Belgium

Château de Namur hosts local sustainable development award in Namur, Belgium

On 26 April, the hotel Château de Namur hosted the local sustainable development award "Prix du développement durable de la Province de Namur" only shortly after the hotel received its own sustainability award – the Green Key.

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With this award, the Province of Namur wishes to highlight and, as a result, help raise awareness of existing sustainable development initiatives in Namur. And which venue would be better for a sustainability award ceremony than a Green Key hotel?

Château de Namur itself received its Green Key award in February 2018 due to its excellent environmental performance. The hotel strongly focuses on organic and local food products which becomes both evident from the restaurant menu and the refreshments offered in the guest rooms. Latest technologies in the hotel ensure that resources like energy and water are saved to a maximum. Guests can support the sustainability efforts of Château de Namur by using the offered electric bikes or the charging station for electric cars right outside the hotel. Furthermore, the hotel engages their guests by providing plenty of information about their environmental initiatives and environmental tips for their stay.

For its environmental committment, Château de Namur not only received the Green Key, but also the sustainable tourism award in the framework of a contest organised by the city of Namur.

Green Key in Flanders (Belgium): a new chapter lies ahead

After 12 years of Green Key in Flanders (Belgium) being run by Bond Beter Leefmilieu, the umbrella organisation for the environment, Green Key Flanders starts a new chapter from 2018 with the organisation GoodPlanet taking over the management of the Green Key programme.

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One of the new challenges that lie ahead is to recruit candidates for the new category 'restaurants' that is now also offered in Flanders (Belgium). Three restaurants have already signed up and will serve as models for other restaurants wishing to follow. Green Key Flanders sees a lot of potential in this new category, especially when it comes to tackling food waste and promoting sustainable food.  

The region of Flanders now has 129 of the 204 Green Key awarded establishments in Belgium, which is a fairly high number relative to the size of the region. The 129 Green Key establishments (including ten new establishments) were awarded the Green Key on 26 February 2018 during an event taking place in Martin’s Klooster, a four-star hotel and meeting location that offers its clients the possibility to offset their carbon emission.

10 years Green Key Belgium-Flanders celebrated with 115 awards

On 14 December 2015, 115 Flemish tourism businesses received the Green Key certification. An amazing result of 10 years of hard work done by Bond Beter Leefmilieu in cooperation with Tourism Flanders. The ceremony took place in the newly awarded Hostel H in Hasselt. 

Old and new

Five sites were awarded their 10th Green Key certificate and can be considered as true Green Key experts: Baalse Hei, provinciaal recreatiedomein Zilvermeer, De Lilse Bergen, De Spaanjerd and Herenlaak.

There were also 9 new sites to be awarded their first Green Key award which supports their promise to their guests to that by choosing their establishment, they are helping to make a difference on an environmental and sustainability level: Astoria Hotel Antwerpen, Leopold Hotel Antwerp, Sandton Pillows Brussels, NH Brugge, Ramada Oostende, Buro 53, Jeugdherberg Bed Muzet, Hostel H and Logies Villa Vindina.

Continuous work

Participating establishment don’t get awarded easily. Every year the laureates have to prove their environmental efforts and dedication to an independent jury with representatives from the government, environmental organisations and the tourism industry. The Green Key criteria cover a range of environmental (water, waste, energy, etc.) and educational areas (staff involvement, guest information).

Hostel H: ‘Sustainbility matches our vision perfectly’

The ceremony took place in the new city youth hostel Hostel H, a Green Key newbie.
‘As a trendy new hostel we try to be progressive on different levels. While building the hostel we asked the architect to take all possible environmental aspects into account.’  Marjolein Vogelaers, Manager Hostel H, explains.

 

Aloft Brussels Schuman rewards guests for making green choices

At Aloft Brussels Schuman, a 3-stars hotel, Green Key certified since 2011 and located near the EU institutions in Brussels, has a revolutionary programme that not only saves resources but also rewards guests for joining in minimizing the consumption.

For each night a guest declines housekeeping services, the ‘Make a Green Choice’ programme rewards the guest with a €5 voucher valid in the "Wxyz" Bar and "Re:fuel Grab & Go Restaurant" or with 250 Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints®. A guest may also decide to donate the value of the 250 SPG points to UNICEF, a long term partner of Starwood.

With over 30% of the guests using this Make a Green Choice program, energy consumption has reduced significantly. With the average consumption per stay estimated at 140 liters of water and 0.19 KWH of electricity, the impact on the yearly consumption figures is substantial.     


