Stanhope Hotel in Belgium organises sustainable breakfast buffet

After completing the renovation of the breakfast area at the Brighton Restaurant, the Stanhope Hotel decided to change the complete layout of the breakfast buffet.

The hotel removed the small individual portions and presented the breakfast buffet with large glass jars to limit the packaging and waste. Their guests serve themselves out of large jars of jams or cereals. As hygiene is of the utmost importance, all these new jars and pot have covers and adapted utensils are available for the guests to serve themselves without touching the food. These are also refrigerated whenever appropriate and protected by sneeze guards.

In addition, the hotel limited the food available, preferring to reassert the buffet little by little instead of spoiling products such as sausage, smoked salmon or cheese that cannot be reused if they have not been consumed.

This policy of limiting waste while offering a buffet always varied and high quality is also used for the conference buffets and major events. The hotel put forward the limited waste buffets by proposing a wide choice to their customers with particular attention to the quantities presented and by completing following necessity.

Salads and other dishes are now presented in large glass jars, on trays and mirrors, thus limiting the packaging.

Green Key and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals: SDG #7

Green Key is a leading standard of excellence in the field of sustainable tourism, guiding tourism establishments to do their part in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN. In our new feature series we will present each of the 17 SDGs and explain their connection to Green Key. 

In 2015, the UN member states adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to guide governments, the private sector and civil society in transforming our world into safer, fairer and more livable place.   

Sustainability lies at the heart of Green Key, which is why the programme inherently contributes to all of the 17 goals. Today, we talk about Goal 7: "Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all".

The tourism and hospitality industry is an energy-intensive sector, requiring electricity for its facilities and the provision of tourism-related services such as accommodation, catering and tourism experiences. According to UNEP and UNWTO, tourism is responsible of about 5% of global CO2 emissions. The accommodation sector alone accounts for approximately 20% of emissions from tourism.*

How does Green Key help to achieve Goal 7?

Green Key has a whole category of criteria dealing with energy, encompassing over 20 requirements and guidelines. The criteria help tourism establishment to both monitor and reduce their energy consumption (see category 7 in our criteria documents). 

  • Using energy-efficient light bulbs (criterion 7.3) and devices (criterion 7.8, 7.13 , 7.17 and 7.27) is an integral part of the Green Key programme.
  • Awarded establishments have to reduce their energy consumption by applying smart energy management systems and solutions such as:
    • Adjusting the heating and air-conditioning control systems according to seasonal changes or when the establishment’s facilities are not in use (criterion 7.2)
    • Having a written procedure regarding electric devices in empty bedrooms (criterion 7.9)
    • Defining a standard temperature for cooling and heating in guest rooms (criterion 7.10)
    • Minimising lighting with motion detectors, automatic switch-offs or daylight sensors (criterion 7.11, 7.19 and 7.20)
    • Having the key-card system or another systems that switches off electricity when guests leave the room (criterion 7.19)
    • Air-conditioning and heating automatically switching off when windows are opened (criterion 7.22)
    • Implementing a heat recovery system (criterion 7.23)
  • Properly maintaining and cleaning electric devices to reduce their energy consumption, such as ventilation systems (criterion 7.5 & 7.6), fat filters (criterion 7.4) and draught excluders (criterion 7. 7)
  • Monitoring the energy consumption by registering the monthly energy figures (criterion 7.1.), installing separate electricity metres in the establishment (criterion 7.21) and having an energy audit carried out every 5 years (criterion 7.14) 
  • Insulating the buildings (criterion 7.24), windows (criterion 7.12) and hot water pipes (criterion 7.25) to prevent the loss of energy
  • Promoting the use of eco-certified or renewable energies (criterion 7.16)
  • Informing guests about energy saving initiatives of the establishment and encouraging them to reduce their energy consumption during their stay (criterion 3.4 & 3.7)
  • To help tourism establishments to measure their carbon footprint, Green Key is offering a free calculation tool on its website

A document describing Green Key’s overall contribution to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be downloaded here.

*“Climate Change and Tourism: Responding to Global Challenges”, UNEP and UNWTO, 2007

From beverage cartons to the real sustainability of EcoNatural

Green Key's partner, Lucart Professional continues to promote sustainable innovation, completing the beverage container recovery cycle introduced with the exclusive EcoNatural line of tissue products, by making it possible to recycle all the materials they contain: cellulose fibres, aluminium and polyethylene.

Lucart uses a physical and mechanical process to separate beverage containers into their constituent elements and obtain two new raw materials, Fiberpack® and Al.Pe.®.

Fiberpack® is the exclusive raw material obtained by recycling the cellulose fibres in beverage containers. It is used by Lucart to produce a comprehensive range of tissue products for the Away From Home market (towels, toilet paper, medical examination bed sheets, tissue paper, paper tissues, kitchen and DIY paper rolls, multi-purpose towels and napkins in various formats), which satisfy the highest strength, absorbency and softness standards set by the market. EcoNatural tissue products had been awarded during Pulire 2017 as most innovative and sustainable product by Ecolabel Award, a further acknowledgment of Lucart Professional sustainability

Al.Pe.® is the innovative raw material made from aluminium and polyethylenerecycled from beverage cartons. Lucart uses this raw material to produce a full range of dispensers for washroom areas, combining the concept of sustainability with market demand for easy handling, fine design and reliability.

EcoNatural has therefore become the new PAPER+DISPENSER line that introduces a circular economy model, with the transformation of used beverage cartons into two new raw materials.

These two innovative raw materials are used to make two product ranges that form part of the same system, transferring the sustainability championed by the Lucart Professional brand to the everyday business activities of customers in the Away From Home market.

EcoNatural is innovative and sustainable, so choosing it represents a way for customers to show end users how committed they are to the environment.

Lucart Professional intends to certify and promote this choice:

  • through a certificate of environmental saving, stating the beverage containers recycled, trees saved and CO2 emissions reduced with your and your customers’ help
  • through a dispenser with printed information to tell end users about your commitment to the environment.

Lucart Professional once again confirms its position as the brand that delivers real sustainability for its customers’ businesses through intelligent solutions that redefine the standards of innovation.

Radisson Blu Resort Bukovel integrates the surrounding nature in its work with sustainability

During the recent Green Key visit to Radisson Blu Resort Bukovel, a ski and nature resort surrounded by forests in the Carpathian Mountains in the Ukraine, the auditor was impressed with the integration of the surrounding area in the sustainability work of the hotel

Waste sorting and environmental education by Radisson Blu Resort Bukovel

Waste sorting and environmental education by Radisson Blu Resort Bukovel

As the hotel is surrounded by beautiful nature, Radisson Blu Resort Bukovel is planning to increase the environmental education of its guests, e.g. through bringing attention to storks and other birds.

The hotel is integrating local cuisine and using local food products in its restaurant.

At part of the commitment to Green Key, Radisson Blu Resort Bukovel is planning to speed up the replacement of light bulbs to LED lighting. The local municipality is supporting the efforts of the hotel by having implemented a waste management system. 

Green Key audit at Radisson Blu Resort Bukovel

Green Key audit at Radisson Blu Resort Bukovel

Green Key and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals: SDG #6

Green Key is a leading standard of excellence in the field of sustainable tourism, guiding tourism establishments to do their part in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN. In our new feature series we will present each of the 17 SDGs and explain their connection to Green Key. 

In 2015, the UN member states adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to guide governments, the private sector and civil society in transforming our world into safer, fairer and more livable place.   

Sustainability lies at the heart of Green Key, which is why the programme inherently contributes to all of the 17 goals. Today, we talk about Goal 6: "Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all"

Tourism can be a major factor in the water consumption of a region and even of a whole country. Water is used in the bathrooms of tourism accommodations, in the kitchens, for swimming pools and spa areas, for washing and cleaning and for irrigating gardens and parks. To lower the water footprint of tourism establishments, it is both important to use latest water saving technologies and solutions, as well as to educate the staff and guests about how to save water. 

How does Green Key help to achieve Goal 6?

