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Modern post-industrial society, despite the global financial crisis, and partly because it continues to rethink its relationship with the environment. Reduction of mineral extraction and reducing the consumption of all resources, increasing the share of renewable energy are the main features of the transition from anthropocentric models of thinking to models environmentally friendly.
People whose level of education and, accordingly, income above average, the vast majority are not indifferent to ecological problems, and 90% of them are willing to pay "slightly more" for green goods and services. Such data researchers from Cornell University in encouraging eco-hoteliers around the world. Environmental hotels have responded to the high demand for recreation in natural environment, which was formed at the hotel market in the past two decades.
The main feature that distinguishes the hotel with the prefix "eco" from its competitors is often that they are located in protected natural areas with legal restrictions on the type of building, number of storeys etc., and operate on the principle of harmonious coexistence with nature, not polluting the environment with waste products of tourists. However, even in the major urban areas there are objects of the hotel business, offering 100% clean water, food category, "organic" and only natural materials offer.
Guided by considerations of economy and marketing "green" ideas listened and many hotel chains — even the most expensive hotels in the world began to change incandescent bulbs to energy saving and to encourage the use of bed linen and towels several days in a row.
Of course, you can argue which of in European hotels today is the most "green" — Berghotel Muottas Muragl in the Swiss Alps or the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers in Copenhagen, but they share one thing – thanks to modern technology, reduces energy consumption by 60-90%, and greater use of renewable sources, from geothermal water to wind power and the sun only eco-friendly cleaning products, special water-saving plumbing, the use of natural materials in the interior, collection and disposal of garbage.
"The hotel, dreaming about the five "green stars" - the experts - should recruit the local people". Yes, hoteliers now have to think about the social factors that affect the ecology of the region. The concept of "ecosystem" is now increasingly include parameters such as employment, distance from home to work, a preference for traditional materials and technologies, the use of manual labor.
Leaves, stars, flowers
Businesses that respect the environment, Europe, USA, Canada and other countries around the world assign eco-labels, a kind of "environmental quality Marks" which can be obtained only after the certification procedure, during which the hotel must prove their compliance with specified criteria. Since 2003, the European hotels can qualify for European Ecolabel — blue-green "EU flower", marking the goods and services that are friendly to the environment. Since 2004, hotels in USA are fighting for a certificate of "Leader in energy and environmental design".
Such certification takes place in four stages. First, the hotel fills in a special application form, in which the most meticulously describes all production processes. Then the hotel comes a group of independent experts who analyze its activities and make a report with a list of observations and recommendations. Depending on the results of the hotel issue the certificate or offer to rectify certain shortcomings. After receiving the document regularly conducted the relevant audit.
The basis for virtually all existing certification systems has become a standard environmental management ISO 14001 (EMS), adopted by the International standards Association (ISO) in 1991 to meet him, the organization has to certify that implements a special policy for the protection of the environment. ISO 14001 is the minimum, which must adhere to every enterprise, to negate the harm caused to the environment, and for obtaining the status of eco-friendly accommodation, it is necessary to confirm compliance with this standard.
In a number of countries in addition to ISO 14001, has established its own standards, for example, in the UK BS 7750 Specification for Environmental Management Systems in Canada — CAN/CSA Z750-94: Guidelines for an Environmental Management System in the European Union, EMAS.
The international standard ISO 14001 is tough enough currently, it is certified a number of hotels in Western Europe — in Germany, Portugal and Sweden, in particular, the Forum Hotels, Intercontinental Hotels, Lusotur Golfes, Renaissance, Sanga Saby Kurs, Сonference Center, and in South-East Asia (Hong Kong and Mauritius) is a Island Shangrila-La Hotel, Kowloon Shangrila-La Hotel, the Labourdonnais Waterfront Hotel. More hotels are in the process of certification.
In the world there are a number of organizations involved in the development and implementation of environmental management systems, among them British Airways Holidays (BAH). Company, one of the largest carriers and tour operators in the world, regularly monitors the hotels in the Caribbean and provides assistance to accommodation facilities with good environmental management.
In addition, she observes how this technology suitable management of the hotel industry. Work VAN related to the preparation of criteria for environmental management, was the first attempt to create a common for all hotels requirement that the traveler could immediately understand what level of service and quality of service can count. Membership in this organization and the certification process is free.
