BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 22 Apr '15

Four winners announced, setting the standard for green hotels across the world

Green Hotelier has announced the winners of its worldwide 2015 Green Hotel Awards, in time for Earth Day (22 April) and Responsible Business Week.

Applications came from hotels throughout Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and the Americas, so picking four winners was a tough task.

‘I would like to congratulate all applicants for their impressive commitment, and urge all hotels to continue their green journey and keep spreading best practice.’

Holly Tuppen, Green Hotelier editor

Passion for sustainability

Applicants ranged from small eco-lodges surrounded by Nature to large corporate hotels in city centres, reflecting Green Hotelier’s diverse audience. What brings all these hotels together is a genuine passion for sustainability.

‘Seeing the innovative and inspiring ways hoteliers are reducing their impact on the environment whilst supporting their staff and the communities in which they’re based has been a really heart-warming experience and I’m happy that we’re able to recognise their hard work.’

Siobhan O’Neill, co-editor of Green Hotelier

Green Hotelier of 2015, Europe

Winner: Boutique Hotel Stadthalle, Austria

The Boutique Hotel Stadthalle in Vienna stood out for a recent renovation that made this townhouse boutique hotel ‘zero-carbon balanced’. The extension to the original hotel contains 130m2 of solar panels and a water heat pump, as well as windmills on the roof. The hotel also goes to great lengths when it comes to waste – reducing packaging wherever possible and using partners to upcycle waste that’s been traditionally hard to recycle.

Highly Commended: London Heathrow Marriott, UK and Inspira Santa Marta Hotel, Portugal

Inspira Santa Marta Hotel is highly commended for their clever waste water collection programme and the bottling of filtered water on-site. London Heathrow Marriott deserves recognition for the installation of a Hybrid Windmill and Solar Power System on the hotel roof alongside their 100% recycling policy.

A special mention goes to: The Hub by Premier Inn, UK

The Hub by Premier Inn at Covent Garden has only recently opened, making it difficult to compare sustainability impacts with other operational hotels. Still, Green Hotelier felt it deserved recognition for its impressive lengths to ensure minimum environmental impact during the development of the building, which led to a BREEAM Outstanding rating at design stage – a UK first.

Green Hotelier of 2015, Africa and the Middle East

Winner: Hotel Verde, Cape Town

Hotel Verde in Cape Town is the stand-out winners for its region. Not only is it one of the greenest hotels in Africa when it comes to operations, it also has an incredibly strong focus on the wellbeing of staff. Training and development sustains an active in-house sustainability drive and programmes like fulfilling ‘a wish’ for each staff member on the hotel’s first birthday ensure loyalty.

Highly Commended: Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman, UAE

Ramada Hotel & Suites Ajman impressed Green Hotelier with its enthusiasm for all things green – from its ‘Zero Landfill System’ to the urban farm in its 430m2 car park.

Green Hotelier of 2015, Asia Pacific

Winner: Nikoi Island, Indonesia

Nikoi Island lead by example when it comes to delivering a luxury, island paradise experience in as sustainable a manner as possible. Beside its active management of an impressively low carbon footprint, grey water system and desalination unit, Nikoi plays a fundamental role in supporting the local community. Its foundation has established six learning centres teaching English and IT skills and teacher training workshops now sponsored by some of the top schools in Singapore.

Highly Commended: Soneva Fushi, The Maldives and ITC Grand Chola, India

Besides exceptional environmental operations, Soneva Fushi stands out for leading marine conservation efforts in the Baa Atoll (it’s the first resort to ban night fishing) and for charging guests a mandatory carbon levy. ITC Grand Chola is India’s greenest building and is about to achieve ‘Zero Discharge into Sewers’ status – using sewage treatment plants that treat wastewater to an almost potable quality.

Special mention goes to: Eaton Hotel, Hong Kong

For being one of the first hotels in Hong Kong to install its own water bottling system which, alongside the introduction of refillable amenities, is saving a total of 850,000pcs of plastic waste each year.

Green Hotelier of 2015, the Americas

Winner: Black Sheep Inn Ecolodge, Ecuador

Black Sheep Inn Ecolodge stood out for Green Hotelier due to its community-focused ethos and commitment to showing guests that sustainable practices can be as comfortable as the ‘mainstream’. The inn is 100% community operated and, since 1995, has had a huge impact on improving the livelihoods of the local community. Black Sheep’s composting dry toilets are state-of-the-art, featuring in-bathroom gardens fertilised by the toilets’ compost, transparent roofs for natural light, rainwater and wastewater harvesting systems and bleach free toilet paper.

Highly Commended: Blue Horizons Garden Resort, Grenada and Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts, Aruba

Since 2014 Blue Horizons has focused on enhancing its gardens to create a haven for native birds – so far, 3,000 drought-resistant shrubs have been planted, 27 tropical birds identified and two types of rare tree have been preserved. Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort leads the way when it comes to sustainable hotels in the Caribbean, with no detail being too small – from handing guests refillable canteens for water to the fitness centre floor made from recycled tyres.

Green Hotelier is a programme of the International Tourism Partnership, encouraging and sharing best practice in sustainability throughout the global hotel industry. Find out more here.