Many of Green Key's criteria deal with the reduction of the consumption of water and the protection of water-related ecosystems as well as freshwater sources:

  • Green Key Key has a whole category of criteria dealing with practices that reduce the consumption of water (see category 4 in our criteria documents). These include adjusting the water flow in taps and showers, using devices with a lower water consumption and regularly checking for leaks. 
  • To protect water-related ecosystems and to prevent the pollution of drinking water sources all Green Key awarded establishments either have to be connected to an existing public sewage system or have to have an own wastewater treatment system on-site (criterion 4.9).
  • Furthermore, cleaning products have to be environmentally sound (criterion 5.2 and 5.6)
  • The programme has also strict guidelines when it comes to the storage and handling of hazardous waste that could potentially harm the environment (criterion 6.7 and 6.8)
  • To reduce the water consumption in the garden and park areas of Green Key awarded establishments, smart watering systems have to be implemented (criterion 10.3), and it is encouraged to collect and use rainwater (criterion 10.5). In addition, the use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers is not allowed.
  • Green Key believes that the education of staff is one main factor in reducing the water consumption in a tourism establishment. All staff members have to be aware of the establishment's water saving initiatives (criterion 2.4) and the housekeeping staff must be aware of and implement the procedures regarding the towel and sheet reuse (criterion 2.5)
  • Next to informing the staff about the water saving initiatives, Green Key awarded establishments also have to inform and involve their guests (criterion 3.4). Information about water saving must be visible for every guest (criterion 3.7). There must be also signs in the rooms informing guests that sheets and/or towels will only be changed upon request (criterion 5.1)
  • Green Key awarded establishments are also encouraged to actively supports green activities or initiatives for social community development including, among others, sanitation (criterion 11.4)
  • To help tourism establishments to measure their water footprint, Green Key is offering a free calculation tool on it's website 

A document describing Green Key’s overall contribution to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be downloaded here.

Radisson Blu launches Blu Planet for meetings

Radisson Blu, the iconic hotel brand driven by innovation and design, is launching Blu Planet for Meetings, making meetings carbon-free at Radisson Blu hotels worldwide by the end of the year. The selected First Climate carbon offsetting projects contribute to fighting global warming and support the UN Sustainable Development goals. 

“Since the COP21 climate accord, an increasing number of corporations are concerned about fighting climate change and about reducing their carbon footprints, also when they plan meetings,” says Inge Huijbrechts, Vice President of Responsible Business for Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group. “We know that face-to-face meetings are crucial to business success. Research has shown they boost profitability. With Blu Planet for Meetings, we help our guests have successful Experience Meetings and help protect our environment by reducing their overall carbon footprint.”

All sustainable companies calculate and report their company’s carbon footprint based on their own energy consumption, purchased energy and their supply chain footprint, which includes business travel. For each meeting or event held at a Radisson Blu hotel, the carbon footprint will be calculated and offset through Gold Standard carbon offsetting projects in Guatemala, Malawi and India, linked to water sustainability.

“Water sustainability is an important commitment from Radisson Blu, and we are delighted to partner with First Climate on dedicated water projects that will have a positive impact on communities as we help provide safe drinking water,” says Huijbrechts.

Blu Planet for Meetings unique carbon offsetting, combined with a series of sustainable features, ensures Radisson Blu is “as committed as you are” to making your meeting green and safe. These characteristics are:

  • Advanced technology in rooms and meeting rooms, reducing paper use
  • Brain Food for Meetings – an innovative food offering that keeps the delegates’ attention span constant
  • A water-light Super Breakfast
  • Eco-labelled venues with labels like Green Key, GreenLeaders or Earthcheck
  • Waste recycling in all hotels
  • Safehotels Alliance certification at 160+ hotels worldwide
  • Blu Planet towel reuse program combining the environmental benefits with bringing safe drinking water to communities in need
  • #BluRoutes – running and cycling routes to connect to your destination
  • ‘This Works’ all natural amenities

“We’re also encouraging meeting planners to make sustainability come alive as part of their meeting, whether it’s through a city bicycle tour, local tree planting or a zero-carbon picnic in the park. For sustainability minded and environment friendly companies, Radisson Blu should be the brand of choice for all meetings and events, as we jointly create opportunities to promote our shared values,” said Huijbrechts.

