The glamorous Hofburg Imperial Palace was the venue for the 39th EHMA general meeting. This gala event was the occasion for 1st EHMA Sustainability Award by Diversey. The award was created by EHMA and Diversey to highlight the importance of sustainability for the hotel business.
EHMA’s partner Diversey, a world leader in cleaning and hygiene solutions, is committed to sustainable business practices and employs the “Triple Bottom Line” which considers people, planet and profit in its daily operations. With in-depth expertise in the hospitality industry Diversey supports i.e hotels in examining and reducing their environmental and operational impact by saving water and energy and reducing labor costs while making these properties safer, cleaner and more hygienic.
The first Sustainability Award aimed to honour the General Manager who has gone beyond preserving and protecting the environment while transforming their property into a sustainable business. The jury of EHMA; Treasurer Johanna Fragano, Diversey’s European Sustainability Leader Ed Roberts, and Hotelschool The Hague’s sustainability expert Arjan van Rheede, awarded Veikko Vuoristo, General Manager of the Haikko Manor & Spa, a modern conference center with spa in Finland.
The judges recognised the hotel’s pioneering work for sustainability during its 45 years of operation. EHMA's President Peter Bierwirth also highlighted Veikko Vuoristo’s longterm contribution and his enthusiasm and innovative solution for one of the service industry's biggest environmental challenges: energy. Haikko Manor & Spa has utilised sea water thermal energy since 1984. And the winner proudly added: “Over 60% of our heating energy is derived from the sea and 35% of our heating energy is created by using non-polluting natural gas. Oil heating may be used only in the coldest time of winter. We only use locally produced, environment friendly electricity”. How does that work? 60 % of the required heating and cooling energy provide the heat pumps connected to seven kilometres of pipelines in the sea bed. “In Haikko Manor we have decreased our energy consumption by systematic efforts. We analyze and adjust our heating system regularly. Our water usage is controlled daily to find out any potential leakages,” claims Veikko Vuoristo.
Besides energy consumption, Haikko Manor & Spa has continuously focused on waste reduction, recycling, cleaning and procurement processes since its opening. In addition the hotel received a Verso Globe certificate proving that the company not only cares about the environment and sustainability, but also favours responsible business values and good corporate citizenship. All of these initiatives were taken by Veikko Vuoristo, who has been the General Manager of the hotel for the past 29 years. He graduated at Cornell hotel school and has been a passionate hotelier ever since. Besides running the family business, he has always been ambitious to promote and improve the hospitality industry in Finland. He has been member of EHMA since 2007.