Sustainable Management Plan 2022

Brief SMP for external stakeholders:

Scope

This plan covers the Guldsmeden Hotels in Copenhagen.

 

This plan covers the Guldsmeden Hotels in Copenhagen

BACKGROUND

Guldsmeden Hotels has been working with sustainability since its beginning in 1999, and we commit to providing our guests with a wonderful stay with as minimal negative environmental impact as possible, while we contribute to the industry’s common pool of knowledge on sustainable practices in daily operations.
So – what do we actually do? Why? And when did we start doing it?

We´ll start with the why and the when:
Guldsmeden has been driven by a passion for sustainability since the beginning, due to the founders and owners, Sandra and Marc Weinert, for whom sustainable values are important. But sustainability was not really part of our external communication for the first 10 years, which is strange to think about now – but sustainability was not considered a selling point back then, we simply did it because it made sense to us.

That changed in 2009, when Copenhagen was where the COP15 climate conference was held – suddenly everybody was going green, being CO2-neutral, organic, bio, you-name-it. We realized that we would have to tell our story as well, seeing as we were already far ahead of our competitors, with close to 100% organic f&b, green energy, climate-friendly recycled stationary, bio-degradable cleaning products, sustainable bathroom amenities and much more.

At the same time, we realized that as much as we were doing, we could probably do even better in many areas that we simply hadn´t thought of as yet, so we decided to get certified by the strictest, most encompassing certification that we could find – and that´s how we became Green Globe certified. DER

It took us close to 9 months to first get GG-certified, and we learned a lot in the process – and we began to let our guests and the world around know about our sustainability efforts.
Since our initial Green Globe certification, we have also been certified with the Golden Ø, a dining label for restaurants with over 90% organic food and drink, and with Green Key, a certification for sustainable hotels.

 

SPECIFIC POLICIES

FOOD SOURCING
In Denmark, we have the Golden Ø-label for 90-100% organic food and drink, and our average % is around 99%.

Only when organic and sustainable are not in sync, do we choose non-organic (as for example with farmed fish, which is very unsustainable).

We have reduced our number of suppliers to one major supplier, thereby reducing the number and frequency of deliveries, and ultimately saving CO2.

This one major supplier, Aarstiderne, has a no-fly policy for all their food, giving us assurance that we are not serving food that has been flown in.

We have a varied menu that also serves meat, but many items can be ordered in a vegetarian or vegan version.

Circular thinking – the elements from our breakfast buffet are implemented into the a la carte menus, reducing our food waste to close to zero.

Our purchasing policy for hotels outside of Denmark, without the possibility of a state-regulated organic restaurant certification, means that they are required to make all choices with maximum sustainability in mind, in accordance with the best choices in their geographical location.

FOOD WASTE
In terms of food waste, we measure and document all food waste, and know a lot about where our food waste comes from – trimmings from production in the kitchen or waste from the guests´ plates.
We measure twice daily, once after the morning breakfast buffet, and once at the end of the day, incl. conferences and a la carte.
We plan to implement a separate measuring for conferences, giving us even more data and knowledge to reduce food waste.
The minimal food waste that we do have, is picked up by DAKA Refood, who turn it into bio-fuel.

WATER
Orbital Systems showers: a completely revolutionary shower system that can recycle water due to NASA technology, originally developed for the Mars mission.
The system draws a small amount of water (2,7 liters) into a closed system at the beginning of each bath, heats it up to 38 degrees (default temperature, you can turn it up or down yourself), and sends it out through the shower head and down into a grate, where it is analyzed for contaminating particles, cleaned and sent through the system again. If a portion of the water is contaminated due to shampoo, conditioner or something else, that portion is removed, and an equivalent amount replaces it. The system saves between 60-90% of water consumption, depending on length of bath time.

These showers were tested in 8 newly-established rooms at Axel, and the success we experienced with them made us decide to install them in all upcoming rooms. All 214 rooms at Bryggen Guldsmeden now have Orbital showers.
In terms of drinking water, we have some of the best and cleanest ground water in the world in Denmark, and the other countries in which we have hotels. To discourage our guests from buying bottled water, we have placed empty bottles made of 100% recycled and recyclable plastic in all rooms, to be filled with tap water before going out to enjoy the city.

HOUSEKEEPING
In a job like housekeeping at a hotel, it is easiest to incorporate some routines, thus entering each room and doing exactly the same every time. It is most effective, and it is human nature to make work as simple and effective as possible, it also saves time. But at the same time, when you add sustainability to the picture, it changes and there is a need for completely different routines.

After all, we all have probably had the hotel experience of having one´s towels changed, despite hanging them up for re-use, and it is just demotivating and annoying to the guests. Therefore, how we do it is we start by entering each room with fresh eyes to gather an impression – what needs to be done here and what doesn´t. This applies, for instance, to the garbage bin, which is lined with a green biodegradable and compostable bag: we check out the contents and assess whether to replace the whole bag or whether to just lift out the items. Items from the bag are then assessed: pens/pencils can be used in reception/backoffice, magazines / books are brought to common areas for other use by other guests, plastic bags from shopping are folded and assembled in a basket for the guests who need a bag, all garbage is sorted according to glass / cardboard / plastic / metal / paper / batteries etc. So all in all, we have a group of colleagues who show a great deal of thoughtfulness in their daily work!
All cleaning agents are, of course, biodegradable and certified, and thus not as harmful to work with as conventional – or as harmful to the environment.

TEXTILES
Our comfy bed linen and towels are the result of a collaboration between Guldsmeden, Beierholm Textiles and Elis – and are all GOTS-certified, fairtrade and made of organic cotton. Bed linen is mixed with recycled polyester for durability.

COMMUNITY
Pre-Corona, the past years had been kind to us at the Guldsmeden Hotels! At the same time, it´s been important to us to recognize that not everyone has been equally fortunate – societal developments in both Denmark and the rest of the world have left a large number of families, of both refugee and local backgrounds, with very reduced means, and memberships to organized sports activities are usually not a first priority for impoverished families. Sports is a great equalizer and integrator – we´re all the same on the playing fields!

It´s important for Guldsmeden Hotels to contribute something of our good fortune, so in normal non-Corona years, we dedicate our bicycle rental fees (which are considerable, our guests love to bike around Copenhagen!) to the Sports Confederation of Denmark, who then give out free sports memberships and money for equipment to needy families.

In 2020, we were not able to collect as much as usual due to temporary closures and restrictions, but we still wanted to contribute with what we could – so in collaboration with online auction house Lauritz.com, we auctioned off luxury stays, dinners and spa-events at our hotels. Lauritz.com waived all fees and commissions, to every Danish krone earned went in entirety to DIFs Get2Sport programme.
You can read more about the project ”Idræt for alle børn” here

ANIMAL WELFARE
We have always prided ourselves on the comfort and quality of our beds and linen, and recently we have also taken the extra step of including animal welfare and climate concerns into the equation. The production of down is, in addition to being very unregulated, also very chemically heavy – so we have gone into cooperation with ProLana, a German company that makes mattresses, pillows and duvets of natural, fairtrade, certified, non-toxic materials such as natural latex, rubberized coconut, wool from camels, yak and sheep, silk and cotton.

DÉCOR/INTERIOR
Marc Weinert is in charge of all new properties/rebuildings and interior / furnishings – and he works very differently from how things are usually done in our industry. He starts off by going into the new building and assessing what can be re-used or recycled. He is very creative, and can often see solutions that the rest of us didn´t spot – and it can be anything from decor moldings on ugly doors and a layer of paint instead of new doors, to tables that get new legs or even cracked paintings, which with a new frame suddenly turn out to be worth looking at;).

We choose to decorate outside of trends, as we do not want to replace usable furniture but use the furniture until it´s worn out – and if you are trendy, you are also suddenly untrendy and have to redesign. Therefore, natural materials are also prioritized as they age with grace and can bear a little wear and tear. Furniture is designed by and produced for us with FSC-certified wood and other natural, sustainable materials. We supplement with recycled pieces, for example, we use vintage Chesterfield sofas and genuine old rugs.

 

CERTIFICATIONS & MEMBERSHIPS

Green Globe
Our very first certification was Green Globe, which we achieved in 2010/11. Green Globe is a 360-degree certification, that helped us ensure that we didn´t miss any aspect of sustainability in the choices that we make, and in the way that we operate on a daily basis.

Green Globe has been instrumental for us in order to achieve our very high degree of sustainability, by their strict “policing” of us through bi-annual audits. However, in 2019 we decided that we needed a partner who challenged us more and helped us evolve – so we told Green Globe that we would be looking for another certification.

It turned out that Green Globe itself was in the process of changing management and work methods, and they very much wanted to keep us on board (at no cost) as sparring partners in that endeavor. At this time of writing, we are in the middle of the Covid-19 crisis, and there has been no development in the communication between us and Green Globe.

So as the situation stands right now, we are officially still members of Green Globe – if and when that changes, you will of course be updated. But regardless, Green Globe will always be a part of our sustainability journey and story.

The Golden Ø (The Organic Cuisine Label)
Closely following our first Green Globe certification, we were in 2011 encouraged to apply for the newly established “økologiske spisemærke”, an organic label for restaurants, administered by the Danish Ministry of Food & Agriculture. The label comes in the sizes:

• Bronze for 30-60% organic
• Silver for 60-90% organic
• Gold for 90-100% organic

We were already at that time close to 100% organic, so we of course went for the gold label, which we still have at all hotels in Denmark. We are audited by the health authorities 4 times per year, and usually have an organic percentage between 98-100%.

Green Key
Green Key is a very large international sustainability certification for hotels, that we joined in 2017. Green Key originated in Denmark, and their management is still centrally located here – so although their sustainability criteria are somewhat lower than our operational standards, they are still very knowledgeable, very dedicated and always available to give advice and guidance.

GoGreen Denmark
Guldsmeden has been a member of GoGreen Denmark since its beginning in 2010. It is a community for sustainable businesses in Denmark, aimed at making it easier for the consumer to make a sustainable choice. GoGreen Denmark encompass all types of sustainable products, shops and services and have an app that can be downloaded as a guide.

Økologisk Landsforening
Organic Denmark, as the association is called in English, is a non-profit organization that works towards growing the organic market share by bringing national and international decision makers together with producers of Danish organic products.

GOALS & ACTIONS 2023 AND BEYOND

CO2 accounting for 2022 as a starting point for CO2 reduction
Before the beginning of 2023, we will have made a CO2 account for all our hotels in Copenhagen. The CO2 account must be used as a tool that enables us to measure the CO2 emissions at the various hotels, as well as give us a baseline from which we can work.

ACTIONS:

• CO2 accounts for all hotels in Copenhagen in 2023
• CO2 accounts for all hotels in 2024
• Expand our choice of CO2 factors in Scope 3 in 2025
• Determine a fixed amount of reduction in CO2 consumption for each year
• Investigate where the various CO2 emissions come from
• Investigate how we can improve our consumption of waste, water and electricity

Environmental certifications
We will improve our environmental efforts with the help of certification requirements, as it helps us discover new problems and find new solutions to improve our climate footprint. Certifications must also be used to inform our guests about our environmental measures.

ACTIONS:

• Green Globe certification and re-certification in CPH before 2023.
• Green Globe certification at all hotels in 2023
• Green Key certification at all hotels in 2024
• Acquire and maintain the Gold Ø-label at all hotels with own-run restaurants in DK
• Research other certifications
• Maintain existing certifications
• B Corp certification in all hotels by 2024

Involvement of guests, employees and suppliers
In order to achieve our objectives, it is important that we cooperate with others. We will continuously strive to improve at involving our guests, employees and business partners in our environmental work, so that we can move towards a more environmentally friendly future.

ACTIONS:

Guests
• Offer guests the option of opting out of room-cleaning as well as information on co2 emissions for cleaning.

• Hold competitions with which hotel guests have least CO2 consumption in 2023

• Offer information to guests about environmentally friendly transport options

• Give guests the opportunity to comment on our efforts and how we can improve.

Employees
• Establishment of environmental councils at all hotels with employees in different departments

• Give our employees the opportunity to come up with proposals for climate measures

• Set up the right framework for housekeeping and kitchen assistants to be able to act environmentally rather than expecting an effort

Suppliers & business partnerships
• Be in regular contact with all our main suppliers and inform them of our requirements.

• Set requirements for delivery with opt-out if these requirements cannot be met.

Kirsten Skovgaard Aggersborg

Sustainability & Communication Manager

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