The Silken Berlaymont Brussels – Education as the basis for succesful environmental management

The Silken Berlaymont Brussels, a 4-star Green Key awarded hotel located in the European Parliament neighbourhood, in the heart of Brussels. The core of their environmental approach is the good collaboration they maintain with staff and suppliers.

This approach is based on the participation of all the employees and on the education of the people in the near context. The focus is mainly on: energy, recycling, sustainable development, transport and green spaces, always keeping in mind that the quality and comfort should never be altered. An impressive list of the accomplishments shows the amazing work that has been done by this hotel. A great Green Key Ambassador!

All the hotels suppliers were contacted to find out how packaging waste could be avoided, reduced or perfected. Products and services are bought locally as much as possible in order to save fuel for transporting the goods.  All supplier were sensitized about the concept.

Without affecting the comfort of the customer, the efforts have enabled the hotel to save 25% CO² over the past year.

Most office materials such as pens, pencils, paper, etc… are made out of recycled materials. Most of the plastic one-way items have been removed and replaced by glass. A container to gather batteries and other electronic devices has been installed at the hotel.

Most regular light bulbs have been replaced by other using 80% less energy.

Last but not least, a lot of water saving procedures were installed. For example flow showerheads and filters in order to reduce the water consumption. This is not only saving water but also salt from the softener and gas as less water has to be heated. Very shortly after the installation, the difference was clear. To give you an idea, by the end of this year, the hotel save a total amount of water that equals to 55 .000.000 liters of water or … 4 Olympic swimming pools!

The Stanhope Hotel in Brussels leads the way to sustainability in Belgium

The Stanhope Hotel, a 5-star boutique Hotel and awarded with the Green Key label since 3 years, continually works to be a Green symbol in Brussels. This year will not be an exception on this rule. The Green Team still has lots of ideas to reduce waste, water & energy and improve green communication.

Throughout the seasons, the Hotel always remains connected with ecologic initiatives by offering Green experiences to their visitors. During the winter, home made recycled heart-shaped candles are offered as a special attention during the Valentine’s dinner. In spring, guests enjoy a Happy Hour at recycled candle light to celebrate the ‘Earth Hour’. Summer is a great time to taste the bio menu during the Bio Week. Autumn is synonym of discovering recycled objects exposed at the Recycling Expo as the major action during the European week of waste reduction.

The Hotel offers permanent green visibility in the Green corner, an original recycled cardboard design; in the showcase with seasonal silhouettes of ‘Les Petits Riens’ (a social economy enterprise organizing second hand fashion shows and selling second hand equipment, for the benefit of homeless and unemployed persons); in the rooms with tips for a green stay; in the recently created biologic herbs garden and through a green guiding tour when booking a Green Package.

Green vouchers now accepted in Green Key sites in Belgium

The “green vouchers” system in Belgium, introduced to promote environmentally friendly products and services, has now included Green Key as one of their services where the vouchers can be used. A great way to introduce Green Key to a wide range of people.

These vouchers (called “ecochèques”) are given by employers to near 1.5 million workers in the country, as fringe benefits, and can be spent for products such as energy efficient light bulbs, organic food, more sustainable transportation, second hand items, etc.

Due to a specific request introduced by the Green Key national operators in Belgium, people will now be allowed to spend their green vouchers in Green Key establishments from the 1st June 2015 on. Green Key establishments have been accepted into this voucher system amongst others because the label is recognized by UN organisations and because it caters for an independent auditing system.

Green Key establishments willing to be eligible have to register with at least one of the two enterprises issuing the vouchers. By introducing the label into this well-known and popular scheme, the Green Key national operators in Belgium believe that they are making it more famous and therefore encouraging its promotion. 

Green Key Flanders trains next generation hotel managers about Sustainability

A college for hotel and catering management in Antwerp, Belgium, invited the Green Key national operator of Flanders to give a guest lecture about sustainable hotel management.

Contact between Green Key and the Antwerp College for Hotel and Catering Management was established at a network event organised by the Antwerp Hotel Association where Miriam van Loon, the Green Key national operator, gave a presentation about Green Key. During a conversation with a lecturer from the Hotel Management College, it became clear that although there is a special sub-category of study about sustainable management, the general programme doesn’t offer any courses on sustainability.

Therefore, Miriam van Loon was invited to give a four-hour introduction lecture for all Bachelor students at the Antwerp College for Hotel and Catering Management. The lecture covered sustainability in general sustainable tourism and hotel management with practical examples from Green Key. The lecture ended with a workshop on the ‘creation of a sustainable holiday experience’.

As this lecture was a great success, the cooperation will continue in the coming years.