sustainable tourism

Green Key awarded Mexican hacienda with focus on sustainable gardening

As part of the work with sustainability, Fiesta Americana Hacienda San Antonio El Puente Cuernavaca has integrated responsible use of water and composting for its garden areas.

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The hotel, located in the village of Xochitepec just 15 minutes away from Cuernavaca and 1.5 hour away from Mexico City, is a perfect place to celebrate the past and the present. It is a historical hacienda with a beautiful colonial architecture and a modern decoration of the rooms.

Fiesta Americana Hacienda San Antonio El Puente Cuernavaca is surrounded by impressive gardens requiring additional focus on sustainability. The management has installed an irrigation system only using collected rainwater supplemented with water from a nearby river, while the municipal water supply is not used for this purpose. The hotel is naturally only watering the garden at night or in the morning when the water evaporation is lower. Furthermore, the hotel focuses on collecting and composting garden waste for later use as natural fertilisers in the gardens and thereby reducing the need for adding artificial fertilisers.

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José Luis Jiménez Cortés, Maintenance Manager at Fiesta Americana Hacienda San Antonio El Puente Cuernavaca, says: “With the unique location of our hacienda in beautiful green surroundings, we are aware of our need to manage the gardens as sustainable as possible, and we are therefore very proud of our rainwater and garden waste collection systems.

The Hotel belongs to Grupo Posadas, the largest hotel group in Mexico with around 160 hotels across the country holding the Green Key award.

100 companies and organisations in tourism to reduce plastic waste on holiday destinations

Green Key is joining over 100 companies and organisations from the tourism sector in signing the International Tourism Plastic Pledge today. In doing so, Green Key expresses its commitment to reducing plastic pollution at holiday destinations worldwide.

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Every year, more than eight million tonnes of plastic end up in the sea. It is estimated that by 2050 there will be more plastic in the sea than fish. The tourism sector also contributes to this. Think of bottles, straws and bags used by tourists. Research has shown that hotel room visitors generate much more plastic waste than a normal household in the same region.

The signatories include TUI Group, Radisson Hotel Group and Hostelling International. Together they represent around180,000 employees and 50 million holidaymakers. In the coming months, a plan will be developed to reduce the use of plastics and to prevent plastic pollution at destinations. This will be a collaboration with the UNWTO (World Tourism Organization), UN Environment and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. MVO Nederland (CSR Netherlands) is the initiator and guides the companies towards further steps.

As a signatory of the International Tourism Plastic Pledge, Green Key recognizes the urgency and the need to work together to reduce plastic pollution and keep our holiday destinations plastic pollution-free. We will continue our efforts to promote alternatives to single-use plastics by exchanging knowledge, best practices and tools for the hospitality industry in particular.

Signing the Tourism Plastic Pledge is another step forward to implement sustainable practices within the tourism industry. Green Key criteria are taking into account the establishments’ commitment to educate and provide their guests with alternatives to single-use plastic. Each action (or inaction) matters and we will continue our work to preserve our planet from plastic pollution. - Finn Bolding Thomsen, Green Key International Director

Resources regarding best practices such as stories and news about eco-friendly initiatives from the 3,100 Green Key awarded establishments can be find on our website. For example, Green Key strongly supports world’s leading hotel companies which recently banned bathroom miniatures from their rooms such as establishments introducing alternatives to single-use plastic bottles to their guests.

Check the complete list of signatories of the International Tourism Plastic Pledge here.  Other companies from the tourism sector are also welcomed to participate. You can also sign the Tourism Plastic Pledge here: www.tourismplasticpledge.com.

Marriott Hotel saves water and energy by bringing laundry in-house

The London Heathrow Marriott saved 1.7 million litres water per year by opting for an on-site laundry

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Hospitality establishments have to deal with dirty laundry every day. 76% of them hand it over to expensive outsourced laundry business where laundry doesn’t always come back as clean as they would like. Moreover, an off-premise laundry emits carbon emissions from both washing operation and transport. That is why bringing laundry in-house could have multiple wins for both the establishments and the guests.

