Imperial Vienna turns Green
Vienna: Since 1873, crystal clear mountain spring water is used to wash the crystal of the chandeliers of the country’s most prestigious hotel, the Imperial Vienna. Photograph: Michelle Chaplow
While we are studying the history of our Select Member Hotels, we certainly watch their developments right now. Whith oil pricessoaring, eco sensibility is among the most pressing current issues. At the Hotel Imperial in Vienna eco friendly meassurements save 70,000 kilowatt hours per year equalling an annual heat consumption of some 10,000 Viennese households.
Vienna, Austria: The Hotels Imperial and Bristol attach great importance to environmental protection. They carry the EcoQuality Label for Tourism, the hallmark for sustainable Viennese Hospitality.
Since 1873, the opening year of the Hotel Imperial, crystal clear mountain spring water from the mountains some 80 kilometres south of the Austrian capital is used to wash the crystal of the chandeliers of the country's most prestigious hotel. Then it was the result of the newly opened fresh spring water pipeline, inaugurated in 1873. Today it is the vital symbol of an environment conscious policy, adopted by the hotel.
The list of efforts isn't just impressive, it is most effective, too. Viennese hotels have to deal with hundreds of tons of laundry and even more tons of waste every year. They use high amounts of cleaning agents and spend thousands of kilowatt hours of energy. The Viennese EcoQuality Label for Tourism, however, shows that tourism and environment can walk hand in hand. The environmental award provided in EcoBusinessPlan Vienna is conferred upon hotels and restaurants with eco sensibility and services in line with sustainability. Since 2006 the Luxury Collection Hotels Imperial and Bristol have been carrying the eco label as Vice Director Riccardo Giacometti informs in a press release.
Environmental activities focus on efficient energy saving, waste prevention, eco-friendly buying and ecological cleaning. By using water-saving modules in the fittings the Hotel Imperial saves four million litres of water per year equalling an incredible amount of 25,000 full baths. “Heat recycling from air conditioning saves 70,000 kilowatt hours per year equalling an annual heat consumption of some 10,000 Viennese households”, proudly explains Wolfgang Panzer (photograph), who heads the engineering department for these two Viennese hotels.
In addition the hotels have separate waste disposals and buy eco-friendly refill packages. Meals are largely prepared from Austrian organic products.
Ecological measures do not only benefit the environment but also the budget of the enterprises awarded with the eco label. While operating costs decrease, the service quality for guests remains unchanged or even rises. “The cooperation of ecology and economy makes sense”, underlines Ulli Sima, Vienna’s Executive City Councillor for the Environment. “We are proud about the decision of an ever increasing number of Viennese tourism enterprises to subscribe to sustainability in their services. By doing so they add to an improved environment and better quality of life in Vienna.”
How do the guests react? "Extremely well: what used to be the credo of an alternative set of peole, is today the declared value of the jet-set." says Dr. Petra Engl-Wurzer, Director of Public Relations of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Austria. "It's hipp to be green."