NEW YORK—Selina issued its inaugural environmental, social, and governance (ESG) report, which showed tangible progress made in 2021.
With environmental and social consciousness and “impact” among its core values, Selina’s operating philosophy includes ESG initiatives with care for the planet, starting with its host communities. In 2021, the company focused on setting a baseline for its long-term ESG goals, putting in place an infrastructure for its mission and a measure for its impact on people and the planet. This effort allowed the company to establish a set of medium-term goals, including the launch of a pilot program to measure its greenhouse gas emissions, which launched this year with plans to extend it to 10 percent of Selina’s operations by 2024.
Demonstrating the company’s progress in 2021, Selina’s entire 10-property Costa Rica portfolio was certified net-zero for carbon emissions. To achieve this distinction, the company implemented a number of practices that align with standards set forth by the 100% Carbon Neutral International Program, The Envira Amazonia Tropical Forest Conservation Program, and The Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative. Moreover, the company is making progress on its goal to reduce paper waste by implementing technology and enhancing its app to support paperless check-in. In 2021, 30 percent of check-ins were completed through the app, and Selina completed an update in 2022 with the intention of supporting 80 percent of check-ins. On the social front, Selina continues to advance its mission of fostering meaningful connections. In 2021, 66 percent of guests and 80 percent of employees reported meeting a friend during their stays.
Selina CEO and Co-Founder Rafael Museri said, “Selina was born out of a desire to celebrate the nomadic lifestyle by giving guests the chance to experience our planet’s most beautiful places, to build community, to engage with locals and fellow travelers, to work and enjoy new adventures. Doing all of this while mitigating our carbon footprint is key to our efforts to be a responsible corporate citizen, delivering value in a way that goes beyond the bottom line. We’ve taken considerable time to determine how best to establish an ESG program that reflects our mission and enables us to increase and measure our impact over time, and we look forward to continuing to build on these efforts.”
To that end, Selina also detailed some of the progress it has made in advancing its ESG initiatives in 2022. It has expanded its measurement of greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption to 20 locations in six countries, as well as eliminated single-use plastic at 30 percent of its properties with a goal of eliminating usage entirely by 2025.
Maya Federman, Selina’s director of ESG, added, “Selina has implemented a number of diverse initiatives related to ESG matters over the last eight years, and in 2021 we took it a step further, consolidating these efforts under a single vision that can be evolved over time. In launching our formal ESG program and releasing our inaugural report, we are holding ourselves accountable to the standards we are setting to maximize our social impact, minimize our environmental footprint and operate with high standards of corporate governance.”
Additional highlights from the report include:
- All 10 Costa Rica locations are certified net zero for carbon emissions by the 100% Carbon Neutral International Program. This program serves as a model for all other Selina locations to start measuring their greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption.
- Selina uses a circular economy approach, growing not through new construction, but by leveraging adaptive reuse for existing buildings and upcycling and/or recycling furniture and other pieces of inventory.
- Waste management initiatives range from reducing single-use plastics to converting to an app-based check-in process to reduce paper usage, as well as providing water re-filling stations and reusable drinkware to limit the use of disposable materials.
- Selina continues to make progress in advancing its mission to deliver destinations that positively impact people, communities, and local businesses by creating new jobs and connections through programming, experiences, and educational initiatives. In 2021, this programming included workshops, fundraising initiatives, crisis responses, community service projects, women’s empowerment programs, and LGBTQ+, DEI, and animal protection activities.
- The Selina Gives Back Hospitality Program promotes economic opportunity for all by providing free job training programs to unemployed local community members in vulnerable situations or who face challenges accessing higher education. In 2021, approximately 87 percent of graduates went on to pursue further study or found employment in the hospitality industry.
- Selina conducted nearly 800 impact programs in 2021, where employees volunteer in their host communities to respond to needs based on interviews the team conducts with local stakeholders. These programs were active in 14 countries, benefitting more than 28,000 people and resulting in the donation of more than 10,500 employee hours.
- As part of Selina’s efforts to become public company ready, the company is building out a Board of Directors comprising perspectives from executives with backgrounds in tech, hospitality, real estate, marketing, and other relevant fields.
- Selina has committed to a goal of achieving at least 30 percent diversity in Board membership with plans to appoint at least two directors who self-identify as female and one who self-identifies as either an underrepresented minority or LGBTQ+ before or within the first year after the closing of its planned business combination and public listing this year.
- Selina is working to codify the business and ethical principles that will govern all aspects of its business going forward as part of a new Code of Conduct to be rolled out in 2022.