The London Heathrow Marriott has seen a return on investment within 8 months after installing a Hydrofinity washing machine in-house. The latter uses up to 80% less water, 50% less energy and 50% less chemistry than a conventional machine. By bringing laundry in-house, the hotel reduced its outsource costs, energy and water bills such as generated long-term savings in under one year. The 1.7 million litres of water saved would be enough to refill a reusable water bottle for 3.4 million Heathrow passengers every single year!

An on-premise laundry has several benefits that could push establishments to choose it instead of off-premise laundry. First of all, it can be quicker and easier, which also means more efficient. Investing in commercial laundry equipment permits to avoid breakdowns and downtimes of the domestic ones, just as reducing running and maintenance costs. Furthermore, it just requires a space with an access to services and plumbing so in the end would probably take up less rooms than expected. 

The London Heathrow Marriott commitment to sustainability also goes through two electric car charging stations, rooftop solar panels and reusable glass water bottles in-room and meeting room. The hotel’s practices are based on performance, guest satisfaction and sustainability.

Source: https://www.hydrofinity.com/blog/roi-8-months

ACT.Global A/S and Green Key sign collaboration agreement

Green Key is happy to announce our agreement with ACT.Global. ACT.Global’s solution Premium Purity™ safely ensures low-microbial rooms and purified air while reducing the use of toxic chemicals for cleaning and disinfection, water, and plastic in the hospitality industry.

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ACT.Global is a Copenhagen-based sustainable technology company that develops and advises about Premium Purity™. 

Premium Purity™ consists of ACT CleanCoat™, and the ACT ECA System™ combined with ACT Consulting and Monitoring.

 ACT CleanCoat™ is a coating based on a safe and advanced technology designed to decompose harmful microbes such as bacteria, virus, airborne mold spores, and chemical compounds such as VOCs and NOx. The coating is transparent, odorless, and can be applied to all types of surfaces. When the coating is exposed to light, a photocatalytic reaction starts, which decomposes microbes and purifies the air. Treating an area with ACT CleanCoat™ enables cleaning with the ACT ECA System™.

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 The ACT ECA System™ transforms water and salt into a liquid detergent – ACT ECA Water. ACT ECA Water is produced at the client’s facility, and with ACT ECA Water there is not any need for protective gloves and masks during cleaning as the system replaces strong chemical detergents and disinfectants. The leftover will decompose, and only water and salt remain.

 More information about ACT.Global can be found on their website: www.act.global

Green Key enters collaboration with Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Green Key to support the world’s largest hotel franchising company’s sustainability efforts across Europe, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa

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Green Key, the world’s leading eco-label for the hospitality and travel sector, and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts – the world’s largest hotel franchising company with over 9,200 hotels in more than 80 countries – today entered a new collaboration, which will see Green Key help Wyndham’s hotels in Europe, Middle East, Eurasia and Africa (EMEA) improve sustainability and environmental performance, working towards the prestigious Green Key Award.

Based on compliance with a strict set of criteria that include environmental management, environmental awareness raising and social responsibility, Green Key’s criteria for hotels are recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). The collaboration will support Wyndham Hotels & Resorts’ continued sustainability efforts in the EMEA region, including initiatives to preserve natural resources, solutions to mitigate the impact on climate change through linen and towel reuse programmes, energy efficient lighting, recycling and water conservation. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is also exploring long-term sustainability targets in alignment with the latest climate science including the encouragement of renewable energy where feasible.

Green Key’s application, audit and award process is standardised with a third-party verification of the award, a leading standard of excellence in the field of environmental responsibility and sustainable operation in the tourism industry. Wyndham hotels in the EMEA region will work closely with Green Key in a bid to join the eco-label’s 3,100 awarded establishments in almost 60 countries around the world.

Finn Bolding Thomsen, Green Key International Director, said: “We are extremely proud to be an official cooperation partner of Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. The Company’s commitment to sustainability strongly match Green Key’s expertise and we look forward to supporting its broad range of hotels in EMEA in further advancing their efforts.”

Edwin Broers, Vice President Central Operations Wyndham Hotels & Resorts EMEA, added:Sustainability and environmental performance are crucial for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts,  and we are committed to providing our guests with places to stay that are socially, ethically, and environmentally responsible. Many of our hotels across the EMEA region are engaged in a broad range of sustainability initiatives, and we look forward to continuing this work in cooperation with Green Key.” 

