Corporate Responsibility

Our approach to corporate social responsibility continues to evolve along with our rapidly changing industry. In 2019, sustainability continued to be a focus for our company.

About This
Report

This report covers our company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities from the 2019 fiscal year, unless otherwise specified. Our company’s last report was published in March 2019. In preparing this report and selecting the topics and metrics to include, we have referenced the reporting frameworks developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB).

Our company is committed to the regular publication of a CSR report, and we aim to continue to create and use benchmarks to expand our efforts and commit our resources in the areas where we believe we can make a difference. This report is intended to capture and illustrate the activities taking place across our brands — Booking.com, KAYAK, Priceline, Agoda, Rentalcars.com and OpenTable — on topics related to community engagement, the environment, employees, customer privacy and data protection, as well as governance.
*Throughout the report, figures in € have been converted into $ at a rate of 1.10.

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Booking Holdings makes it easier for everyone to experience the world through seamless technology powered by our six major brands.

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A Note From
Our CEO

At Booking Holdings, we make it easier for everyone to experience the world every day through seamless technology powered by our six major brands.

Glenn D. Fogel
Chief Executive Officer & President

This year, our industry is facing extreme challenges as the COVID-19 pandemic is changing the world, including the global travel industry, in unprecedented ways.
We at Booking Holdings believe that this global crisis makes our responsibility toward sustainability more important than ever. The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) defines sustainable tourism as “tourism that takes full account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of visitors, the industry, the environment, and host communities.” In the face of a pandemic, it is this holistic view that will allow us to lead our industry toward a more stable and inclusive future.
While COVID-19 has impacted some of our immediate plans, it hasn’t changed our mission: to make it easier for everyone to experience the world. Since our founding, we have worked to create a purpose-driven company focused not just on short-term profits and challenges, but on setting long-term goals that will benefit travelers today and for generations to come. This commitment to fostering sustainability—environmentally, socially, and as a corporation—supports us to weather the storms we are currently passing through without compromising our identity.
Looking back at 2019, we made important strides on our journey toward improving sustainability, and these efforts are captured in this report. We invested in companies and organizations that share our ambitious goals for sustainable travel. Last year, Booking.com’s CSR program changed its name from Booking Cares to the Booking Sustainability Team, reflecting our ongoing commitment to broader sustainability initiatives.
In 2020 and beyond, we will face challenges that we couldn’t have imagined even one year ago. However, we already knew that the road to a sustainable future would be a long and winding one and that it would require humility, strong partnerships, and perseverance. We remain committed to our path and undaunted by the obstacles we face.
The American novelist John Steinbeck wrote, “We do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” Here at Booking Holdings, I am struck by where our journey toward sustainability has taken us so far, and what that will mean in the years to come. We realize now more than ever that we can’t anticipate what the next year holds in store, but we continue to push forward with hope, courage, and confidence in what we can achieve. I invite you to join us.

Company
Overview

We are the world’s leading provider of online travel and related services, catering to consumers and local partners in more than 230 countries and territories through six primary consumer-facing brands: Booking.com, KAYAK, Priceline, Agoda, Rentalcars.com and OpenTable.

Our mission is to make it easier for everyone to experience the world. We had $96.4 billion in gross bookings (the total dollar value, generally inclusive of taxes and fees, of all travel services booked by our customers, net of cancellations) in 2019, with more than 300 offices around the globe employing more than 26,000 people.

2019
Highlights

At Booking Holdings, we make it easier for everyone to experience the world every day through seamless technology powered by our six major brands. Here are some of our highlights from 2019.

SPOTLIGHT
44,500.00 +

Number of volunteer hours contributed by employees across Booking Holdings’ brands in 2019.

SPOTLIGHT

Our CSR work was driven by our largest business and most global brand, Booking.com. In 2019, the brand’s CSR program changed its name from Booking Cares to the Booking Sustainability Team, reflecting Booking.com’s increased ambition and commitment to broader sustainability topics. Through three core programs under the umbrella of the Booking Sustainability Team, Booking.com supported sustainable tourism in varying ways.


Booking Booster
an accelerator program that identified and funded sustainable tourism startups and provided €2 million ($2.2 million) in grants

Booking Volunteers

a program where employees volunteer their time and expertise to partner with local organizations on projects that help improve destinations worldwide


Booking Cares Fund 
a fund that provided €1.28 million
($1.4 million) in grants to nonprofit sustainable travel projects

SPOTLIGHT

KAYAK and OpenTable together launched their first corporate social responsibility program in 2019, Do Good, to harness the power of both brands to better the world together. Do Good is based on three pillars: communities, innovation and sustainability. Overall in 2019, 930 KAYAK and OpenTable employees volunteered for 26 projects, which accounted for 2,500 volunteer hours.

SPOTLIGHT

Priceline relaunched its volunteer program, Priceline LIFT, which included three paid days off for employees to volunteer their time. Through Priceline LIFT, 348 employees volunteered and the business supported 28 local nonprofit organizations in Connecticut, New York and Mumbai. Priceline also hosted its first volunteer service week, LIFTOFF. During that week, close to 450 employees representing every Priceline office gave back to communities through serving meals, donating blood and volunteering through other service programs. A total of 2,950 volunteer service hours were logged during this week.

SPOTLIGHT

In 2019, Agoda donated to the World Wide Fund for Nature International (WWF) to plant 6,000 trees in Northern Thailand as part of a test to involve partners in carbon offsetting.

SPOTLIGHT
2.37 million

Number of meals OpenTable employees provided to food-insecure families through OpenTable’s Giving Tuesday campaign.
For the third year in a row, OpenTable employees were able to donate their OpenTable dining points to No Kid Hungry, which provides food to children facing hunger in the U.S. during the winter holiday season. In 2019, they donated a total of 2.37 million meals.

SPOTLIGHT

Rentalcars.com partnered with Tech Returners, an independent charity based in Manchester, England, that provides support and services for both individuals and businesses working within the tech sector. Through this partnership, Rentalcars.com funded a 15-week course for candidates who are returning to work and interested in developing a career in tech.

Community
Engagement

Making a Difference in Global Communities

Giving back to the communities in which we live, work and do business is essential to how we operate. Through sustainable tourism initiatives, giving and volunteerism, in 2019 we became even more ambitious in our desire to create a tangible positive difference to people, the environment and communities.

2019 HIGHLIGHT

Booking Cares Fund

Booking Cares Fund provided €1.28 million ($1.4 million) in 2019 to support projects in the sustainable travel space.

2019 HIGHLIGHT

Booking Booster

Booking Booster supports innovation through an accelerator program for sustainable tourism startups that are ready to scale. The three-week program, which was in its third year in 2019, consisted of a series of lectures, hands-on workshops and coaching sessions, led entirely by Booking.com employees and experts. The program culminated in a final pitch by the startups to receive grants from Booking.com’s €2 million ($2.2 million) Booking Booster fund in order to support their next stage of growth.

2019 HIGHLIGHT

CSR Day Off

Agoda launched CSR Day Off, a program that gives employees a formal avenue to request and take paid time to volunteer. Throughout the year, Agoda’s CSR Day Off accounted for 4,384 volunteer hours.

2019 HIGHLIGHT

Food Bank Drive

Priceline held its annual food bank drive, which generated close to $70,000 in support for local pantries. The business also delivered $75,000 in donations for William Shatner’s Charity, Horse Show, which funds over 15 foundations.

Rise Against Hunger

OpenTable supported Rise Against Hunger’s mission to end hunger by packing more than 60,000 meals to provide food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Booking.com Sustainability Team

The core of our CSR activity was driven by our largest global business, Booking.com, with a focus on sustainable travel so that future travelers can continue to encounter a world full of destinations still worth exploring.

Environment

There is only one earth. As a company that encourages people to experience the unique places the world has to offer, we are acutely aware that we must model environmental stewardship and responsibility at every turn — starting with our own business. As an internet company that provides online travel and related services in more than 230 countries and territories around the world, which is powered by 17 major data centers, we focus on mitigating the environmental impact of our businesses through decreasing energy use and emissions.

GHG EMISSIONS

TOTAL SCOPE 1 & 2
(METRIC TONS CO2e)

66,219

2019 ENERGY USE
TOTAL ENERGY CONSUMPTION (MWh)

189,713
GHG EMISSIONS
2019 GHG EMISSIONS BY SOURCE
(METRIC TONS CO2e)

DATA CENTERS

35,456

OFFICES

30,763
ENERGY CONSUMPTION

2019 INCREASE IN ENERGY CONSUMPTION

2018 ENERGY USE (MWh):

133,321

2019 ENERGY USE (MWh):

162,179

 

*Booking Holding’s initial emissions estimate for 2019 used standard energy use intensity (EUI) benchmarks to estimate a portion of emissions. 2019 emissions have since been restated, using more accurate EUIs based on actual data. In addition, 2017 and 2018 emissions were restated using updated emissions factors released in 2019 and 2020. Both changes are standard practice, referred to in GHG Protocol parlance as a Change in Methodology.

