Eco-friendly travelling and ISO certificates

By Sergio González | 10:45

Clean recharging point for electric car at one NH hotel

ISO is another one of the huge number of international organizations that can be found in the neutral lands of Geneva, Switzerland. ISO has been calling for worldwide standards in industry, commerce and property since 1947 and according to the list of member states-all of them but some African states- and the number of certificated companies are being listened to.

Among all the victims and destruction left by WWII, nature was one of them. In the late 40’s, many official and private initiatives followed peace treaties to recover the economy and human society; modern environmental movement rose to preserve our home.

A nuclear sword of Damocles -JF Kennedy before UN on nuclear weapons non-proliferation speech in 1961- threatening the world and huge environmental disasters in the 60’s made the world realize that the harmful impact of our out-of-control human activity on wildlife, natural ecosystems and our own survival.

Some green political parties gained popularity in USA and Europe during the next decades but it wouldn’t be until the first Earth Summit (Rio de Janeiro, 1992) that environmental management reached ISO systems.

Luckily, these guys seemed to be really smart and they began to work soon and thoroughly; by 2010, thousands of organizations and companies worldwide were ISO 14000 certificate and courageous ISO 50001 -which NH Eurobulding in Madrid boasts as the first hotel certificated in Europe- is expected to improve and make more efficient 60% of worldwide energy demand.

ISO 14001 demands a huge commitment to environmental efficiency, a true outcasting of stupid waste from the applying company. As ISO states, (it) can provide assurance to company management and employees as well as external stakeholders that environmental impact is being measured and improved.

By 2011, 19 of our hotels were ISO 14001 certificated.

NH Hoteles understood early on the vital need to protect our environment and in 2008 launched a bold environmental plan to reduce water and energy consumption, waste generation and carbon footprint a committed 20% by the end of 2012.

By 2011, CO2 emissions had been almost halved and guests staying at NH hotels used 83 liters of water less per night. The expectations for 2012 numbers couldn’t be more optimistic; we are making it!

How can a big company keep on growing and still reduce its environmental footprint? Taking an oath to wake up to a better world, but more specifically, undertaking major green projects yet watching little details at the same time.

Paneling every possible inch of our hotels roofs with solar cells -currently we produce enough clean energy to light a 1,000 inhabitants village- or using smart pulleys set in our elevators to produce clean energy to drive an electric car along 25,000 miles -you can find our green recharging points in more than 29 European cities- are some of NH Hoteles tasks.

To achieve the demanding goals of 2012 Environmental Plan, every little thing from pools, laundry, restaurants and even the coffee we serve -let it be from fair trade- need our attention –learn here about all the green actions we carry out- but all of our efforts would mean nothing without the generous collaboration of our guests.

Don't skip recycling during your holidays!

Would you like to be eco-friendly during your next stay at a NH hotel? Get  involved with us following the green path.

If you can’t help flying, book with a green airline and avoid stopping over -taking off and landing consume tons of fuel- but if you can pick a sit on a high speed train, do it; it’s several times more efficient and less pollutant than planes or cars.

Life couldn’t be understood without technology around; cool, it makes our life much easier, but they consume energy, quite a lot, even when they stand by. Switch them off completely everytime you leave your room, as you do at home. Our hotels have recycling programs, join them.

Be responsible when using towels and linen and consider leaving behind for new tourists the maps or beach buckets you’re not going to use anymore. If possible, look for restaurants that serve locally grown food.

Forget about printed paper, it doesn’t have a place in the 21st century; we want our forests to survive. Ask for e-invoicing and use your smartphone to find out about visits and sightseeing. Let’s make brochures a thing of the past!

Other eco-friendly ideas are avoiding imported water and choosing low-impact walking or animal riding tours. Do you have your own green ideas? Do you take any eco-friendly action when travelling? Let us know, we love sharing!

Photo Credit: NH Hoteles

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