Have you ever tried searching for a green hotel in Spain? You’d think there would be plenty in the 3rd-most visited country on Earth. But only just recently – on 29th October 2014 – did Breeam® Spain recognise Le Méridien Barcelona with an assessment for sustainable buildings. The establishment became a green hotel by applying several measures in support of energy efficiency and the protection of the environment. We are talking about the first Spanish hotel that acquired this acknowledgment.
Breeam® (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) is the environmental assessment method and rating for buildings. This system sets the standard for best practice in sustainable building design, construction and operation. BREEAM International consists of national schemes that adapt to local social and cultural conditions, translated in the local language and aligned with the country’s buildings regulations. The Spanish BREEAM Scheme was created in 2010 with the aim of searching buildings that could meet the requirements to get an assessment. The rest of the Breeam schemes are settled in other European countries, such as the UK, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg and Norway.
The certificate analyses impacts in 10 different categories: Management, health and wellness, energy, transportation, water, materials, waste, land-use, pollution, and innovation. The benefits from receiving the assessment are clear:
- Economic benefits. The most important ones are the reduction of energy consumption of between 50-70%, as well as a decrease in water consumption.
- Environmental benefits. The previous reduction in energy consumption leads to minimum carbon footprints of the building.
- Social benefits. The user’s quality of life improves remarkably. Measures like air quality, lighting, acoustic pollution and outdoor views are appreciated and improved.
- Cultural benefits. The assessment boosts a cultural change in terms of market awareness. People are starting to see the importance of sustainability in buildings, both before its construction and also in its subsequent management.
How to become a Breem green hotel
Le Méridien is an upscale international hotel brand with properties in over 50 countries worldwide, headquartered in France and in the United Kingdom. In particular, we’re talking about Le Méridien Barcelona, located in downtown Barcelona. The hotel has a Green Council in charge of applying and keeping track of all the actions related to the building’s sustainability. Some of them are, for instance, the constant reading of energy meters and CO2 emissions, the separation of waste, those measures that help preserve resources like water and energy, the integration of chargers for electric vehicles, etc.
On the other hand, the hotel celebrates ‘The Environmental Week’ once a year, where their restaurant ‘CentOnze’ offers a variety of sustainable menus and meals.
Le Méridien Barcelona fixed a target to 2020 to reduce its electricity consumption by 30% and water consumption by 20%. There is no doubt that this hotel has been doing its bit towards nature conservation and energy efficiency. What comes next is in the hands of the sector’s other players to apply the same actions and make the right choice towards a sustainable world.
Read the success story of another green hotel efficiently managing its energy consumption: