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Cohort Hostel, in St Ives, is the only British finalists in Hostelworld’s ‘Hoscars’ awards, in the category of extraordinary sustainable hostel.

Cohort Hostel

The awards are run annually, going to hostels based usually on guest reviews. This year, because of the pandemic, a panel of experts judges from the hospitality industry were invited to submit enties across seven categories.

Thirty-five finalists were chosen — five in each category — and the winners will come from a combination of judges’ votes and a public vote which concludes on 18th April. The public can vote for the hostel here.

Cohort co-founder, Lee Strickland, said: “Cornwall is set to be at the centre of amazing advances in renewable energy and green technology, and it’s a hugely exciting time to have a business in the centre of that nucleus being recognised for its work towards sustainability.

“As Cornwall starts to become a global model for its low-carbon economy, we want people to know that businesses in Cornwall are committed to that vision. It’s not just tokenism, it’s real.”

From Cohort’s inception in 2015, sustainable practices were built into the fabric of the building and the ethos of the business.

Co-founder Dan Strickland said: “Our aim has always been to have a low eco-impact. Initially, that was all about how the building worked as we renovated from the ground up. More recently, it has been about how we operate as a business — our ethos, the way we work with others, and how we communicate with our guests.”

Cohort has a gold Green Tourism award, along with other awards for sustainability and innovation. With its focus on educational trip accommodation it takes every opportunity to inform visiting school groups, as well as individual guests, about the little changes they can make in order to become more sustainable in their everyday lives.

A carbon offsetting scheme is in place both on site and online and, as well as being almost entirely plastic free, Cohort’s electricity is 100 per cent renewable.

Dan added: “It’s not hard to build sustainable practices into your business, and while we’re delighted to have made it into the finals into the finals of the Hoscars, we’d also be delighted to not have done because that means other businesses are doing just as much as us, if not more, and that can only be a good thing.”