Tschuggen Hotel Group Climate Trailblazer
The Swiss Tschuggen Hotel Group has entered into cooperation with the myclimate foundation and will be completely CO2 neutral from 2019 onwards.
Together with myclimate, the group has already initiated numerous measures to reduce CO2 emissions. These have been complemented by support for climate protection projects in Switzerland and Rwanda to compensate for inevitable CO2 emissions. From the coming season onwards, guests will be offered the option, during the booking process, of compensating for their journey to the hotel through the myclimate Cause We Care programme.
“Our hotels are located in the midst of impressive natural scenery and we are convinced that climate change and environmental protection are the greatest challenges of our time. With the construction of the Valsana we have been able to demonstrate how a four-star hotel can be heated without fossil fuel, even in the depths of a mountain winter at an altitude of 1800 metres. To extend our commitment to all our hotels, we decided to work together with myclimate”, explains Dr. Götz Bechtolsheimer, a member of the family that owns the Tschuggen Hotel Group.
“With its comprehensive commitment to sustainability, the Tschuggen Hotel Group is a pioneer in terms of climate protection in the premium hotel business. In addition to innovative solutions for optimising technology and infrastructure in the hotels, employees and guests are made aware of the issues and, in particular, involved in the process. The hotel group is thus demonstrating that active climate protection is also possible while maintaining the highest standards”, explains Stephen Neff, CEO of myclimate, a non-profit organisation with Swiss roots. myclimate advises companies on operational climate protection and is a global quality leader for voluntary CO2 compensation measures.
With projects of the highest quality, myclimate promotes measurable climate protection and sustainable development around the world. The newly developed myclimate Cause We Care programme now also offers guests the option of actively participating in climate protection.
The Tschuggen Hotel Group had the CO2 emissions for 2018 calculated for the whole hotel group for the first time. In the process, all areas – heating and cooling, energy consumption, business traffic and employee mobility, food & beverages, material and waste – were analysed and evaluated. Subsequently, numerous measures were initiated to dramatically reduce annual CO2 emissions, primarily through the optimisation and innovative modernisation of heating and energy systems. In addition, heat exchangers are now used for ventilation and waste water, energy is generated from Alpine hydropower, and kitchen waste is sent to producers of biogas fuels. At the same time, employees are being made aware of the issues and numerous small improvements have been implemented to help look after resources.
“We are aware that a completely CO2-free operation is not yet possible in the luxury hotel business and that we still have a long way to go before we reach our goal. However, we still want to do our bit and, in addition to the emission-reducing measures, are also compensating for our emissions”, explains Götz Bechtolsheimer. To compensate for the inevitable CO2 emissions, the hotel group with its headquarters in Arosa has chosen to use the compensation payments to support a national and an international project from the myclimate portfolio. This means that the Swiss hotel group will be completely climate-neutral from 2019 onwards.
At a national level, the Tschuggen Hotel Group will use the compensation to restore a peat bog in the Tourbières des Ponts-de-Martel nature conservation area near Neuchâtel. Thanks to the climate protection project, the peat bog can be rehydrated, which means that fewer greenhouse gases will be released into the atmosphere. Not just the climate, but also biodiversity, the water balance, and tourism will benefit from this rehydration.
As a second myclimate project, the Tschuggen Hotel Group has chosen the Virunga mountain gorilla project in the Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda. In this area, the distribution and use of energy-efficient ovens is having a sustainable protective effect on the habitat of the last mountain gorillas. The inhabitants of Rwanda use wood from the rain forest for cooking. One of these ovens, which are produced in Rwanda, uses about 8 kg of wood less a day per household.
The lower wood requirements mean that the project reduces CO2 emissions, protects the rain forest, and helps maintain native wildlife populations. In addition, the more efficient ovens emit a lot less smoke, which contributes to improving the health of local people, and also result in financial savings for the families.
In addition to operational measures, it is also important for the Hotel Group to make guests aware of the topic of climate protection. With the myclimate “Cause We Care” project, guests are given the opportunity to play an active part in climate protection. “We have taken on responsibility for all emissions that originate from our hotels. In this way, we ensure complete climate neutrality from check-in to check-out with no additional costs for our guests”, explains Götz Bechtolsheimer. “All guests who share our conviction and want to become involved, will be offered the opportunity to compensate for their journey to and from us.” One hundred per cent of the voluntary contributions from hotel guests go to the myclimate mountain gorilla project in Rwanda.
Further information is available at www.tschuggenhotelgroup.ch. Photos couresy of Tschuggen Hotel Group.
Mark Bibby Jackson
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