The Radisson Blu Scandinavia, Radisson Blu Royal and Radisson Blu Falconer Hotels in Copenhagen introduced a new smoking policy for staff areas, starting on the World Tobacco Free Day in May. Smoking in canteens is not allowed during the main dining hours and smoking is banned in the buildings, except in areas clearly marked with a smoking sign. Information about the effects of smoking was provided on the staff notice board every day.
The three hotels also started an initiative to help employees stop smoking. Non-smoking groups were set up and their progress is reported on a weekly basis. The results are then shared with other employees through staff notice boards. The groups are competing for the best result, measured by the reduced number and percentage of cigarettes smoked - the prize is a dinner in the gourmet restaurant Alberto K at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel. The hotels are sponsoring both the prize and the cost of meetings.
Says Eirik Bergvoll, General Manager at Radisson Blu Hotel, Sandton in Johannesburg
The Soccer World Cup in South Africa was a highly successful test of the Rezidor Safety and Security System.
So planning for the safety and security at the Soccer World Cup 2010 in South Africa started a whole year before the event.
The World Cup was a practical test of Rezidor's TRIC=S formula, i.e. Threat assessment + Risk evaluation + Incident response capability and + Crisis management preparedness = Safe and Secure Hotels. And TRIC=S is a key part of the Responsible Business programme that we've had in operation since the opening of our hotel in 2008.
Prior to the World Cup, numerous security delegations from corporations and celebrities - including royal families and heads of states - conducted security site inspections of the hotel. And during the event itself, they each had their individual security details, which had to be coordinated with our own Radisson Blu security arrangements.
Both before and during the World Cup, the hotel used the expertise of OSAC (Overseas Security Advisory Council) from the US Department of State. Throughout the event, the hotel management received daily updates from OSAC - along with briefs related to security. We also liaised with the local authorities and other hotels in the area.
The local organisers did a fantastic job, with deliveries being made at night to avoid problems with logistics.
And I'm pleased to report that everything went perfectly - all our guests and employees were kept safe and happy: the World Cup was a fantastic event and a great showcase for South Africa.
Our guests generally expect high levels of safety and security, ensuring they enjoy a good and trouble-free visit. So the regular training of all employees in safety and security is of the utmost importance in helping us maintain Rezidor's exacting standards.
TRIC=S is seen as an industry-leading initiative - it's won great international respect.
After the event, our hotel's safety and security management team collected Frequently Asked Questions and produced a presentation that can be used to give potential customers a quick overview of our tried and tested safety and security systems.
This presentation is now also used by other hotels in the group as an example of Rezidor's best practice.
Brain Food is an exciting new nutritional formula - specially designed for meetings and conferences - and developed by our Danish hotels, in close co-operation with Christian Bitz. The formula helps ensure that all those attending a meeting remain energised and alert throughout. Our chefs prepare dishes designed to keep blood sugar levels stable and to provide optimal cerebral nutrition, ensuring that participants enjoy a high degree of brain activity and reactivity.
Fresh, locally sourced ingredients are the most effective. They also taste fantastic and are best for the environment. So naturally, they form the basis of our delicious Brain Food menu!
Park Inn by Radisson Hotel, Telford in the United Kingdom, organised a Christmas toy appeal for the local hospital to replace the existing old and tired selection. Guests and staff were asked to donate new toys - or used toys in good condition. The appeal resulted in the presentation of 30 excellent toys to the Princess Royal Hospital's Children's Ward.
A second initiative followed in the spring. New members of the 'innaction' health and fitness club were invited to donate an Easter egg, instead of paying a joining fee. A happy total of 35 Easter eggs were collected for the Children's Ward.
The Radisson Blu Hotel, Waterfront in Cape Town, South Africa instituted a mandatory Aids Awareness information session for all employees, followed by voluntary, confidential HIV/ Aids pre-counselling and testing. The general lack of knowledge and awareness about HIV and Aids is often due to a lack of access to the correct information and to effective help.
