Green Key awarded hotel in Greenland takes environmental and social responsibility

Hotel Arctic in Ilulissat in Greenland, having had the Green Key award since 2000, is very committed towards reducing its environmental footprint using new technologies, raising the environmental awareness among staff and using locally produced food in the kitchen. The hotel is also deeply engaged in social responsibility by supporting employment of local people.

At Hotel Arctic, the commitment to the environment is wired into the DNA – as the hotel is located surrounded by the powerful forces of nature and with the front row seat to some of the most fantastic scenery on Earth.

Hotel Arctic is reducing its environmental impact through education of staff and by using new technology. Twice a year, all employees at the hotel take part in an environmental theme day focusing on daily routines across the hotel to find green solutions to the challenges. Everywhere in the hotel, there are sensors and thermostats together with energy-efficient solutions ensuring that no more electricity, water and heating than necessary are used. In 2013, the hotel became 100% carbon neutral in 2013, and in 2014, solar panels were installed producing around 20% of the electricity. It is calculated that the investment in solar panels will break even in less than seven years. The hotel has its electricity and also hot water for heating and for tap water based on hydropower.

In the kitchen at Hotel Arctic, the chiefs are working hard to serve as much local food as possible. Ingredients such as musk ox, reindeer, Greenland halibut, Arctic hare, wolfish, mussels, sea urchins, redfish and much more are on the menu daily. The hotel kitchen staff also collects own herbs in the area, and they use seasonal vegetables grown in the fields south of the capital, Nuuk. A few years ago, Hotel Arctic won the prestigious New Nordic food award.

The hotel is employing 60-70 staff members making it an important working place in the town of Ilulissat with around 5,000 inhabitants. The hotel is taking social responsibility through training of around ten young local people. The training takes place in different positions, e.g. in the kitchen, restaurant and in the reception. The training typically takes 3-4 years combining the practical work at the hotel with periods at tourism management schools in Greenland or Denmark. The Greenlandic trade union movement has recognised the work of “having contributed to inspiring and encouraging the people of Greenland to educate and better themselves, not just for their own benefit but also for the benefit of progress in Greenland.”