Sustainability at Venabu
Venabu is located in a beautiful mountain area in Norway. People come here to experience the mountains, hiking and skiing in unspoiled, pure nature. They feel the silence.
We value this relationship with nature. This is one reason why we at Venabu are committed to take care of the environment, and nature around us. More and more, we find that guests look for hotels that work in an environmentally conscious way.
For many years, Venabu has worked towards being environmentally responsible in its activities and operations. Two years ago, we decided to work towards a goal: to become environmentally certified. The Eco-lighthouse (Miljøfyrtån) scheme in Norway recognizes businesses that implement “measures on a systematic and ongoing basis in order to create more environmentally friendly operations and safer work environments.”
We are now in the final stages and expect to be certified at the turn of the year 2020/21.
Small and large measures
Environmental certification is about both raising awareness and actual measures.
There are measures that are easy to implement, such as:
- avoiding disposable items
- choosing eco-labeled products
- installing lights in the corridors that turn off automatically
- increasing the proportion of organic goods
- supporting the use of public transport with transfers from the train station in Ringebu
Other measures are more demanding
Venabu has undertaken some significant projects, investing in renewable energy and energy management. We installed a “data caretaker”. This is a system that allows us to control the heaters in the rooms from Reception. We ensure that guests’ rooms are nice and warm when they arrive. Rooms that are not in use are kept cooler.
Venabu had a ground source heat pump installed with a bore hole in the hotel grounds. The energy from the heat pump is used in heating hot water. We also invested in new hot water tanks. Instead of a few large ones, we now have several smaller tanks that allow us to adjust the amount of hot water as needed.
Around the hotel and the Storhytte we have installed air-source heat pumps for space heating too.
Food is important
Good food is important to us at Venabu! We want everyone, regardless of allergies and attitudes to food, to leave the dining room full and happy. We therefore serve a good variety of healthy food. We focus on local food and “short-distance” food. We share local food traditions. In late summer and autumn we gather food from the mountains and forest.
Health and safety
To obtain the certificate, we must also be able to show that all of the HSE (Health, Environment, Safety) and IK (Internal Control) systems are in place. These are things that all hotels should have, but it is always good to go through our systems more thoroughly to see what can be improved.
Satisfied staff, satisfied guests
The Eco-Lighthouse Foundation also demands that measures are taken with the social environment in the workplace. Looking after our employees is important. In turn our guests will be taken care of by cheerful and satisfied staff.
Environmental certification is a demanding process, but a rewarding one. We see the graphs and statistics pointing in the right direction e.g. increasing recycling and lower power consumption. The best motivation is positive feedback from guests who notice the measures we have introduced.
We also encourage all our guests to be environmentally responsible while at Venabu.
- help to sort rubbish for recycling in the rooms
- be aware of their own water consumption
- reuse towels
- turn off the lights when they leave the room
- not take more food than they will eat at meal times
Minimize our footprint in nature
Most of the measures for an environmental certification are about hotel operations. For us at Venabu, it is also important to minimize our footprint in nature. This includes informing guests of the rules in the national parks and nature reserves. We respect the wild reindeer population in the area and, of course, make guests aware of ‘leave no trace’.
An ongoing process
We are now looking forward to completing the environmental certification process, so that we will be an Eco-Lighthouse and sustainable destination! This does not mean that the work ends there. On the contrary, every year, we commit to working on new measures that improve operations in an environmentally friendly way.