Expert guidance is needed on where to get tested, what to do if the results are positive and how to stay well and fit to carry on contributing to the working environment. A State of the Nation address by President Mbeki's stressed the need for all industries to intensify the campaign against HIV and Aids. As a result, The Radisson Blu Hotel, Waterfront's Responsible Business programme focussed on increasing awareness of the issues associated with the virus. The initiative was a huge success with 171 staff members participating: an impressive 94% of those present volunteered to be tested. As a result:
- All employees are now empowered to respond to their HIV status
- Employees with the HIV infection enjoy a better quality of life
- Those who are not infected have an improved awareness of HIV
- Individuals have access to an infrastructure in the community that will give them - and their families - the support they require
- Managers are better equipped to manage the impact of HIV and Aids on their business
- Effective foundations have been laid for an HIV/Aids policy within The Radisson Blu Hotel, Waterfront
The Radisson Blu hotel Krakow hosted a special event for group of young mothers, aged between 14 and 18, from the city's Jan Brzechwa Children's Home. The event was designed to introduce the girls to the possibilities of self-development, to job opportunities in hospitality business and to possible trainee programmes at the hotel. A tour of the house featured the rooms, lobby bar, fitness centre, restaurant and the back office areas.
The girls were invited to talk to employees about their work, before enjoying lunch in the hotel's Milk & Co. restaurant. Radissons Blu Krakow intends to organise further similar events. The next visit - scheduled for late summer - will feature a range of topics, including: table set up, cutlery set up and savoir vivre.
An enterprising group of Lübeck's disabled people live together in an open community at the city's Vorwerker Heime. The community aims to be almost completely self supporting - with its own laundry, kitchen, bakery and food shops.
Staff from The Radisson Blu Senator Hotel, Lübeck have visited the Vorwerker Heime many times and use its laundry service for their bathroom laundry, helping to support the community and ensure that local people with less opportunities can enjoy a good quality of life.
"Responsible Business and community work is important because we live with the citizens and the hotel depends on the community. We are not alone!"
Niara Mohamed, Responsible Business Coordinator at the Radisson Blu Resort, El Quseir in Egypt, believes that having a positive influence and impact on the local community is one of our Responsible Business programme's most important objectives.
The Radisson Blu Resort, El Quseir runs a unique community development centre, providing training for local people and opportunities for visitors to participate in the local culture.
Niara liaises between the hotel and the community, dealing with social, ethical and environmental issues. She tells us about the activities conducted by the Radisson Blu Resort, El Quseir during their Responsible Business Action Month:
- The El Quseir hospital development project
'The Radisson Blu El Quseir Resort organised a major repair programme - in co-operation with the city council - for the intensive care unit of El Quseir hospital. We assisted by sending our engineering team with maintenance supplies and by providing the unit with medical equipment - along with mattresses, bed sheets and pillows. We also hosted a conference and invited managers from the surrounding hotels to share best practices and to collect money for the hospital.'
- Our HIV & Hepatitis-C Conference
'In partnership with the Ministry of Health and the Health Directorate of the Red Sea, we hosted an HIV & Hepatitis C conference, to raise awareness amongst staff and locals. The initiative was a huge success with more than 75 people attending. Our hotel laid on transport for local people and everyone attending the conference was provided with information leaflets to help spread the message further.'
- A special charity donation to people in need
'We organized a charity donation event - in association with the National Egyptian Charity organization, Resala El Quseir. As part of a wider campaign by Resala to raise funds for those in need, the hotel provided 50 meals for members of the local community and collected donations of clothes from staff and guests, which were then distributed to the disadvantaged.'
- A clean sweep at the beach
'We organise one or two big clean-ups every year, together with the Resala Association, RSEC Centre, Roaya Association, El Quseir Sports Committee, El Quseir City Council and the other hotels in the area. Our resort provided all volunteers with a t-shirt, gloves, garbage bags, refreshments and transport to and from the beach. About 100 people joined the clean-up from the participating organizations - along with our very enthusiastic hotel staff and guests.'