For more information, please contact:

Finn Bolding Thomsen, Green Key International Director, e-mail finn@fee.global and phone +45 61248082

About Green Key

Green Key is the world’s leading eco-label for hotels and other tourism facilities with more than 3,100 awarded establishments in almost 60 countries around the world. The Green Key award is based on compliance with a strict set of criteria that include environmental management, environmental awareness raising and social responsibility. Green Key’s criteria for hotels and hostels are recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). Green Key’s application, audit and award process is standardised with a third-party verification of the award.

 About Wyndham Hotels & Resorts

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: WH) is the world’s largest hotel franchising company, with approximately 9,200 hotels across more than 80 countries on six continents. Through its network of approximately 817,000 rooms appealing to the everyday traveller, Wyndham commands a leading presence in the economy and midscale segments of the lodging industry. The Company operates a portfolio of 20 hotel brands, including Super 8®, Days Inn®, Ramada®, Ramada Encore®, TRYP by Wyndham, Hawthorn Suites®, Trademark Collection®, Wyndham® and more. Wyndham Hotels & Resorts is also a leading provider of hotel management services, with more than 400 properties under management. The Company’s award-winning Wyndham Rewards® loyalty programme offers over 77 million enrolled members the opportunity to redeem points at tens of thousands of hotels, vacation club resorts and vacation rentals globally. For more information, visit www.wyndhamhotels.com.

Green Key guesthouse equipped with the latest green technology

Located in Snowdonia North Wales’ stunning landscape, this carbon neutral guest house is managed by one of the first people in the UK to put solar panels on the family home.

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Since the beginning of this new business in 2006, the owners John and Celia placed sustainability at the heart of the project. Built in 1883, Bryn Elltyd now is equipped with some of the latest green technology thanks to the owner’s skills and experience as former aircraft engineer and technology teacher.

Bryn Elltyd Eco Guest House does not skimp on responsible practices to protect the natural environment. It is powered completely by renewable energy thanks to a computer run biomass boiler and two solar water heating arrays supplying the heating and electricity to the guest house. Moreover, this energy also powers three electric car charging points and a sauna. All this valuable heat is kept within the guesthouse thanks to external and internal insulation including sheep’s wool and two conservatories.

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Seasonal fruit and vegetables are produced in an allotment where water comes from rainwater. Afterwards, 80% of the food and drinks are sourced from within 13 miles of the property. Guests cannot find more local free range eggs, sausages and bacon!

Bryn Elltyd is a central and ideal place for exploring Snowdonia and the rest of the North Wales. Consequently, its owners encourage visitors to use one of the many bike trails in the area to enjoy the Moelwyn mountains or the close hydro lake. This Green Key awarded establishment leaves nothing to chance!

New collaboration between Green Key and Egonext

Egonext.com is a new travel search platform specialised in green hotels, restaurants and car rentals. Its particularity? Parts of the commissions from the travels booked on their website go to a reforestation organisation.

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On Egonext’s website, you can find everything to plan your eco-friendly trip from the beginning to the end. Once your green accommodation is booked, you don’t even have to think about car-related CO2 emissions: Egonext proposes you a low-emission car rental service. In the frame of the newly-established collaboration between Egonext and Green Key, awarded establishments will be highlighted on the booking platform.

Booking your vacation with Egonext helps to reforest our planet thanks to its partner ‘One Tree Planted’. By using Egonext, you give financial support to this reforestation organisation and help maintaining a tree survival rate of 80-90% of their projects. Since its creation in 2018, Egonext has already planted 500 trees and offset more than 2000kg of CO2!

This new concept tries to compensate for the negative impact of tourism by giving travellers a possibility to support reforestation projects in areas affected by fires or floods. It therefore perfectly corresponds to the growing understanding of climate change. More and more travellers are trying to reduce the environmental impact of their trips.

Morena Resort promotes alternatives to single-use plastic bottles

This summer, a water refill station has been introduced on Morena Resort, Curacao. An initiative to say goodbye to your no re-usable plastic bottles!

Morena Resort´s Water Refill Program is aligned with Morena´s desire to be recognized as an eco-resort. Indeed, this Green Key awarded establishment has been built with environmentally sustainable materials from regional fair-trade cooperatives and uses low environmental impact techniques such as solar water heater on its roofs. This new element available for the tourists is a reusable bottle called D-TAP. It has been introduced by D-Bottle, a brand promoting steel reusable bottles to reduce single-use of plastic.

Moreover, the guests have the possibility the (re)fill it at the Resort´s D-TAP water refill station or the others Curacao´s ones. A D-TAP phone App permits to find nearby Refill location. With Google maps, you can easily find clean water everywhere you go! Guests don´t have any excuses for not getting rid of their single-use plastic bottle.

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Since 1,4 million tourists visit Curacao each year, having a refill station could be a great way to raise awareness about the single-use plastic´s dangers for the planet. For that, guests can purchase a special D-Bottle at the Resort´s reception, knowing that 5% of each D-TAP bottle bought will be donated to the Sea Turtle Conservation Curacao.

Over 1 million plastic bottle are purchased every minute worldwide and nearly 80% of these end up in our landfills and oceans. At this rate, the amount of single-use plastic ending up in our oceans will outweigh fish by 2050, unless we make a change. - D-Bottle website

Noot Nordik Kitchen leveling up the game against food waste

The restaurant Noot Nordik Kitchen in the Green Key awarded Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel, Gothenburg is taking the fight against food waste to another level.

© Noot Nordik Kitchen

© Noot Nordik Kitchen

Food waste is one of the biggest challenges in hospitality industry and more and more restaurants and hotels try to level up their initiatives to reduce the amount of unused products and leftovers. The most common strategies to minimise food waste is monitoring, diligent planning of the purchases and meals as well as optimising the storage of the products to extend their shelf life.

The Noot Nordik Kitchen, however, is putting an extra effort on reducing their waste that is produced in the kitchen. They use every last piece of a vegetable or a fruit, turning carrot tops into pesto, lemon peel into both a lemon peel syrup for cocktails, a candied lemon peel for desserts and cocktails or as freshly grated flavoring to a cake. Any tops, peels, pumped corners or cut offs go in to making broths for sauces.

They use fresh, locally grown raspberries to infuse an OP Andersson Aquavit (local to Gothenburg) for their cocktails, the berries left after the infusion gets dried and crushed into a powder we use do decorate cocktails and desserts.

Bread that has gone stale become croutons. Fresh herbs that’s looking a bit sad becomes herb butter. Any ingredients left over from their daily lunches gets new life in a salad, a soup, a stew or are served as a topping on a traditional Danish Smørrebrød. In addition, “ugly” and often discarded vegetables are purchased and given a new life in their perfectly composed dishes.

Sofia Roos, restaurant manager at Noot Nordik Kitchen:

"At Noot we love every crooked carrot, every single potato and all ugly peas. They are the soul of our food philosophy. All we want is to create delicious, tasty and climate-smart dishes without crossing it too much.”

© Noot Nordik Kitchen

© Noot Nordik Kitchen

.Noot Nordik Kitchen does not only fight against food waste but another cornerstone of the restaurant is to buy as local and sustainable as possible. The fish is local and sustainably caught, they always favour locally grown greens and fruits and they bake their own bread and knead their on pastry for cakes and desserts. They support brewers of all sizes across the Nordic countries so that their guests can enjoy a diverse range of real ales, IPAs, APAs, lagers and stouts. On top of that, they only serve Swedish, organic sodas, there is simply no Cola-Cola in their fridges, but a local and natural Cola Blanco from Dirty Fox Water Brewery in Norrköping.

On their mission to be a front-runner in sustainability, this summer they also joint forces with “Fredagspizza”, a food concept started through the initiative Swedish Food Challenge with the aim of spreading knowledge about and increasing the use of Swedish raw materials in everyday life. Fredags.se works with consciously selected raw materials and places great focus on what we can produce where we live, more specifically in Sweden and the Nordic countries.

On July 15-20 you can visit Noot Nordik Kitchen, where they offer four variants of Swedish pizza with different topping such as lard, fresh potatoes, meatballs and air-dried elk. There are plans for a continuation for this Autumn.

© Noot Nordik Kitchen

© Noot Nordik Kitchen