GF Hoteles, Europe’s first chain to obtain the ISO certification of sustainable hotels

The hotel chain is also the third in the world to receive the certification of ISO 21401 for working in accordance with the 17 SDGs of the United Nations
Victoria López, president of Grupo Fedola, understands that “sustainability is the way forward in the tourism sector as a profitable and necessary strategy”
The hotel group reduces 20 tons of CO2 and exceeds the target for next year in its 2018-2020 Strategic Sustainability Plan

GF Hotels is the first hotel chain in Europe and third in the world to obtain the ISO 21401: 2019 certification for meeting the environmental, social and economic requirements of the sustainability management system for tourist accommodation. This regulation guarantees that the hotel group works in accordance with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

Victoria López, president of Grupo Fedola, affirms that this certification “is a goal which has been achieved, that reinforces the desire and commitment to meet the objectives of sustainable development.” López understands that “this is the way forward in the tourism sector and that sustainability is an investment, but it is also a profitable and necessary strategy.”

For his part, Juan Carlos De León, director of operations of GF Hotels, indicates that this certification “is the fruit of many years of work and investment at a time when being sustainable was not a requirement.”

The hotel group sees sustainability as a competitive priority and feels responsible not only for its economic profitability, but also for the carbon footprint generated by its suppliers. “The selection process has always included choosing who has the best quality – price ratio but, from now on, it will also depend on how sustainable it is and how it influences our activity,” explains De León.

In the words of the South and Canary Regional Director of Bureau Veritas, Francisco Martín Santamaría, “GF Hotels is a pioneer in obtaining the ISO 21401 certification and it is the result of the involvement of the entire organization”.

The chain, owned by Grupo Fedola, reaffirms its continued commitment to sustainability and reduces 20 tons of plastic in 2019, equivalent to 71 tons of CO2; an important result which is the product of various actions that are framed in the Strategic Sustainability Plan.

The Strategic Plan 2018 – 2020, a sustainable commitment

Adapting its services to be more sustainable is one of the premises of the 2018-2020 Strategic Plan of the hotel chain. To achieve the goals set, it has gradually replaced the use of plastic bottles with aluminium bottles for both guests and employees; and plastic bracelets have been replaced with cloth ones. In addition, water containers are now glass or cardboard, the straws are made from a recyclable compostable material, the disposable cutlery of a material derived from corn and the plastic cups have been replaced by reusable cups.

In the buffet service, changes have also been made with the incorporation of butter, jam and honey dispensers. This action eliminates more than 1 million plastic containers per year.

Likewise, work is being carried out on the reduction of water consumption through actions such as the renewal of perlizers and the commitment to intelligent irrigation in the gardens. The inauguration of the laundry is another example of energy efficiency that offers greater process control and serves the four hotels in the Costa Adeje zone. “In 2012, 21 litres of water were needed per kilo of clothes and, with this installation, it has been possible to reduce consumption by more than 50%,” says Juan Carlos De León.