Hotel hosts food waste brunch for charity

Business Centre at the Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt

Business Centre at the Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt

The Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt in Berlin has found a novel way to deal with its food waste – by using it to host a charity brunch.

The hotel which is renowned for its environmentally friendly operations and is the only hotel in Germany to offer only conference packages which are fully carbon neutral, has partnered with“Genießt Uns!” (“Enjoy Us!”); an initiative which seeks to combat the wastage of food along the production chain.

On 4 July, around 5,000 guests took part in the special charity brunch. With sustainability at the heart of the free event, all the dishes served were produced using food that would otherwise have been thrown away. The Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt supported the brunch by providing 35 members of staff and a large press lounge as well as making the hotel’s own equipment available.

“When it comes to the topic of sustainability, we wish to set a good example and act as a role model for other companies,” said Puneet Chhatwal, CEO of Steigenberger Hotels AG. “The Steigenberger Hotel Group is committed to the environmentally friendly use of foodstuffs and raw materials.”

Since opening last year, the Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt has acted as the group’s flagship property in terms of meeting strict sustainability criteria. Alongside a “Meeting Experts Green Award” and certification in accordance with the ISO 14001 Standard, the hotel has recently been awarded the “2014 top Hotel Opening Award”.

The team at the Hotel Am Kanzleramt again displayed its passion for the sustainable use of resources with staff helping to prepare the brunch, providing a sustainable catering service in the press area and offer free parking spaces. The event supported Genießt Uns! which is a food waste initative backed by the WWF, Deutsche Welthungerhilfe and the Bundesverband Deutsche Tafel e.V.

In day to day operations the hotel is careful to use energy and water in a responsible way, avoids waste and purchases environmentally-friendly products. They ask guests to help them improve their sustainability with messages asking them to close windows when the heating or air conditioning system is on, turn off lights when leaving their room, saving water when brushing teeth or shaving and using the reduced towel change service, as well as asking guests to recycle batteries at reception and use public transport.

The Steigenberger group are actively engaged in sustainability projects and since 2012 their efforts have been monitored by an internal auditing team and the external company Staib Services. Between them they established a CSR programme with precise goals. During the last CSR audit in July 2014, the review showed that most of the goals set in 2013 had been exceeded.

Steigenberger’s main strategies include “Workplace”, “Environment”, “Marketplace” and “Society” with measures including for example CSR training, a switch to LEDs, Quality Management and Social days. The strategy and its measures have been implemented in all management and lease hotels as well as in the head office in Frankfurt, and is individually adapted and developed according to local requirements. To measure the success of the programme, several key performance indicators were established including but not limited to savings in electricity, water and heat consumption and the training of employees. The head office introduced E-Procurement to monitor quality and prices, as well as stock of products that should be environmentally friendly, locally produced and sustainable in use. To ensure sustainability and quality in new hotels, the technical department revised existing technical standards, applied for example in the new InterCityHotel Berlin Hauptbahnhof and Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt. As a result InterCityHotel Berlin Hauptbahnhof received a Gold certificate from the prestigious DNGB certification system for sustainable buildings.

Through such activities, as well as smaller measures like implementation of LEDs in its existing hotels, the group was able to achieve a reduction of waste, water and energy usage by 10%, 7.1% and 4.7% respectively in 2013. Heat reduction was slightly under the expected goal of 5% due to a long winter.

Additionally, to reach their quality targets, the focus on employees was intensified through the development of a CSR-training tool with a total of 2,342 employees participating in CSR training during 2013. The certification of all management and lease hotels according to the official CSR certification ISO 14001 was completed in May 2014.

The group’s efforts have begun to pay off with Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt winning a Meeting Experts Green Award. An independent jury assessed hotels in the categories of energy management/resource efficiency, sustainable events, sustainable events centre/location, sustainable human resources management and sustainable company/association. The Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt won in the “sustainable events” category for its “Green Meetings by Steigenberger” concept.

The Hotel am Kanzleramt is the only hotel in Germany to offer only conference packages which are fully carbon neutral. They do this with 100% use of green electricity generated from hydro energy, full water-saving technology, bio-degradable detergents, certified waste management, self-bottled micro-filtered drinking water, organically certified breakfast and coffee breaks serving regional, seasonal and fair trade products.

They also won the “First Class/Business” category of the 2014 Top Hotel Opening Awards. The jury was particularly impressed by the interplay between design and sustainability, and the hotel’s progressive approach to environmental awareness.

The jury found that the fixtures, fittings and decoration of the Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt were consistent with a concept of ecological foresight where guests would be able to recognise multiple details which pointed to an emphasis on sustainability. Environmentally sound materials were used in the construction process, and a bee colony was established on the roof. Accessibility throughout the hotel means every guest is able to enjoy its facilities to the full. The ISO 14001 Standard ensures that an active and effective environmental management system is in place to bring about continuous improvement in ecological criteria across all areas.

Chhatwal said, “We are absolutely delighted to receive a Top hotel Opening Award. Only one year after opening, the Steigenberger Hotel Am Kanzleramt is already a multi-award winner and is extremely popular with guests. We are very proud of this flagship sustainability project.”

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