Credit: Antoinette Kordic
Tracey M. Romero
Given the title of The World’s Greenest Hotel by Skal International, Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers in Denmark strives to show that sustainable living is not only possible, but can be a four-star experience for the customer while still being profitable for the business. One of their missions is to offer their guests a “vacation with a clear conscience.”
The key, of course, is implementing the right innovations. As the first Danish hotel to sign the U.N. Global Compact, which asks businesses to work with the United Nations to engage in “enlightened global business,” they have committed to being 100 percent sustainable right from its conception. To do that, they use energy saving techniques throughout the hotel.
Energy Saving Techniques and Green Practices
Crowne Plaza Towers is the first hotel in Denmark to have a carbon dioxide-neutral building as well as the first groundwater-based cooling and heating system. They also boast Northern Europe’s largest solar park built into the hotel’s structure.
The groundwater-based cooling and heating system, Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage, or ATES, is housed in the basement of the hotel. There are three cold water wells and three hot water wells that run the system. Cold groundwater is used for cooling the guest rooms during summer, and the heat that is given off during this process is recycled to heat the hotel in the winter. A variable airflow system, or VAV, is then used to regulate how much heat or air goes to individual rooms to reduce waste of energy.
The biggest hot spot for waste in any home or business is the kitchen. To counteract that from happening, the Crowne Plaza Towers has many strategies in place. According to their website, they buy organic and locally whenever possible and work with their suppliers to maintain green practices in all of their transactions.
This is the hotel’s urban garden.
One way they keep a low carbon footprint is by scheduling food delivery three times a week instead of once or twice a day, which is typical in the hotel business. Also, by grinding up all food scrapings and sending them to a biogas plant, the waste is turned into fertilizer. On one of the hotel roofs, the chef is even cultivating his own urban garden. All the cooking equipment uses the latest in induction technology, which allows stoves and ovens to be heated quicker and to be turned on and off instantaneously causing less heat waste.
Sustainable practices don’t just stop there, though. In the bedroom, soap and shampoo bottles are all made of biodegradable ingredients like corn and starch. Forty percent of the furniture in each room is made of recycled material.
“We’ve insulated, we’ve saved water, we recycle food, even the shampoo bottles are made of starch, so from the inside to the outside, the hotel is made so that it can be as green and as sustainable as possible,” Antoinette Kordic, director of communications for the hotel, shared in an email. “So this means that we use less than half the energy that another totally modern hotel would use.”
“The way we run the hotel is more expensive than conventional hotel business, but we feel that more and more tourists and business people choose us because of our green and sustainable profile,” Kordic said regarding the challenges of being 100 percent sustainable. “So we expect this challenge to decrease over the years.”
Allan L. Agerholm, managing director and co-owner of the hotel, recently discussed the European Union’s policy on corporate social responsibility, or CSR, on Ledelses TV. “CSR is a broad description of the way a business should behave toward its different stakeholders, both internal and external and the local environment,” he said. “It is our ability to make a small contribution in making a difference.”
Agerholm points out that CSR is also good for the bottom line of a business. “To me, it is big business. Decisive action becomes a competitive advantage,” he said.
The Crowne Plaza Towers is situated in the perfect city for its green passions. When the hotel was built in 2009, Copenhagen was preparing to host the UN Climate Summit. And although responses to the summit were lukewarm at best, Copenhagen has situated itself as an environmentally-conscious city. According to the official website of Denmark, it has even bid to become the world’s first carbon-neutral city by 2025.
To learn more or book your own vacation with a clear conscience, visit the Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers website.
More To Read: