Sustainable development at OKKO HOTELS: more than just words, a genuine commitment to good sense
On every step of our journey, from design to completion of our hotels, taking in the construction and renovation of our buildings, OKKO HOTELS constantly strives to keep sustainable development issues at the forefront of all that we do.
It is clear that consumers are becoming more and more insistent that their preferred brands demonstrate a greater commitment to respecting the environment. Yet beyond the trends and the marketing speak, we believe that this movement is representative of a genuine change in our society, and that it is up to us, as a private company, to encourage others to embrace it, be they our partners, staff or guests.
Well aware that the hotel industry – and tourism in general – is a significant consumer of energy, it strikes us as a matter of simple common sense to implement measures at every level to limit the impact of the OKKO HOTELS project on the environment. After all, the care taken to control energy consumption, to limit wastage, to ensure the sustainability of our materials and equipment, or to use local suppliers to reduce transport costs, is not just “green-friendly” but makes good financial sense.
An innovative and ambitious company, we want to go the extra mile when it comes to sustainability, aiming to encourage our guests to reflect on their own consumption habits and to make simple changes that nevertheless have a significant impact on the environment. This may seem somewhat removed from traditional four-star customs, yet it is an approach that has been embraced wholeheartedly by our customers.
Perfectly located for green transport
By positioning our hotels right at the heart of cities, and always within easy reach of railway stations, OKKO HOTELS has responded to the needs of those who prefer to travel in a more environmentally-friendly way than by car.
We have even gone so far as to build some of our hotels within mainline railway terminals (such as OKKO HOTELS Cannes, which will open in 2016, and OKKO HOTELS Gare de l’Est, scheduled to open in Paris in 2019) or alongside urban railway stations (OKKO HOTELS Paris-Rueil-Malmaison, which will open at the start of 2016).
Our Construction Department works closely with both our Product Department and external property developers in order to design intelligent, sustainable and energy-efficient hotels.
Special care is taken with the insulation to ensure that it is highly effective, the hotels are lit entirely by LEDs, and the air conditioning and heating systems are environmentally-friendly, in order to minimise energy consumption.
Preference is given to sustainable and natural materials: wood, raw concrete, natural stone and glass. The majority of the materials are recyclable and European in origin.
The use of water is kept to a minimum in the bathrooms, where showers are preferred to baths, taps are equipped with aerators, and the toilets allow guests to choose manually between eco or full flush settings.
When architecturally feasible, this approach is taken even further. At our Grenoble hotel, for example, 70m² of solar panels have been installed on the roof, which take care of 50% of the building’s hot water requirements.
Natural and authentic: our selection criteria for products and suppliers
All of our suppliers undergo a long and rigorous selection procedure, in order to guarantee that the products in our guests’ rooms are not only aesthetically pleasing, but sustainable:
- For our bedding we chose Coco-Mat, a young Greek company who have designed an exclusive OKKO HOTELS bed made out of natural fibres.
- The bed linen, also entirely natural, is made by the Italian company Gastaldi. Naturally creased, it does not require ironing.
- The 100%-cotton bathroom linen, meanwhile, is provided by Max Haavelar.
- Thémaé supply us with Ecocert cosmetic products.
- There are no minibars in the guest rooms, and the energy-efficient television sets minimise the consumption of electricity.
In the Club area, the concept of restauration has been reimagined in order to respect the environment and to limit wastage:
Breakfast, snacks and an evening apéritivo are included in all of our rates, being served on a daily basis to all of our guests. There is therefore no risk of wastage or loss, since produce is acquired and stored in accordance with our reservations and the consumption levels foreseen as a result.
- Preference is given to producers who adhere to the principles of organic agriculture, as well as those who are based locally, in order to reduce the burden of transport and to help to protect traditional craftsmanship:
- In Nantes: compotes and fruit from Côteaux Nantais, dairy produce from Beillevaire, La Mûroise jams, Attelier biscuits and Groix et Nature preserves
- In Grenoble: dairy produce from Laiterie Gilbert, sweet delights from Thierry Court and Mandrin beers
- In Lyon: charcuterie meats from Bobosse, dairy produce from La Mère Richard and Ninkasi beers
Using communication to encourage guest participation
During their stays, our guests are continuously invited to reflect upon their consumption habits, with a view to learning more about how to travel “sustainably”:
Staying with OKKO HOTELS is a paper-free experience from start to finish: customers have the option of making their reservation over the internet, and they receive their booking confirmation and invoice via email.
In the bathroom, guests will find only a 20g bar of soap and an Ecocert hair and body gel dispenser. A full range of hygiene and cosmetic products is nevertheless available for free at reception. This approach has been understood and embraced by our guests, who are aware of the wastage associated with individually-packaged cosmetic products.
Guests who are with us for an extended stay are invited to indicate each day whether or not they wish their sheets and towels to be changed.
Pushing for continuous improvement
This global approach is the result of a continuous consideration for sustainable development, something that our team wishes to further pursue. When it comes to sustainable development, there is still much to do, and we are making every effort to source and design the products and services that will see OKKO HOTELS continue to grow ever more sustainable with every passing day.
Terre.tv - OKKO HOTELS : le tout confort sobre en énergie !
Solenne Devys' Interview, Head of Marketing and Communication