Corissia Hotels: truly sustainable holidays in Crete
We strongly believe in the need for a strategic redefinition of the tourism industry based on sustainable development and environmental protection. We want to be pioneers in this.
One of the biggest priorities of the Corissia Hotels is the conscious and consistent compliance with all regulations regarding environmental protection and the respect for the unspoiled nature and natural resources of the island of Crete. We also hope, through our clearly defined, strategic vision to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, that we can also make our small contribution to slowing down global warming to the point of climate neutrality.
The associated preservation of the living environment, biodiversity and ultimately the health and quality of life of all of us, guests and locals, is certainly one of the most important prerequisites for a unique holiday experience also in the future.
Air travel and climate neutrality do not have to be incompatible concepts
Holidays may be the best time of the year - but they are not necessarily the most climate-friendly at the moment. This is especially true for air travel. Every flight releases large quantities of CO2 that have a significant impact on the climate.
In the meantime, the major airlines are investing in ever more economical aircraft, because CO2 emissions are falling with every new generation of aircraft. Intensive research is being conducted into electric or hydrogen propulsion for large aircraft, but aviation is still a long way from the routine use of such technologies. Sustainably produced alternative aviation fuels, so-called Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), as well as biokerosene and power-to-liquid fuels already offer an alternative to fossil paraffin, even if their availability and use is still extremely limited.
Until further technological developments make climate-neutral flying possible, recognised climate protection organisations, such as atmosfair, offer environmentally conscious people the possibility of having the CO2 emissions produced during a flight offset by renewable energies. Air passengers voluntarily pay a climate protection contribution depending on the emissions, which is used to expand renewable energies in various countries and thus save CO2 that would otherwise have been produced by fossil energies.
Of course, such compensation actions are not the final solution to the problem, but they can play an important accompanying role in climate protection.
Corissia Hotels: our strategic vision for climate neutrality
We have decided not only to make our entire hotel operation climate-neutral, but also to offset the greenhouse gas emissions of our guests' entire holiday trip, including flights and transfers. And all this without any climate protection contribution on the part of the guest.
Our strategy is based on 5 pillars:
1. Making the best possible use of energy efficiency benefits, including zero-emission hotel buildings and other facilities.
2. Maximising the use of renewable energy in the total energy consumption of our facilities and beyond.
3. Shift to environmentally friendly, safe and connected mobility.
4. Preferential use of local organically grown products.
5. Focus on a circular economy so that waste is reduced to a minimum.
We have calculated that in order to implement our strategic vision of climate neutrality for our guests' entire holiday trip (incl. flight and transfer), an annual reinvestment of approx. 18% of our EBITDA is required. We can do this from our core business. A climate protection contribution on the part of the guest is therefore not required.
What we have achieved so far
Here are some measures that we as a hotel company have taken and use every day to also make our contribution to nature protection:
- Natural building materials and ecological paints were used for the most part in the construction of our hotel buildings. The building insulation for thermal insulation and minimisation of transmission heat loss was carried out according to the respective highest international standards. The newly built Corissia Harmony Hotel and the Chania Flair Hotel each have an energy efficiency class A+ with a final energy demand of 26 kWh/(m2a).
- We have installed various systems that harness alternative and renewable energy sources. We use both solar and geothermal energy for hot water, heating and air conditioning to significantly reduce (up to 95%) our facilities' needs for conventional forms of energy (oil, natural gas). Our photovoltaic plant in Crete is currently under development on a suitable plot of land of approximately 35,000 m2 with a nominal capacity of 2000 kWp. The expected energy production of the Corissia solar plant is sufficient to cover 100% of the electricity consumption of our hotel facilities, equipment and electric vehicles as well as of our valued employees at home.
- We use the latest generation of heat pumps and air conditioning systems with a very high degree of energy efficiency.
- All new windows and balcony doors have triple glazing with improved frames and thus an energy quality that significantly reduces the energy demand of the building. Our goal is to reduce the average U-value of windows to up to 0.5 W/m²K.
- We use electronic systems to automatically switch electrical equipment on and off whenever appropriate.
- We use LED energy saving lamps for maximum performance with low power consumption.
- We actively protect the region's water resources by installing systems to reduce water consumption and using modern biological treatment plants.
- We always use environmentally friendly cleaning products.
- When it comes to catering for our guests, we focus on quality rather than quantity. We are not all-inclusive hotels by conviction. We apply high quality, innovative catering concepts and thus avoid the excessive waste of food and the usual production of mountains of waste.
- We use environmentally friendly, recyclable packaging materials for our daily deliveries to avoid and reduce waste. We also avoid plastic wrappers at your breakfast and dinner buffet.
- We cover a large proportion of our needs in fruit, vegetables and olive oil from our own organic cultivation. Otherwise, we buy exclusively from farmers in the region.
- We are happy to support and actively participate in regional tree planting programmes.
We still have the following plans
1. We plan to increase the energy efficiency of all our buildings and other facilities through targeted conversion measures for thermal insulation and minimisation of transmission heat loss. By 2027, all of our hotel buildings will have an A+ energy efficiency rating.
2. The local use of various systems that make use of renewable energy sources is often not completely sufficient to cover the entire energy demand of the respective building. For this reason, we have already started to move the installation of hotel-owned renewable energy generation systems to physically separated areas (e.g. solar panels). Through smart contracts with local electricity providers, the hotel's own electricity from the remote systems is fed into the grid and offset against the electricity consumed by the hotel.
3. We plan to gradually convert our service vehicles and the vehicles used to transfer our guests to the airport to electric drive.
4. We are planning a major investment in Crete in the field of wind energy. We already have the licence for the installation of a hybrid wind farm with a nominal capacity of 18 MW, consisting of wind turbines and suitable electricity storage, at a remote location in the White Mountains of Crete. This will fully achieve our strategy of climate neutrality for our guests' entire holiday journey (including flights and transfers).