A sustainable hotel is a hotel that, when planning and implementing its management strategy, takes into account environmental measures that help to protect its surroundings, saves water and energy, reduces its emissions in its use of fossil fuels, and properly manages the waste it produces, thereby ensuring that it is a high-quality and long-lasting tourism product, while making customers aware of the exceptional nature of their visit. All member establishments of this Xarxa are hotels, aparthotels or apartments that have implemented an environmental-management system in their day-to-day activities, whether by following the ISO 14001:2004 international standards, the EMAS III European Regulations, the European Ecolabel or the Travelife tourism sustainability system. These establishments, through their environmental certificates, warrant their compliance with the applicable legislation. With its annual audits, a sustainable hotel ensures, among other legal requirements:

  • Maintenance of the thermal installations in accordance with the Thermal Installations Regulations
  • Periodical inspections of emissions into the atmosphere
  • Mandatory inspection of low-voltage electrical installation
  • Mandatory inspection of high-voltage electrical installation
  • Reviews and inspections of fuel deposits
  • Reviews and inspections of gas installations
  • Inspections of lift and elevator devices
  • Inspection of fire-fighting equipment and alarm system
  • Authorization for the dumping of waste waters and the parameters of the said waters within the limits laid down
  • Prevention of legionnaires’ disease
  • Control over water for human consumption
  • The environmental aspects that are typically identified at tourism establishments are as follows:
  • Energy consumption for central heating and sanitary hot water, for food use, for use in swimming pools and spas (electricity, gas, diesel, etc.)
  • Water consumption for rooms/apartments, swimming pools, irrigation, kitchens
  • Generation of solid urban waste
  • Generation of hazardous waste
  • Storage and handling of chemical products
  • Generation of emissions into the atmosphere (boilers, outdoor noise, etc.)
  • Generation of waste waters

At a Sustainable hotel, activities are performed with the intention of reducing the environmental impact associated with the different aspects listed above by way of good practices such as:

  • Automated lighting, photocells, timer clocks, timers, etc.
  • Taps that reduce water flow, that detect people’s presence or have timers, WC cisterns with dual flush, etc.
  • Control of the washing of swimming pools, automated irrigation
  • Automation of thermal installations
  • Thermal insulation systems
  • Reduction in the generation of waste (less packaging, using paper on both sides for internal use, etc.)
  • Separation of solid urban waste: light packaging, glass, paper/board, organic waste (food leftovers)
  • Correct management of hazardous waste with authorized providers: batteries, contaminated containers, aerosols, leftover paint, obsolete fluorescent lamps, toner cartridges, waste electrical/electronic goods, etc.
  • Correct management of waste from pruning, bulky waste, and building-site waste.
  • Correct storage and handling of chemical products, in accordance with safety instructions. Safe storage, with retaining walls or trays, absorbent materials in the event of leaks.
  • Use of products that respect the environment (cleaning and maintenance products)
  • Use of recycled paper
  • Investments in new technologies (solar capture and panels, rainwater deposits for re-use in irrigation or for cleaning, saline electrolysis for the treatment of swimming pools, etc.)

Furthermore, a Sustainable hotel carries out continuous monitoring of all environmental aspects, allowing it to detect possible deviations and to plan its annual objectives and goals, either for training purposes, or in order to plan improvements and investments. A Sustainable hotel performs a detailed internal audit of its environmental-management system, carried out by a person who is duly-qualified and external to its activity, which helps it to detect possible irregularities in the system, for which corrective measures are subsequently proposed and implemented. Certified sustainable hotels must be audited by a qualified company certified by the ENAC (National Accreditation Agency), which shall assess the proposal made by the auditor to certify the environmental-management system implemented for the activities carried out at that establishment. Certificates are valid for three years, although certified establishments must be audited once a year by the certification company for follow-up purposes. In addition, currently, thanks to the Travelife commitment that many associated establishments have undertaken, Sustainable Hotels make a commitment to society, in the form of promoting local produce, local suppliers, and they seek to support the local community by participating in local campaigns, events, sponsorship, and they promote the dissemination of human rights among their staff and customers. BACK TO HOME PAGE

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