The future outlook
At Utsikten Hotell Kvinesdal, we do what we can to take care of people and nature. We see that it gives our guests an even better stay with us.
Sustainability is a big word, but it's really about what the farmers have always known - the farm must be handed over to the children in better condition than it was when you took it over. At our hotel, we make sustainability close and tangible by incorporating it into all stages of the operation. All employees help to find sustainable solutions within their area of responsibility. I use to say: why make it difficult, when we can make it easy
This is how we work
CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENT
- Management: Employees propose solutions to make operations more sustainable at all levels. The topic is high on the agenda in all operational meetings.
- Purchasing: Requirements for environmental certification at suppliers
- Transportation: Coordination of goods delivery across the hotel's departments, so that transport is minimized. Waste is only collected when needed, not on fixed days.
- Short-haul quality: Extensive use of local raw materials and services from the valley below the hotel.
- Food waste: Systematic work in the kitchen and restaurant to avoid throwing away food. The food buffet has been cut completely. Stale bread is delivered to nearby farms. Leftovers are used for creative dishes.
- Energy: Energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy in hotel rooms, common areas and conference areas. Annual lowering of annual consumption compared to historical consumption.
- Cleaning: Use of organic products and need-based cleaning of rooms.
- Certification: Environmental lighthouse company
- Consumables: Phasing out of disposable cutlery and crockery, napkins and cups in biodegradable material. Transition to plant-based soaps.
- Diversity in the staff with a number of nationalities represented
- Annual working environment surveys
- Continuous work to create an ever better working environment, reinforced by an external HR consultant.
- Cooperation with Blue Cross for accommodation for disadvantaged families
- Active in the local community in Kvinesdal
- Member of Lista occupational health service.
- Open to taking in workers with special needs
- Tax certificate and company certificate from an authorized accounting firm and authorized auditor
- Member of NHO reiseliv
- Tariff-bound agreement with Fellesforbundet
- Serious operation with collective pay and orderly working conditions
- The managing director is a member of the business council in Kvinesdal
- Member of the business association in Kristiansand
The hotel works particularly with unselected sustainability goals:
The hotel director
As a hotel director, I am keen to involve the employees directly in the planning and implementation of measures.
There is an impressive commitment among my colleagues, and many bring with them a lot of expertise and ideas - both from things they have worked on in the past or things they do outside of work.
We feel that our increased focus on sustainable operations also increases the quality of the hotel stay for our guests. In addition, it improves our bottom line over time. It requires an effort to adjust or reverse a number of habits and inherited operating models, but the gains are far greater than the effort. But if something is to happen, it must be included in the business strategy, it must be included in the operations meetings and there must be expectations from the owner.
Sustainability is not so mysterious, it's really a lot about common sense and polishing some values that many of us want to guard against. It's also not difficult to get good suggestions, you just have to ask!
The important meetings
Reception is often the first point of contact with our guests, and we take pride in making people feel welcome just as they are.
Sustainability seen from the reception
Reception is often the first point of contact with our guests, and we take pride in making people feel welcome just as they are. The receptionists have little faith in facade construction, and feel that guests are good at discovering whether the sustainability investment is authentic. The driving force behind certifications and sustainable conversion cannot only be about the fear of losing customers. There must be soul in it.
We have been working on this quietly for a long time. People are more interested in us doing something practical."
We who are employed here inspire each other. It becomes a good spiral, and it goes easier when things are properly underway. At best, we inspire others with what we do here at the hotel. Our goal is to inspire new perspectives!
The creative chef
Head chef Michael is the brainchild of ideas for a sustainable kitchen operation. He consistently focuses on short-traveled ingredients and makes most of his food from scratch.
Sustainability seen from the kitchen
Michael and the kitchen are not bound by a chain, and manage the operation as they wish. They make a lot of homemade products and smoke salmon in their own smoking oven. Suppliers are checked with regard to environmental certification, and all bread – from foccacia to wholemeal bread – is made in-house.
- I'm a chef, so I think practically. When I serve food, and can point out of the window where the ham comes from, then people can relate to that. I'm not much of a philosopher, but it's not that far from thought to action here.
We are in the process of updating sources in the menu, so that guests can see whether the products they eat are home-made, made from short-traveled ingredients, organic, Swan-labelled, etc.
Michael believes that it is more fun to make sustainability happen than to talk about it.
We are not very good at throwing away food! Food waste is unnecessary. If you want what you write on your website, you will find a solution.
The good stories
Kasia is butler and has day-to-day responsibility for the restaurant at the hotel. She tells of an increasing community involvement among the employees and guests.
- It is easy to talk to guests about sustainability when we have something concrete to link it to. It's nice to be able to point down towards Kvinesdal when I have to tell where the strawberries in the dessert come from.
She talks about both small and large measures in the operation of the restaurant. It can be seemingly small things like replacing pen and paper with an iPad for ordering, and it can be bigger measures like serving short-traveled food and minimizing food waste.
Caretaker Ernst Olav is responsible for the maintenance and operation of the building stock and outdoor areas at Utsikten Hotell Kvinesdal, and is involved in most of what happens in sustainable conversion.
The caretaker is concerned that sustainability investment cannot be a joke:
– “This must be part of the culture. Then the guests will notice it without us running around and talking about it all the time."
He emphasizes the importance of having some common goals that unite across departments and work roles at the hotel. It helps to increase cohesion and the understanding that the chain is never stronger than the weakest link.
In his role as caretaker, Ernst OIav has overall responsibility for the logistics functioning. In his daily work, he notices the increased focus on sustainability mostly in purchasing, reporting and transport, for example through streamlining ventilation and electricity, environmental requirements for suppliers when ordering goods, and better waste management in dialogue with recycling companies.
Utsikten Hotell Kvinesdal has been approved as an Environmental Lighthouse business in spring 2022.