Certification for Sustainable Tourism (CST) is one of the leading and most successful companies in the field of introducing the practice of ecotourism in the Western hemisphere. She managed to create its own market by developing a state program of environmental management and its active dissemination. Despite the fact that it focuses on the tourism industry as a whole, are certified in most hotels.
In order to sign eco-friendly quality, the hotel needs to minimize damage to the environment, and the experts will evaluate the socio-economic effect of the enterprise in a particular region, conduct interviews with guests and management. Each criterion describes a set of actions, and the system, overall it is comprehensive. Certification is free of charge.
Among the most respected certification systems of the hotels we can mention the Green Globe (UK), Green Key (Denmark), HAC Green Leaf (Canada) Touristik Union International (TUI) (Germany) and others. Many hotels in the world certified under LEED.
Experience our native, Russian
For our country, eco-hotels – the industry is relatively new, but it is actively growing; many Russians, not to mention foreign guests, willing to pay extra for "pure" tourism. Accordingly, Russia is gradually gaining popularity and various systems of environmental certification of hotels, both international and national.
Thus, the international program of voluntary certification of hotels, business centers, hostels, guest houses, lodges and campsites "Green key" was launched in Russia in the summer of 2010 It was developed by the International organization for environmental education to promote and promote ecology in industry placement.
For example, hotels that have been certified with the Green Key, keep 90 mandatory and optional criteria such as reduction in the consumption of electricity, water, chemical products, minimization of waste and send them for recycling. Each hotel is a special audit carried out by the expert of the program. Certified hotels meet high environmental standards differ a responsible approach to business and making an active contribution to environmental protection at the local and, as a consequence, the global level.
Public organization Green Russia has developed for hotels "the Mark of environmental responsibility".
"This kind of award accommodation that respects the environment — says the project Manager Valery Sushkov, — certification takes place in three stages. After the procedure, appeal to us, fill application forms, which must be as detailed as possible to answer all of our questions, the object leaves the expert who analyzes the activity and prepare a report with a list of observations and recommendations, after which the property receives the token. Moreover, the object must be at least two green categories".
Its certification in the hospitality industry has offered St. Petersburg the experts of "Ecological Union".
"We have developed a standard "Eco-hotel" recently, — says the leading expert of the program of eco-labeling "Leaf of life" Eugene Semenova, so the hotel is certified under the program "Leaf of life", not only reaches a certain level, implementing the standard and constantly improving. Our objective is to promote continuous progress ecomarketing companies from year to year to improve aspects such as waste management, to reduce the amount of resources consumed, and therefore cost savings and less to pollute the environment. In addition, we are helping to promote comercioperu products, including hotels, as one of the important tasks of eco-labelling to increase public awareness and businesses about environmentally responsible production and consumption".
Requirements really a lot: the water saving up sanitary equipment in the rooms and in the kitchen, energy-efficient equipment in the kitchen, in the Laundry, etc. without exception, All lamps must be energy-saving lamps. Of course, the hotel should be more than 60% of non-smokers, although now due to legislative restrictions on Smoking, this requirement has become irrelevant.
The management shall strictly follow the policy of saving resources, reasonable waste management. Of course, for the needs of the hotel must purchase only environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, brand office supplies for the staff, environmentally safe supplies, and so on. For example, paper napkins and toilet paper made from recycled materials or FSC certified.
The Hotel "Corinthia" (Saint Petersburg)
Today the standard "Eco-hotel" program "vitality Leaf" in Russia St. Petersburg is certified 5-star "Corinthia". Despite the status of the hotel "5 stars" and imposed on them restrictions (disposable items in the bathrooms and bottled water in the rooms), the hotel's policy is aimed at reducing the burden on the environment and saving resources: the hotel has a "green" program for the replacement of linen and towels, guests can enjoy a hygienic bathroom accessories in a package of biodegradable plastic in the fitness center comes with cardboard glasses instead of plastic. Enter a separate post for sorting and disposal of garbage.
In addition, any of the rooms can be equipped for people with allergies, and also has two rooms for wheelchair users.
That's what tells Natalia Belik, PR Director of the hotel:
"A number of activities were performed before it was launched the process of certification of the hotel. For example, in order to save energy in rooms not occupied by guests, the capacity of the heating system is always set to the minimum value. Also the replacement of incandescent lamps with energy saving. "Green card" in the bathrooms offer guests care about the environment and request a change of towels only as needed. A similar program is offered and bed linen. The hotel has constant environmental Committee, which meets monthly to discuss goals and development. Regular training programs and informing employees of the Department carried out the training".
Why should hotels be green? What additional competitive advantages provide environmental certificates? Due to this, travel agencies and tour operators increasingly choose such hotels for cooperation, which contributes to additional profit.
"We do not yet have exact statistics, — says Natalya Belik, but many of our guests have become regular, and their number is growing, especially for citizens of those countries where respect for the environment is encouraged at the state level, for example, Finland, the Scandinavian countries".
"The presence of eco-certification or mark of environmental responsibility – certainly, positively influences image of the company pension business, — said Valery Sushkov, and is a powerful marketing "green" tool and serves to increase guest loyalty. Due to this, travel agencies and tour operators increasingly choose such hotels for cooperation, which contributes to additional profit. But, by and large, Russia is still not very developed, we need to work on."
Sharing their experience Alexander Ermoshin, commercial Director at the eco-hotel "Romanov Les" of the Kostroma region (certified by the sign of "Environmental responsibility" Green Russia). "Having an environmental certificate is not the main criterion of selection by a guest of a hotel," he says, " is much more important than location. However, the guest looks that we are in the backwoods, where for hundreds of miles there are no companies (that already shows including the interest in ecology), and makes his choice. Therefore, although the eco-certificate is today from 5-10% increase in the number of guests, gradually, the interest in eco will grow with awareness of distinctions such products and services. Therefore, eco-certification of hotels in our country have a future."
The most eco-friendly hotels USA
1. The Lodge at Sun Ranch, Cameron, Montana
The price is $ 900. for three nights per person. For each visitor to this farm is planting 10 trees in the Amazon.
2. Proximity Hotel, Greensboro, North Carolina
It is a new hotel, achieving the highest level of LEED certification, a recognized certification system for green buildings. Solar panels provide hot 60% hot water at the hotel, during braking of the descending Elevator produces electricity, which is used when lifting. Room rates – from $ 199.
3. Orchard Garden Hotel, San Francisco, CA
The hotel is built of concrete with additions of fly ash – waste coal combustion. Heating is disabled by the signal from the key card when guest leaves the room. The price – from $ 190.
4. Gaia Napa Valley Hotel and Spa, American Canyon, CA
The only American hotel with a gold LEED certification. Each room has a Bible, Buddhist Scriptures and the book of al Gore “an Inconvenient truth” on the threat of global warming. Room rates from $ 160.
In the United States already employs 30 eco-friendly hotels. A certificate program of “Advanced development in energy supply and environment” (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design – LEED) received 800 buildings across the country, about 6 thousand waiting queue.
Green Stanhope Hotel in Brussels
This hotel has received the mark "Green key" in 2012. On the hotel website there is an indication that in addition to this certification scheme, the hotel constantly takes part in exhibitions and forums dedicated to caring for the environment (for example in the European week of reduction of waste, in the exhibition devoted to the materials of the secondary use of Recycled Expo, Eco-chic Design Award 2013, etc.). Also it says that the owners are fully aware of the limited natural resources and the influence of tourism industry on the environment, so trying to reduce the ecological footprint of their business (while maintaining high service quality) through various instruments.
— Informing on the issue of staff and his involvement in the process of environmental protection
— Informing guests on these issues
— Water conservation
— Energy saving
— Reduction of waste
— Use of environmentally friendly cleaning products.
Initiatives on greening hotel "on the spot":
— Reduced the usage of paper
— Reduction of waste in the restaurant
— Calculation of the ecological footprint from different activities
— The New Green Hotel Package
— Exhibition of art objects made from recycled materials
— Energy efficient bulb, and many others.
Guests can further contribute to a sustainable future. If they ask not to clean their room every day, hanging on the door of the appropriate sign, then they are given a special voucher for $5, which they can use in restaurants and bars.