Environmental protection really works in the hotel industry – as proven by theBestWestern PremierHotelVictoria, “the world’s most eco-friendly private hotel”. Since 1985, Bertram and Astrid Späth, as the third generation, have been managing the hotel’s operation. In that very year, they initiated the in-house environmental protection project. Both these hoteliers firmly believe that a responsible management of the environment is the prerequisite for a shared future. “That is why our operations comply with ecological principles: environmentally conscious, modern and sustainable,” says Astrid Späth.
Zero Emissions, 100 percent Comfort Zone
Since 2002, the “Victoria” has been a zero emissions establishment that uses only renewable energy. In that year, the traditional oil heating was exchanged for an energy-efficient wood pellet heating system. Combined with a solar heating system (323 sq ft), the new system saves more than 13,000 gallons of heating oil and, as a result, 150 tons of carbon dioxide. These systems provide 100 percent of the heat required by the hotel for heating and hot water. To cool all 66 rooms of the hotel, a ground water cooling system that uses 50 times less energy than a traditional air conditioning system was installed in 2007.
Two years later, the two rear buildings of the hotel were completely renovated for 2.7 million Euros (US$ 3.8 million). A 9.5 inch thick heat insulation around both buildings guarantees a future savings of 60 percent. In the summer of 2010, the rooms of the historic 1875 hotel were renovated for a total of € 300,000 (US$ 420,000). All rooms and hallways have since been equipped with LED or energy-saving light bulbs. Duvets and bed linens are made fromOekoTexmaterials. During the course of the renovation, the 1999 solar heating system was also expanded and augmented with a small wind power plant (2kW). The new photovoltaic system provides 21 kW of power. Furthermore, the hotel has an ownership share in the wind energy park in Ettenheim. This ownership share yields 70,000 kWh of energy production. All in all, 50 percent of the hotel’s energy requirements are covered by its own solar and wind power systems.
In order to create a positive effect on the city’s climate and to increase the impact of the solar system, greenery was planted on all roofs. One benefit of this was the resulting ‘comfort zone’ for hotel guests. They can expect all the conveniences of a four-star hotel during their stay.
This environmental project has had a positive effect – about 56 percent of guests make reservations because of the hotel’s exemplary eco-friendly measures. The Hotel Victoria’s project demonstrates that even in the hotel business green technologies are the technologies of the future.
Anna-Lena Zehender will continue to report about further details.