19.10.2017  |  Strategi & ledelse

Arthur Hotels: An experienced sustainability champion

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Years of dedicated efforts has pushed Arthur Hotels into greener and more energy efficient solutions. Today, being a veteran of sustainability, the hotel group is still challenged by how to communicate to secure the full added value of being green

A long history of quality and a very central location in Copenhagen almost places Arthur Hotels in the “Grand Old Dame”-category. However, you won’t find much dust in the two boutique hotels that make up the company core, covering also a few restaurants and a spa.

As an experienced player situated in historical buildings it would be easy to choose the “same old, same old”-business model, letting the hotels rest on their laurels or simply attracting by exploiting the location, but the ambitions and visions are much stronger than that.

“We care for the environment and sustainability is a focus area for us. We work on improving various areas: in the operation, in our food procurement and in our waste management. We are also very committed to work with our local neighborhood. We participate in local events throughout the year.” says Helle Hessellund Bisholm, COO at Arthur Hotels, and responsible for the corporate sustainability efforts.

So far, the hotel has focused on internal matters such as energy, water, use of chemical agents and the like. More recent efforts include sustainability in food and beverages – introducing New Nordic Cuisine with local, organic, and seasonal produce. In respect to product assortment and sourcing at Arthur Hotels, they prioritize as follows; organic or made of organic ingredients, locally produced, conventional Danish fruit and vegetables and ecological foreign fruit and vegetables.  They also implemented a highly advanced waste management system, including recycling of numerous materials. For instance, all waste from the kitchen and the attached restaurants are now being used for biogas and fertilizers.

The effort recycling food and beverages makes sustainability very visible for customers – both as a pull, and as a challenge. “We experience that many of our guests really appreciate it, and they feel good staying with us because we share the same values. Sometimes we meet guests who have a poor understanding of our ideas and don’t appreciate our New Nordic and organic breakfast. Accordingly, it’s important for us to communicate who we are, to attract the kind of guests who share the same values as we do,” Helle Hessellund Bisholm points out.

A lengthy process supporting innovation
At Arthur Hotels, striving towards sustainability has also become a driver for new solutions, new communication, and new processes; “The process takes time, and you will most likely make wrong decisions along the way. And maybe you find solutions that don’t last in the long run, and you will have to go back and start from scratch a couple of times,” Helle Hessellund Bisholm says, and adds ”But we find sustainable thinking permeates our operations and adds quality. New acquisitions may be more expensive, but this makes us think more creatively in order to find the good solutions.”

For Arthur Hotels seeking new solutions has led to strategic partnerships with suppliers: “We are now cooperating with local suppliers. Like one of the largest organic farms in Denmark, Knuthenlund. At Knuthenlund, they are not just organic producers, but producers of high-quality products such as cheeses, flour, sausages and dairy products. They are also suppliers to some of the Michelin restaurants in Copenhagen. If we hadn’t actively sought greener solutions, these high-quality options - that clearly adds value - would probably have been missed,” says Bisholm.

Therefore, Arthur Hotels is very much looking forward to be a part of the Responsible Business Events conference and a proud Brand Activation Partner – simply as this is a great opportunity to explain to an interested audience what they do, to network, and to learn more. “We are on the right track, but we can still learn a lot more – and as ever, innovation in terms of better quality, better solutions, and better value propositions need to happen; Sustainability is a great and natural driver for us.”

Arthur Hotels is one of the partners, who are ready to share their knowledge and enter a dialogue with everyone who works with meetings and events at Responsible Business Events conference 30/10 in Copenhagen. At the conference, speakers from Denmark and abroad will deliver case-based implementable knowledge about how and why it is important for companies to think and acts sustainably when hosting meetings and events.

Read more and sign up here: www.csr-link.dk/meetings

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