World Environment Day , the biggest annual event for positive environmental action, is a campaign close to the heart of Corinthia Hotels.
Corinthia’s environmental sustainability is championed through its Premier Partnership with international water-aid charity Just A Drop . Over the last three years Corinthia has brought life-changing clean water to a total of 43,325 children and families across five Just A Drop projects, the most recent in Zambia and Tanzania.
As a collection of luxury hotels worldwide, eco-friendly policies play a major role and sustainability is a top priority. The group’s philosophy is to become a more environmentally-conscious business while technological improvements are allowing it to protect the environment and be economically efficient at the same time.
Commercial Director Matthew Dixon says, “We strive for sustainability across three areas of our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) agenda, in environmental sustainability, personal sustainability and community sustainability.”
Each of the hotels in Corinthia play their part, whether it be saving enough water to irrigate 15,000 trees for three years, interest free loans for bicycle purchases, fund-raising for worthwhile charities or solar thermal panels; just some of the ways in which Corinthia Hotels is developing energy efficient hotels and exceeding the group’s corporate social responsibility targets.
Corinthia Hotel Lisbon led the way with CSR initiatives 12 years ago and was recognised for its efforts in 2013 when it was awarded the Western Europe Energy Project of the Year. The Lisbon hotel initiatives have become a source of inspiration for the other hotels in the group.
Pedro Ferreira, engineer at Corinthia Hotel Lisbon said, “In the upscale hotel market, the ability to provide a high-quality service and accomplish it by utilising the minimum resources possible is nowadays considered with increasing care and importance.”
He goes further when he says that energy efficiency is one of the hotel’s unique selling points. As one of the largest five-star hotels in Portugal, energy efficiency was key and in 2007 this hotel led the way with tailor-made engineering solutions which enabled the hotel to produce part of its energy consumption. Solar thermal panels have been installed, so too a natural gas combined heat and power production system. Furthermore, energy efficiency measures were introduced to the hotel’s air conditioning, water heating and lighting - which typically make up 75% of the energy consumption of a European hotel – and energy savings of 22% were achieved.
Efforts across the eight hotels in the group - London, Budapest, Lisbon, Khartoum, St Petersburg, Prague and two in Malta include:
- Adopting a ‘We Care’ culture.
- Recycling of plastic, paper and metallic waste, and damaged linen become rags for back of house and night cleaning. Giving plastic bottle tops to a charitable foundation and sold to purchase wheelchairs, and biscuit packets exchanged in local gift schemes and used stamps passed on to a charity to be sold to buy guide dogs for the blind.
- Donating to the Csodalampa Foundation in Budapest, a wish-granting foundation for children, and Euros1 of each guest’s room bill is donated to them. Offer space and manpower to the Bihari Art School and other organisations. Organise meals for homeless people, 1,000 to date. Fund-raising for Beyond the Moon (Euros 73,200.00 to date), through re-selling ex-hotel stocks, fairs, raffles, donations and the like. Heritage Malta NGO, a dog shelter and Inspire Foundation. Host an annual event for SOS Villages St Petersburg, homes for children and young adults, and supports Revive The Dream Foundation, which helps seriously ill children.
- Heat exchanges installed to reduce heat loss and the excess heat is used to warm water that otherwise has to be heated. A water filtration plant helps preserve and conserve plant and other equipment.
- Lower wattage LED lights have replaced traditional lighting. Curtains and ultra violet films have been installed to glass façades and reduces the effect of both radiated heat and conducted heat. Lessens the need for air conditioning. Air curtains installed to minimise the loss of air conditioning into the atmosphere. Water pressure restrictors reduce the amount of water used.
- The employment strategy is to employ local staff as much as possible to reduce fuel for staff transportation. Schemes include an investment of 0.5% of the hotel’s payroll to support apprenticeship schemes from 2017.
- Working with Springboard UK, Cardinal Hume and Good People Connect by offering free fundraising event space, donating, giving presentation/skills talks and offering work experience placements.
- Saving unique habitats.
- Embracing humanitarian aid, individual development and helping to shape tomorrow’s craftsmen. Promoting seasonal local delicacies and local artisans by offering them exhibition space.
- Purchasing local and sustainable sources across all goods and services. Choosing bio food ingredients and producers. Only eco-friendly washing and cleaning products are used.
- Guest towel and linen programmes.