“By offsetting carbon emissions from meetings and events taking place at Radisson Blu Hotels and Resorts, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group demonstrates its commitment to a low carbon economy and makes a valuable contribution to climate change mitigation,” says Sascha Lafeld, CEO of First Climate Markets, the service provider that assists Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group in carbon emissions management. “By choosing to offset carbon emissions using high-quality Gold-Standard projects, Carlson Rezidor also contributes to the generation of multiple co-benefits in the project regions that support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”

La Grange d'Ychippe: Willingness to educate

Raising environmental awareness among the guests at La Grange d'Ychippe led to a significant changes in the environmental standards at the guesthouse.

The compost in the garden of La Grange d'Ychippe (Picture by E. Uskokovic)

The compost in the garden of La Grange d'Ychippe (Picture by E. Uskokovic)

The owner of the cottage located in the magnificent Condroz region near Ciney (Belgium Wallonia) tells: "When I started the accommodation, I could see the guests leave the rooms with the windows open and the heating turned on. I had always tons of garbage, and I could see that my business was not sustainable and that if I continued like this I could not hold on.”

Since then, La Grange d'Ychippe became Green Key awarded and the guesthouse actually made enormous progress to save water and energy and to reduce its waste. That is also made possible by educating customers. By leaving small information signs about environmentally friendly gestures, like the best use of water, or which waste go to the compost. This environmental education is for the kids and especially for the parents. The owner is always on the lookout on news ideas to improve its Green Key action plan. There is already various educational materials and games on the environment, and the owner would like to set up teaching panels for children, about the various issues related to biodiversity.

In the garden, there is a pond, different shelters for fauna and flora, a flowery meadow, and the establishment uses principles of differentiated management in their garden. The owner is currently building an insect house and she had already made a shelter for hedgehogs. The green space of the guesthouse is a true oasis for biodiversity, a place of relaxation for parents and discoveries for children.

It is a voluntary approach to do the actions in favour of the nature but after the owner has been engaging with Green key, this approach continues to develop: "We adopt this philosophy in favour of the environment not only for our guesthouse but everywhere around us ".

The pond in the garden of La Grange d'Ychippe (Picture by E. Uskokovic)

The pond in the garden of La Grange d'Ychippe (Picture by E. Uskokovic)

First Green Key awarded establishment in Hungary!

Green Key is proud to announce that Landal Residence Duna is the first Green Key awarded establishment in Hungary. 

The Landal Residence Duna is located on the countryside outside of Budapest, surrounded by vineyards, hills and woods. The holiday park has 102 4-6 room apartments, an indoor and open-air swimming pool as well as its own restaurant. Due to its location on the countryside, the park uses mainly local products and services, which not only reduces transportation costs, but also benefits the environment. 

On top of complying with Green Key's programme criteria in all areas, the park built a rainwater channel that directs the rain water to a collecting basin in the nearby village where the water is treated and reused.

With the Landal Residence Duna being awarded in Hungary, the number of countries running the Green Key programme rises to 56. 

Green Key and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals: SDG #5

Green Key is a leading standard of excellence in the field of sustainable tourism, guiding tourism establishments to do their part in achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN. In our new feature series we will present each of the 17 SDGs and explain their connection to Green Key. 

In 2015, the UN member states adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals to guide governments, the private sector and civil society in transforming our world into safer, fairer and more livable place.   

Sustainability lies at the heart of Green Key, which is why the programme inherently contributes to all of the 17 goals. Today, we talk about Goal 5: "Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls".

According to the UN, "Gender inequality persists worldwide, depriving women and girls of their basic rights and opportunities. Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will require more vigorous efforts, including legal frameworks, to counter deeply rooted gender-based discrimination that often results from patriarchal attitudes and related social norms."

Although women make up the majority of the workforce in tourism in most parts of the world, they are mainly employed in low-paid jobs and in those with a lower status, such as housekeeping. Furthermore, many women are engaged in unpaid work for family businesses, which excludes them from formal employment and the possibility to develop a professional career. 

How does Green Key help to achieve Goal 5?

In 2016, Green Key expanded its criteria with a new section called "Corporate Social Responsibility" to make sure that the programme does not only consider environmental issues but also social responsibility.

Criterion 11.3 explicitly encourages awarded sites to be equitable in hiring women in all positions.

Furthermore, it is imperative for all Green Key awarded establishments, e.g. as part of their CSR policy, that their employees receive fair treatment without discrimination (criterion 11.1). 

A document describing Green Key’s overall contribution to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals can be downloaded here.