activities are offset (see above) all bookings made at Cohort automatically include the purchasing and planting of a tree, via our tree-planting partners More Trees. So each time you stay with us you offset the carbon of your travel to St Ives.

You can still purchase additional trees once at Cohort. Just pop to Reception and see our lovely staff.

A tree costs just £1 and absorbs approximately 12kg carbon/year. See how much carbon you emit by calculating your carbon footprint here.

A Carbon neutral business

In addition to the carbon reducing activities of our in-house tree-planting scheme (see above) we also achieve official recognition for being a carbon neutral business. Working with Carbon Footprint Ltd we calculate the C02 produced by our business and offset these emissions using internationally verified carbon credits. Our C02 is offset using UK school community tree-planting projects.

Energy consumption at Cohort

Our electricity comes from 100% certified renewable sources and we do everything in house to ensure we use as little as possible…


  • Motion sensors and timing meters control 99% the of the lights throughout our public areas/spaces
  • 100% of our lights run on LED or low energy bulbs


We have fitted water saving devices in all of our shower / toilet blocks and dorm rooms

  • Our showers are fitted with self closing buttons, saving up to 80% of water compared to conventional shower systems; this also reduces our energy consumption
  • We have motion sensor taps in all our shower blocks.
  • Our toilets all have dual flush cisterns saving up to 25% water against standard toilets


  • We have fitted thermostatic radiator values on the majority of our radiators (22 out of 26)
  • Replaced both of our heating boilers with efficiency A grade boilers
  • Fitted two brand new hot water cylinders which are super efficient

Energy monitoring

We had an efficiency survey conducted and an OWL energy monitoring system installed which tracks our electricity usage. It produces data which will enable us to better control and reduce energy consumption going forward, providing us with tangible evidence of our efforts.

We have a Green Action and Energy Management Plan in place

Recycling at Cohort

  • We provide recycling facilities throughout the building
  • We use separate bins to recycle paper, cardboard, tin, aluminium, glass and plastic

Drying facilities at Cohort

Instead of providing energy intensive tumble drying facilities we provide:

  • Plenty of clothes drying hanging space in the hostel courtyard
  • A well insulated drying room which is controlled via a thermostat and humidistat for optimum drying conditions

Environmentally conscious suppliers & products


Our linen company Johnsons South West works with the Carbon Trust and are committed to minimising their carbon impact on the environment.

Cleaning products

The only cleaning products you will see us use, from washing up liquid and hand wash through to shower cleaners, drain disinfectants and sanitisers, are all Bio-cleaning products; a range of natural, biodegradable cleaning products which are less harmful to the environment or our staff!

We make our own glass cleaner from white vinegar, tea tree oil and water.

(The only harmful cleaning product you may see is the occasional use of drain unblock-er!)

Toilet paper

We use recycled toilet paper throughout the hostel.


We only use recycled and recyclable printer toner cartridges. Our entire booking system is paperless and we will only provide you with a printed invoice / receipt if you ask for one.


We minimise our carbon footprint (where possible) by only buying local or products that aren’t fossil fuel intensive to produce.


Our new range of mattresses are British-made using recycled foam and the cover from (traceable) recycled ocean plastic waste and is 100% recyclable.

Skip the Plastic Campaign

Our mission, which started in 2018, is to reduce our plastic footprint. In addition to stripping plastic out of our building we were instrumental in setting up the Plastic Free St Ives campaign.

Responsible tourism in St Ives

Finally, we encourage all our guests and visitors to Cornwall to be responsible travellers and for details of what that means click to read our Responsible Visitor Charter and download the Countryside Code.

Stay with us