Santa Marta hotel - sustainability in combination with premium services for clients

© jessicahyde, #88656225, 2018, source:
Energy Materials Water
Hotel and restaurant
Associated cost savings: Energy
Size of company:
Medium (less than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:

Hotel's inspiring three pillars

  • Save resources and costs for sustainable growth
  • Respecting the environment
  • Premium services for clients and social responsibility

The managment of Inspira Santa Marta Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal made a firm commitment before opening that it would respect three fundamental pillars: sustainable development, environmental sustainability and social responsibility. After five years of operation, it has been recognised as a leader in sustainability in the accommodation sector, receiving a number of awards.

A sustainability management plan governs progress on a number of parameters including resource use. Water, gas and electricity meters are recorded on a weekly basis to monitor consumption, and a number of mesaures have been introduced to reduce the environmental impact and save resources and costs.

These include energy measures such as:

  • Solar thermal energy for hot sanitary water, through the 35 collecting panels that occupy an area of 70 square metres, which reduces gas consumption
  • Thermal insulation, double-glazed windows
  • Card System Master Control Switch to control electric and electronic equipment in the rooms (switching them off when guests leave)
  • Building Management System that controls the hotel's lighting and air conditioning
  • Information campaign, raising awareness among guests: signage around the hotel and messages on-screen in the rooms

The hotel also has a robust waste policy which includes:

  • Ongoing staff training in waste management
  • Effluent from the kitchen is channelled to a grease separator chamber, adapted to the restaurant’s capacity (400 meals per day), before being discharged to the sewage system, avoiding contamination of water courses
  • Organic waste is sent to Valorsul composting central, as part of 'Valor+', an organic waste collection programme
  • Organisational measures: reducing the use of paper in the office, a packaging 'take-back' policy with suppliers, weighing and separating waste, polystyrene packages are not accepted, large volume packages for events are considered the client's responsibility
  • Participation in the Food Bank 'Paper for Food' programme which channels its earnings towards food for the needy 

Key results

From 2012 to 2015, for example, Inspira saved 25 % in energy/guest consumption, 43 % in gas/guest consumption, and 17 % in water/guest consumption. Monitoring and control of paper and printing saved  nearly 19 000 prints in four years. Around 75 % of the monthly waste produced by the hotel's daily operations is sent for recycling.

In its first five years of operation, Inspira was recognised at both national and international levels, and has been awarded several green awards including Green Globe certificate, Green Key certificate, golden certificate of Travelife Sustainability System, and Carbon Free certificate.

Green Ideas for Tourism, Inspira Santa Marta Hotel, Doing the right thing,