Six Senses to launch off grid “net-zero travel” hotel in Norway

NORWAY: Luxury hotel group Six Senses Hotels & Resorts is launching a “net-zero travel” hotel in Norway.

NORWAY: Luxury hotel group Six Senses Hotels & Resorts is launching a “net-zero travel” hotel in Norway.

The 94-room hotel will be called Six Senses Svart and is the brand’s first foray into Scandinavia.

The circular-designed building is the first in the northern hemisphere to be designed and built with an energy efficient standard, which means it will collect enough energy from its solar panels to operate the hotel, its activities and the shuttle boat, which transports guests across the fjord.

It also means that within five years the hotel will produce enough energy of its own to cover the energy output of constructing the property. Often when hotels say they are carbon neutral, they are not counting the carbon emissions caused during construction, and are only referring to the operations side. This hotel can deliver 89 per cent of the 45 per cent decrease in emissions to reach the limited 1.5°C in the Paris Agreement and in its effort to become the first fully carbon-neutral and emission-free resort it will also, in around five years, generate more energy (via its solar panels and geothermal wells) than it took to build, and will take to operate.

The resort and its services, including the greenhouse farm, boat shuttles, and experiences, will be completely self-sufficient, operating off grid, in electricity, water, and waste management. To achieve this the hotel will operate a circular economy managing its own waste and water management, recycling and renewable infrastructure. 

Ivaylo Lefterov, Svart development director said: “Building a unique environment through cutting-edge design and superior craftsmanship comes with clear obligations. Creating a sustainable destination through an optimised resort operation requires us to collaborate with the right partner. Six Senses shares the same ethos and ambition, to redefine bespoke travel through technological innovation, carbon-neutral approach, ground-breaking design, and an exceptional guest journey.”

Inside, the hotel the restaurants will work with sustainable fishing and farming groups, have a zero-waste dining option and provide filtered water to guests through its own water cycle.

There will also be a Svart Design Lab, which offers education for guests to understand how new technologies can bring the hotel sector closer to carbon neutrality. 

Jan-Gunnar Mathisen, CEO of the project’s owner and developer said: “To enhance the vision of Svart, we have established a Net Zero Lab, a vehicle for developing and taking to market the technology created by us in a joint effort with Six Senses to reach the common goal for net-zero travel. This means the guest journey will have zero environmental impact from start to end. The mission is to achieve common ground for all stakeholders pushing the technology to the next level to benefit the resort and the industry at large.”

As a centre for engagement and innovation, the Earth Lab will serve as the sustainability outreach space, showcasing “lifecycle living” initiatives on and off the property. 

Six Senses Svart is due for completion in 2024.

Radisson Hotels and Resorts recently announced a sustainable certified hotel in Norway’s capital Oslo.

Image from Six Senses Hotels Resorts and Spas.

Riu Hotels & Resorts switches to renewable energy

SPAIN: Hotel group, Riu, has switched to 100 per cent renewable energy across its Spanish hotels and headquarters.

SPAIN: Riu Hotels & Resorts, has switched to 100 per cent renewable energy across its Spanish hotels and headquarters.

The group has made a deal with green energy supplier Iberdrola, and will aim for its Europe and Mexico hotels to follow suit. The group hinted it would consider its other hotels around the world for the switch going forward, but nothing solid has been confirmed.

The agreement with Iberdrola means that the hotel group can sustainably power more than 11,000 rooms across its 27 hotels in Spain. The hotels currently consume around 70 gigawatt hours per year. To put that into context, 1 gigawatt is the same as 1 billion watts (which would power around 10 million 100 watt light bulbs or 100 million LED light bulbs).

According to RIU Hotels & Resorts, by changing energy suppliers, the group will stop 30,000 tonnes of C02 emissions.

Bartolomé Enseñat chief procurement officer of RIU Hotels & Resorts, said: “[The agreement is] a big step forward in our aim to make our operations sustainable. We are very proud to announce to our customers and colleagues that, from today, all the energy we use in Spain is 100 per cent renewable, as certified by the Spanish National Markets and Competition Commission (CNMC). Iberdrola was the perfect partner to help us reach this goal and we hope that this is just the beginning, as we’ve set our sights high when it comes to sustainability”.

The hotel chain is currently working with Iberdrola to roll out renewable energy across its hotels in Europe and Mexico, with preliminary contracts already in place.

Miquel Cardona, Iberdrola’s sales representative in the Balearic Islands said: “…We hope to continue working with RIU on different projects to jointly increase the electrification of its activity”.

Rui Hotels & Resorts recently created a new department in its team; the energy purchasing department and the Iberdrola agreement is its first major project. 

The group is aiming for a circular economy and has committed to working with waste management and reuse, reducing paper use, working for positive impact on the local economy, as well as aiming for global sustainability certificates. It has been awarded the international TRAVELIFE certification programme, since 2012 for 80 of its hotels. The accreditation specialises in sustainability management for the travel industry, which guarantees responsible management and compliance with its sustainability commitments.

Its Sustainability Report 2020 highlights a few of its aims and goals in both environmental and community sustainability. It has just released its 2021 report which will be available shortly.

Among the sustainable products currently used by RIU, the report highlights:

  • Coffee and teas with a Rainforest Alliance certificate
  • Replacement of normal straws for compostable straws
  • Priority acquisition of local products
  • Biodegradable cleaning products and detergents
  • Purchase of seasonal fruit and fish
  • Promotion of hydroponic crops in destinations with adverse conditions
  • Reduction in consumption of endangered marine species
  • Cellulose sourced from sustainable forests
  • Recycled cardboard packaging instead of plastic
  • Oeko-Tex and Made in green certified textiles
  • Optimisation of goods transportation to reduce CO2 emissions
  • Elimination of chemicals considered harmful to human health and the environment
  • Cloth or compostable laundry bags
  • Compostable glasses and containers for take-away services
  • Eggs from cage-free hens*
  • MSC certified fish
  • FSC certified toilet paper and holders
  • AENOR certified milk (animal welfare) *

*Pilot projects in some RIU destinations in Spain.

RIU Hotels & Resorts has 100 hotels in 20 countries. In 2021, the chain welcomed 4,2 million guests and provided jobs for around 28,004 employees.