After starting with a pilot program at the bh Barraquilla hotel that was well received by guests, the Germán Morales Hoteles (GMH) chain announced the implementation of the Default no cleaming program in all its operations, an initiative that forms part of its well-known sustainability policy , supported by the fact that it is the first hotel chain in Colombia with a carbon neutral report.
When a guest checks in, we tell them that as part of our commitment to the environment, we offer the option of not cleaning the room automatically every day, says Darko Kudeljnjak, director of bh Barranquilla. “We explain that every time we clean your room we use 100 ml of chemical products, 50 l of water and 1.5 kWh of electricity, and that you can contribute to reducing the environmental load of your stay by ordering your room to be cleaned at order; In exchange, we inform you, the hotel will plant a mangrove in an ecosystem in the region”, details the manager.
Developing more and more sustainable initiatives has become part of our DNA; that is the reason that moves us to implement this program in all our hotels, says Paula Morales, GMH marketing director. “In this way, we join the trend of the hotel universe in the world and contribute to more and more people joining sustainable actions. Our guests feel that with their decision they are part of the solution, that they contribute and see us as facilitators of their desire to do something for the planet”, Morales complements.
The experience of the first exercise developed in the bh Barranquilla hotel showed that 95% of the guests accept the initiative, which is why the chain decided to extend the program to the hotels of its bh, be, be and EK brands, in Santa Marta, Medellin and Bogota.
The program does not apply to guests staying for a single night, it is only for those who will be staying for more days and, in any case, in no case does it exceed four nights without the respective cleaning and linen change.
Default no cleaming is a program complemented by another sustainable action. GMH has made an alliance with the Batis Foundation to which it contributes for the recovery and/or formation of mangroves.
For every guest who decides “not to clean the room”, we will plant a mangrove, reports Darko Kudeljnjak. “By planting a mangrove tree, we offset the carbon footprint of the room in total. We are a means to attract donors for the planting of mangroves”.
Mangroves have an enormous capacity to absorb carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. They are among the most carbon-rich tropical forests and can store twice as much carbon per area as marshes. A mangrove tree removes approximately 965 kg of CO2 from the atmosphere during its lifetime, which is 38.6 kg per year (Source: Batis Foundation).