2019 HIGHLIGHT

Energy Use and Emissions

In 2019, KAYAK and OpenTable employees founded the Global Green Team, which is now part of their combined CSR program, Do Good, with the goal of reducing the carbon footprint at work and aligning green practices across offices. Among other initiatives, the Green Team led concerted efforts to turn off laptops and screens at the end of the workday and to increase timed lighting to reduce energy use.

2019 HIGHLIGHT

Water Use and Waste

As part of the Booking Sustainability Team’s efforts, Booking.com is working to remove single-use plastics in all offices in 2020.

Employees

Our company is committed to making it easier for everyone to experience the world. We work hard and take great pride in what we do.

 

2019 HIGHLIGHT

Diversity and Inclusion

In 2019, Booking.com’s LGBTQ+ Employee Network Group, B.Proud, won the award for Most Engaged Network by the Workplace Pride Foundation, which singles out individuals and organizations who commit their time and effort to create safe and inclusive workplaces for LGBTQ+ people.

#1

Booking.com was ranked #1 by the Financial Times on its list of Europe’s most diverse and inclusive companies.

33%

Four members of the Booking Holdings Board of Directors are women.

50%

of the brand CFOs across the company are women

2019 HIGHLIGHT

Women in Tech

Booking.com provided scholarships worth €500,000 ($551,000) to female undergraduate and postgraduate students attending Spelman College and Cornell University in the U.S. and Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology and the Indian Institute of Science in India to bring more women into key tech programs.

EMPLOYEE GENDER DIVERSITY
as of Q4 2019
EXECUTIVE GENDER DIVERSITY
as of Q4 2019
2019 HIGHLIGHT

Employee Well-Being

Collectively as an organization, we work to foster an environment that uplifts the physical and emotional health of our employees. In 2019, Booking.com built and launched its employee well-being portal, B.Well @ Booking, which includes tools and resources covering the areas of social, mental, physical and emotional health. The brand also sponsored Global Wellbeing Week, during which employees from 167 offices actively participated in health and well-being talks and workshops.

2019 HIGHLIGHT

Ethics and Integrity

Across our brands, we have introduced specific initiatives to help embed a culture of integrity. For example, in 2019 all brands launched Ethics Moments: manager-led live training sessions designed to foster an ethical tone in the middle by allowing teams to stop, think, and talk about the real-life application of topics together as a team. In 2019, the program saw success across all brands and will continue to be rolled out to deeper levels of the organization in 2020.

EMPLOYEES

With a global footprint and more than 26,000 employees representing more than 150 nationalities, diversity and inclusivity are values embedded at the very core of our business and the risk of discrimination and non-inclusion is something we act strongly against. In 2019, Booking Holdings was ranked by Forbes as a Best Employer for Diversity, and Booking.com was ranked No. 1 on the Financial Times’ workplace diversity and inclusion list for European employers.

Customer Privacy
& Data Protection

Privacy and security are a vital part of our responsibility to our customers. We work to preserve our customers’ ability to manage their data and make informed choices about how we use their data. We support critical efforts to secure our network against new and emerging threats.

All of our brands are committed to operating according to our Code of Conduct, within which we set out core privacy principles, including commitments to transparency to customers, purpose limitation, honoring customer choice, security of personal information, honoring individual rights and holding ourselves accountable to these commitments.
Our privacy and security teams help us protect our customers’ data and develop practical ways to manage personal information through training, technology, security and policies. Our privacy program across the brands has set policies and governance, so our customers know that they can trust how we collect, use and protect their personal information. In 2020, all employees at all brands will receive mandatory training on privacy and data protection, and more specific role-based training will be given where appropriate.

Governance

We have governance practices and policies in place to ensure that our business conduct and performance aligns with the interests and expectations of stockholders and other stakeholders.

The Board of Directors provides oversight and counsel to management and represents the interests of stockholders. The board as of December 31, 2019, was composed of 13 members, 11 of whom are independent directors, including an independent lead director. Of these 13 members, five are women (38 percent) and two are people of color (15 percent). There are three board committees: Audit, Compensation and Nominating, and Corporate Governance. Only independent directors serve on the committees. For more information about our corporate governance policies and practices, see the “For Investors” tab on our corporate website (www.bookingholdings.com).

Our Brands