One of the leading hotel chains in Greece is Aldemar Hotels & Spa and they have further cemented their position as being a very environmentally friendly hotel group by picking up an award at the World Travel Awards, for the second time, which recognises green performance.
The group first won the award in 2008, and since then they have really been seen as being at the forefront of sustainability when it comes to green tourism in Europe. Since then the company have continued to pioneer the green hotel movement, and have taken great steps to ensure that they have a very positive social responsibility programme. At the heart of this program lies a business philosophy at Aldemar Hotels which revolves around sustainable behaviour.
The group has also retained ‘blue flags’ for all of its beaches at its eight hotels in Crete (4), Rhodes (2) and West Peloponnese (2) for the 13th consecutive year and as has helped to put Greece on the map for ‘green tourism’ by the development of the ‘Mare Verde’ environmental programme and investing in Corporate Social Responsibility with three fundamental elements: People, Environment and Society.
The Aldemar Group has invested around €2,700,000 by installing state of the art energy saving systems in all of its hotels and creating one of Europe’s largest solar farms at 7,010 square metres, which meets 85% of the group’s need for hot water. The energy saving systems the group has installed include regulating water consumption from taps; biological cleaning systems that give annual water savings of 35%; and wastewater treatment systems that store and biologically clean water which is then used to water the hotel’s gardens.
Other energy savings include fitting central electrical switches and energy saving light bulbs in all rooms, plus installing water-cooled air conditioning units that generate an annual 40% saving of electrical energy. Overall the group benefits from an average of 2,500,000 Kwh of energy recovery per year.
Aldemar Group initiated the ‘Mare Verde’ programme in 2000, this name, ‘Green Sea’, defines the goal – the protection of the environment. It constitutes one of the most dynamic programs that a hotel chain can embrace and that is recognised by international and local organisations. The programme involves everything from solar energy and recycling, to land irrigation and growing organic produce to serve at its hotels.
Today, 12 years on, the programme is considered one of the most successful ‘green programmes’ in Greece and involves all employees at every level in an effort to advise guests, local communities, media and other stakeholders about how to contribute to the environment and society.
Back in 2000 Aldemar Hotels also created a farm for the pilot production of organic products on the grounds of the hotel Olympian Village in the West Peloponnese. Today, after expanding the organic crops to include vines producing wine-making grapes, the group meets on average 31% of the summer needs in vegetables and fruit. In 2011 the garden produce and vines were certified by the Institute for Product Inspection BioHellas.
Aldemar’s CSR programme supports non- governmental organisations such as WWF Hellas, arktouros, Archelon, Clean up Greece, the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature and Clean up the Med, plus is involved in many other community projects that benefit employees and customers alike.