Me Barcelona certified as a Biosphere Hotel
Monday 11, October 2010
ME Barcelona has been certified as a “Biosphere Hotel”, becoming the second hotel in Catalonia to be awarded certification by the Institute of Responsible Tourism – endorsed by UNESCO.
The certificate includes the assessment of environmental, social and cultural variables which symbolise the hotel’s commitment to its environment in all of its different dimensions. Meliá Barcelona, which also forms part of the Sol Meliá Group, became the only other hotel to receive the award in Catalonia when it was certified last year.
Unlike other certificates such as ISO 14001 and EMAS, the “Biosphere Hotel” certification has been specifically created for hotels and seeks to promote sustainable tourism, not only on an environmental level but also on a socio-economic and cultural level. At the ME Barcelona, some of the factors assessed included selective waste collection, solar panels which provide heating for the swimming pool, energy efficiency ratios that meet Biosphere standards, and the use of environmentally-friendly products throughout the hotel.
ME Barcelona also actively involves guests in responsible behaviour. Guests may collect a “Green Package” with useful information about bicycle routes or walks to enjoy the city’s parks and cultural heritage. The hotel also informs guests about natural and ecological products on their menus, as well as its organic breakfast. The ME Barcelona also works with the Fias Association in recycling linen and clothing collected by both employees and guests.
The “Biosphere Hotel” certificate is awarded to hotels that have responsible relationships with their different stakeholders, taking into accounts aspects such as guest security and satisfaction, staff training and purchasing priority for local suppliers.
As noted by the Vice Chairman of Sol Meliá, Sebastián Escarrer, “tourism is an activity which is extremely dependent on its social, cultural and environmental setting. Hotels have to be integrated within that local environment and must to behave responsibly towards it. We are very proud that the first two hotels to be certified as Biosphere Hotels in Catalonia both belong to our company”.
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