Sustainability and the environment
What follows is a matter very close to our hearts. That’s why we’ve opted for a slightly longer text, even if it’s uncommon online these days. We sincerely hope you make it to the end. It’s worth it.
First, the bad news: bees are dying, the seas are filling up with garbage, the air is getting worse. It feels like the world is ending. Humanity is close to making a real mess of the planet (and that’s the polite way of putting it).
It’s hardly surprising, then, that social engagement and environmental issues are becoming increasingly important.
What can we do differently? How can we help? As Living Hotels, as hosts, service providers, teams, all together? Over the last four to five years, we found the answer. And its name is Green Globe. As their website says (you can read it for yourself at www.greenglobe.com):
In other words:
Green Globe gives us a kick in the pants to make us think, act and plan more ecologically and economically as a Company.
Pulling together on a rope
In 2013 and 2014, we traveled through Europe to see what’s possible in the hotel industry. We were looking for green, sustainable ideas. We searched high and low. And time and again, we stumbled across Green Globe. And time and again, we were amazed at how enthusiastically and candidly people spoke to us about Green Globe.
Why? Because Green Globe is based on voluntary participation. Green Globe encourages ideas generated from within companies themselves. Whether you’re an apprentice or hotel manager: if you have a good idea, make sure it’s heard or read. Share it. Is it good for the environment, is it feasible, is it in line with the Green Globe ethos? And above all: are you and your team excited enough to put your heart and mind into implementing it? These are the questions that Green Globe asks. The environmental aspects are important, but the social aspects are just as important. It’s only when everyone is on board and working together that ideas become concepts and concepts become real solutions.
We thought this was a fantastic approach. We started working with Green Globe in 2017. In 2018, nine Living Hotels received their first certifications. All other Living Hotels followed or are following in the first quarter of 2019.
Enjoy our homemade honey at the breakfast or take a glass of pleasure home with you!
100% green electricity in all hotels and the head office.
We calculate the carbon footprint of all business trips, as well as the district heating consumption of the hotels and head office.
We compensate for these “sins” by supporting environmental projects. In 2017, it was a rainforest project in Africa. We supported the organization Plant-for-the-Planet.org in 2018 and expect to continue to do so in the long term.
Photocopy paper was replaced with recycled paper across the entire organization in 2018, and all printed material will gradually follow in the coming year.
We’ve scrapped disposable coffee cups, and will do so in the wellness areas in the near future.
We’ve eliminated the use of plastic straws.
With the exception of baked goods, we only serve palm oil-free products at breakfast.
A number of our locations offer electric car charging points.
In two Living Hotels, we keep bees on the roofs.
In the Living Hotel Nürnberg, we are proud to host Zero Hero, a shop that works entirely without packaging materials.
Where possible (e.g. in the Living Hotel Nuremberg and in the Living Hotel Weissensee), we invite our guests to hold their business conferences outdoors – in our beer garden over the summer months.
We remove batteries and rely on rechargeable batteries.
As you can see, we’ve worked hard and have already accomplished a lot. And we’re planning even more – because we want to contribute to making our world a bit greener again. Because it needs to happen. Because it’s for the common good. And above all, because it feels like the right thing to do. For us as a company. And hopefully for you too, as our valued guest.
Yours, Lorenz ter Veen
Chief Operations Officer