- A fun and fund raising children's art exhibition
'We arranged an art exhibition, working with the Administration of Education and Roaya Association. We displayed and sold more than 150 pieces of children's art from all our local schools and the proceeds went towards helping the surrounding community. The exhibition also encouraged talented students and some of the funds raised were given to the school to buy new materials and equipment for the art department.'
- Other examples of The Radisson Blu El Quseir Resort's community involvement
'We invite disabled children to the hotel to enjoy a special annual celebration. Local orphans are also invited to join in activities in the hotel. Other examples of our community involvement include our development centre, jobsite training for students and our entrepreneur training for the hotel's school courses'
The Rezidor Hotel Group was the first hotel company worldwide to offer all guests carbon offsetting possibilities through goldpoints plus - the group's original loyalty scheme. And the Radisson Blu Hotel Ålesund Norway held the first- ever carbon neutral event for guests within the Rezidor Group: an award ceremony where the hotel received the prestigious Nordic Swan eco-label.
Peter Laursen, General Manager of the Radisson Blu Hotel Ålesundlesund explained, "Environmental awareness is an important part our vision of working as a responsible business. So hosting the award ceremony as a carbon neutral event was a naturally responsible thing for us to do". The hotel made a donation to The Carbon Neutral Company that will be used to help fund a Solar Electrification project in India and a Tree planting project in Uganda.
The solar driven club cart initiative at the Radisson Blu Resort El Quseir is just one of the projects undertaken by the hotel's responsible business committee to support the Danida programme - a Danish embassy initiative that helps private companies contribute to sustainable development in emerging countries.
Electric vehicles have been used at the Radisson Blu Resort El Quseir since it opened in December 2005. And the resort's staff - assisted by the Danish embassy in Cairo and the Danida project - conducted a feasibility study into the use of solar-powered club carts. Solar energy is often used for road signage and water heating In Egypt - but had never been utilised for powering electric vehicles. The Radisson Blu Resort El Quseir - which introduced Egypt's very first solar driven club cart - is now implementing the same technology for all its club carts. This project has many advantages:
- Less environmental impact with no use of fossil energy
- Safe power supply with sun 360 days per year in El Quseir
- Higher utilisation of this vehicle because there is no need to recharge it
The Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh - recently awarded Gold Award membership with the Green Tourism Business Scheme – has on ongoing proactive approach to environmental awareness and responsibility. Lighting accounts for around 20% of the world's electricity use - and the hotel has taken a number of steps to limit consumption, including training staff to switch off lights when they leave a room and replacing hundreds of light bulbs with energy efficient models.
As a result, electricity consumption is down by 13% and is still falling. A new ventilation system in the hotel has led to both increased guest comfort and a very significant 47% reduction of the hotel's natural gas usage.
The Radisson Blu Hotel, Malmö bought 4 bikes in response to a town council initiative, designed to help the environment. Guests are now happy to cycle around the city, enjoying the views and the fresh air, while staff members enjoy using bikes - instead of cars - on short journeys to pick up brochures or attend meetings in the city.
The Responsible Business teams of the Radisson Blu, Sharm El Sheikh and the Golden Resort by Rezidor have created and planted an organic orchard to grow their own tomatoes, onions, watercress, wheat, corn, radish, mint and coriander - all of which will be used by the hotels' kitchens.
The project has proved a huge success, producing a 12kg crop of tomatoes - along with a range of other produce, all grown organically without any fertilizers and irrigated with recycled water from the hotel rooms.
The Park Inn Zurich Airport bought 2 New Toyota Prius Hybrid cars for use by its sales force. The Prius - which has won numerous awards, including Car of the Year in Europe, Japan and North America - is most famous for its superior fuel economy, resulting in lower fuel consumption and less emissions.
The sustainability of the Südtor building - which includes the recently opened Park Inn Stuttgart - was a primary objective in the planning stages. Targets included:
- The installation of the highest quality insulation for the building exterior to minimise the primary energy consumption of the entire building
- The use of energy efficient and low emission gas powered facilities to produce the entire power and hot water supply for the building - as well as contributing the excess power into the local power grid
- The use of sustainable building materials, without polluting elements, to help prolong the life of the building
The construction was designed to ensure the sustainability of the entire project and to minimise the biological impact of the materials used
- The exterior walls and ceiling structure were constructed using a reinforced concrete – free from chemical additives - along with maintenance-free, fibred concrete panels to help achieve the high insulation specifications.
- The fully insulated flat roof is grass covered
- The interior – including the floor textiles and components, the walls, the air conditioning channels and ceiling finishes – was designed using materials with no negative biological and ecological impact
- The maintenance free windows are 100% sound proofed and airtight, with the highest insulation standards
Park Inn Stuttgart has made significant savings as a result of these measures.
- Energy saving light bulbs, plus low voltage bulbs in public area, result in a 60% energy saving
- Water-saving cisterns use 10% less water than regular cisterns
- Low emission gas powered facilities heating a cooling entails a 0.2% CO2 emission and energy efficiency of around 98%
The German Society for Sustainable Construction has established extensive criteria to assess sustainable buildings, which far exceed the existing law & regulation requirements. The certification marks are classed into Bronze, Silver and Gold.
The hotel section of the amazing Südtor building received an instant Silver Certification. And an air quality measurement produced excellent results, confirming that the use of sustainable materials have an effective impact on the building - as well as a positive influence on the hotel guests.
"The Lighting programme alone saves approximately 490 ton CO2 emissions per year. But are not saving for today, we are saving for tomorrow. We should be aware of the long-term benefit."
The Park Inn Heathrow, London has introduced new, long life, energy saving light bulbs as part of the hotel's Responsible Business programme. Changing every bulb in the 900-bedroom property was a huge task. But this project alone results in a reduction of 948,761 kWh of electricity and a financial saving of $80,000, says Regional Engineer, Bob Burns.
"Carbon dioxide objectives are set every year and the lighting project will result in a 492 tons CO2 reduction in one year. This was a key factor in helping the hotel win its recent Gold status from the Green Tourism Business Scheme."
Park Inn Heathrow implements a wide variety of initiatives designed to conserve energy and water and to reduce waste. And Bob is also responsible for a number of other Rezidor hotels in the UK: the properties are reviewed on an annual basis as part of the Responsible Business programme.
"We conduct yearly engineering audits, where we go through the building from roof to basement examining things like the technical condition of water storage tanks, electrical and heating systems and the insulation," says Bob. "A report is then written about what needs to be done. The property manager and chief engineer decide which measures should be taken, according to the Rezidor action plan".
These highly effective engineering audits are also being extended to Europe and Russia. And Bob - along his task force - also shares their expertise by making advisory pre-opening visits to new hotels, like the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Hotel in Dubrovnik and the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel in Stockholm.
According to Bob, the main environmental issues are utility usage - such as water, gas and electricity - and waste management. Park Inn Heathrow waste consists mainly of food waste. By increasing recycling, the property has significantly reduced the amount sent to landfill each week from 9 tons to 5–6 tons.
At the monthly staff information meetings, briefs are also given on environment, water and light bulbs - with practical reminders, including the need to switch off lights! The objective is to change both attitudes and behaviour by information and training: a new training programme is planned for all engineers at Rezidor’s UK properties.
"We need all need to work together to protect the environment. And Bob and his task force and share their expertise by making advisory pre-opening visits to new hotels, like the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Hotel in Dubrovnik and the Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel in Stockholm. The 13 hotels In the Heathrow Airport area meet regularly to share best practice," says Bob.
"Rezidor is considered to be the industry leader in Responsible Business. So we are proud to share information and to be transparent and open minded about other environmental issues."