Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna in Mikkeli (Finland) has been Green Key awarded since December 2016 and has integrated environmental perspective deep into their daily operations. Hotel Manager Hanna Coker-Appiah presented their vast variety of Green Key efforts to Finn Bolding Thomsen from Green Key International.
Vaakuna started their journey with Green Key in the autumn of 2016 to prepare for a Green Key application. Environmental work was nothing new for them, but with Green Key, it became more consistent and the awareness of the impact of different daily actions increased. Small modifications were also made. For example, the shower heads in all rooms were replaced with more eco-friendly ones. This repair investment was already in the plans and new shower heads on their way. Two different kinds of shower heads were tested by staff and the final selection was made based on these results.
The two tested shower heads also complied with the Green Key requirement that in at least 75% of showers are with a water flow of max. 9 litres per minute. Modern shower heads, as the new one Vaakuna chose for their hotel rooms, limit the water flow onto an ecological level without compromising guest satisfaction. Vaakuna’s guests have been happy with the choice the hotel made for new shower heads and have been also able to know about their environmental impact. Vaakuna follows water consumption carefully and was happy to share good results after their first Green Key year: the amount of water saved each month equals the water consumption of an average household for a year.
Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna Mikkeli actively encourages also guests to make an ecological choice. The bikes available at the hotel are hugely popular and the guest can enjoy local products such as the famous delicacy Karelian pies, local bread or taste the local beer named after the great Marshal Mannerheim. A welcoming letter in the rooms informs the guest of the environmental efforts at the hotel and provides easy, practical tips how to make ecological choices. The guest can sort waste or save water and energy by using the towel again. The hotel is also situated conveniently with an easy access for trains and buses – even a bike taxi in the summertime!
The whole staff in Vaakuna is involved in the work for the good of the environment. The kitchen keeps a close eye on energy consumption of ovens and the nightclub strives to reduce the use of plastic. Housekeeping uses microfiber cloths and 100% of daily chemicals are eco-labelled.
Finn Bolding Thomsen, Green Key International Director, visited the hotel in January 2018 and was very impressed with the environmental efforts at the hotel. He also very much appreciated the way that Sokos Hotel Vaakuna informs the guests about their environmental work both in the carpark of the hotel, in the hotel lobby and in the guest rooms.
However, new things are constantly under development. The next one will make the overnight at Original Sokos Hotel Vaakuna in Mikkeli a memorable environmental experience. But this will be something to be revealed a bit later – so to be continued…