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HI USA Sustainability Awards and Certifications

At HI USA, we’re always striving to meet and exceed the standards expected of us as a leader in sustainable travel. Our efforts have been recognized by national and local organizations and regulators.

National Awards Grant

In 2018, HI USA was one of 5 organizations chosen out of hundreds to receive a grant to fund our dream sustainability project. Over the next 2 years, we will be installing 500 Hydrao Smart Shower heads with built-in LEDs that change color based on the length of time the shower is in use. Through visual cues, the shower head will indicate the suggested time to get out, with a goal to shave 30 seconds off the average hosteller shower and create a behavioral change among our guests.

National Geographic Leader in Sustainable Tourism Award – Gold

Presented by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International in conjunction with National Geographic Traveler, the Leader in Sustainable Tourism award recognizes a person, company, or community for demonstrable leadership and innovation in preserving and communicating an authentic sense of place through a wisely managed tourism program. In 2017, HI USA was recognized with this honor out of more than 100 applicants.

Hostel Awards

Virginia Green Travel Star Award

  • HI Richmond

Feature Sustainability Award

  • HI New York City

US Green Building Council of Massachusetts

  • Boston

Sustainability Quality Awards

  • HI Los Angeles Santa Monica

HI Sustainability Fund Competition


  • 2nd Place – Zero Waste Plan and In-Vessel Composting at HI New York City


  • 2nd Place – Laundry-to-Landscape Graywater Harvesting System at HI Point Montara Lighthouse

HI5 Awards

2017 Greenest Hostel 

  • 1st Place – HI Nantucket
  • 2nd Place – HI Richmond
  • 3rd Place – HI Truro

2016 Greenest Hostel 

  • 1st Place – HI Portland Hawthorne

2015 Greenest Hostel 

  • 1st Place – HI Portland Hawthorne
  • 2nd Place – HI Truro

Among the Top 20:

  • HI Boston
  • HI Chicago
  • HI Hyannis
  • HI Martha’s Vineyard
  • HI Nantucket
  • HI Sacramento
  • HI San Diego Point Loma
  • HI San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf

Network Wide Certifications

EPA Green Power Partnership

HI USA is a certified EPA Green Power Partner. 100% of HI USA associate hostels are powered by 100% American Wind Energy.

Green Globe

The following hostels are Green Globe certified:

  • HI Austin
  • HI Houston
  • HI Point Reyes
  • HI Pigeon Point Lighthouse
  • HI Point Montara Lighthouse
  • HI Monterey
  • HI Washington DC
  • HI New York City
  • HI Chicago
  • HI Boston
  • HI Portland Hawthorne

Hostel Certifications


  • HI Point Reyes (Gold – Annex)
  • HI Boston (Silver – entire building)

Energy Star Certified

  • HI San Francisco City Center (Perfect score of 100)

TripAdvisor Green Leaders

  • HI New York – Silver
  • HI Portland Hawthorne – Gold
  • HI Boston – Gold
  • HI San Diego Downtown – Silver
  • HI San Diego Point Loma – Silver
  • HI Washington DC – Gold
  • HI Houston – Bronze
  • HI Baltimore – Bronze

California (Bay Area) Green Business Program

  • HI Point Montara Lighthouse
  • HI Pigeon Point
  • HI Santa Cruz
  • HI Marin Headlands
  • HI Monterey
  • HI Point Reyes

Santa Monica Green Business

  • HI Los Angeles Santa Monica

City of Sustainability at Work

  • HI Portland Hawthorne