Regional resources, virtually no waste, high efficiency: sounds like a wish-list, but in Bern, Interlaken and the mountain regions of Bern it’s an eco-friendly reality.
‘Green Meeting’ is now far more than just the colour of the sign on the door leading to the seminar room. Indeed, Bern’s conference, seminar and event venues are looking to make their offers ‘green’, environmentally aware and sustainable. Key aspects include regional value added, social responsibility, and getting participants and delegates to and from their destinations in a climate-conscious way. It means that organisers are able to give the image of their events that extra polish and showcase a sustainable quality seal to guests and sponsors alike.
Bern’s lasting commitment to the environment
For years now the City of Bern has been committed to a sustainable approach to energy and resources. Not only did it recently receive the European Energy Award Gold, but it has also boasted the Fair Trade Town label since 2017. At the Hotel Schweizerhof Bern & THE SPA, there is even an in-house environmental team committed to sustainable projects. And it goes all the way to the top, as it were, with some 150,000 bees up on the roof doing their bit to help with the ecological balance. As a myclimate partner the Schweizerhof offers to provide carbon-neutral accommodation. Things are also buzzing at the Kursaal Bern where colonies of busy bees support the catering teams so guests can enjoy delicious honey ice cream, exquisite truffle honey, and breakfast honey, all à la maison. The Kursaal Bern is a member of the ‘Klimaplattform der Wirtschaft’, a joint venture between the City of Bern and the Bern Region. At the Stade de Suisse football stadium, the big stars are also to be found up on the stadium roof, where every year solar panels generate 700,000 kWh of energy for around 200 households. In the catering sector all the emphasis is on regional produce, entirely excluding goods and produce flown in from all over the world.
Interlaken: an energy-conscious region
With its eco-friendly approach and perfect transport links Interlaken is a great advocate for sustainable mobility. Interlaken has been awarded the Energy Town label, which means every hotel guest is able to use public transport in Interlaken and surroundings free of charge, using the Guest Card. The Interlaken region also offers all sorts of other eco-friendly transport alternatives such as e-bikes, solar-powered ships and Segways. Social programmes for conferences and seminars can be organised with a clear eco-conscience – and since Interlaken is also a member of Alpine Pearls, that includes excursions to alpine surroundings with guaranteed mobility and no cars. The Lindner Grand Hotel Beau Rivage has been officially certified as sustainable and ecological, underscoring its special environmental policy. The Hotel is heated using the region’s district heating network with locally sourced wood chips and has switched its entire lighting system to low energy consumption. The Hotel Eden Spiez is just as exemplary, using a rooftop solar installation to generate its energy, heating with ecological pellets, and collecting rainwater to water the hotel’s grounds. These are just some of the efforts being undertaken in and round Interlaken to guarantee environmentally compatible hospitality.
The eco-friendly way to experience the mountains
‘Berner Oberland VITAL’ is the platform featuring offers of the Jungfrau Region and Interlaken designed to promote a return to the more fundamental values of life. The natural surroundings in Bern’s mountain regions offer such a perfect setting for wonderful experiences that an eco-friendly approach to resources and conditions on site are now a matter of course. The Jungfrau Region supports ‘Protect Our Winters Schweiz’, actively helping to raise people’s awareness of a climate-conscious way of life. The Sunstar Hotel Grindelwald is part of the world’s first hotel chain to offer to fully offset all its CO2 emissions. A climate-neutral overnight stay is therefore yet another plus point. As a utility, Licht- und Wasserwerk Kandersteg operates two hydraulic power plants of its own, making a valuable contribution to sustainability in the region by covering more than 80% of the electricity demand and no less than 100% of the drinking water demand in ‘nature-made’ ways. The destination of Gstaad is also characterised by a high level of commitment to people and nature. At Saanenwald , teams can recharge their batteries for instance during a walk or a yoga lesson. The Gstaad Palace for its part was one of the first hotels to use LED lights for its entire lighting system. And the Golfhotel Les Hautes de Gstaad is just as committed to the cause, running its own farm and the Hotel’s own mountain pasture for a sustainable experience of life in Bern’s mountain regions.