Reasons We’re a Sustainable Business

published on:

Greenwashing? No Thanks!

Sustainable living means that people strive to conduct themselves in a way that doesn’t jeopardize the health and wellbeing of future generations. And we’re not just talking about the environment either. Sustainability is about social justice and economic development as well. Since our founding over thirty years ago, Werkhof Hannover has put the concept of sustainability at the center of everything we do. We’ve had the same mission since day one: living in harmony with the environment.

What Does Sustainability Mean to Us?

We seek to make the way we work and conduct ourselves a perfect embodiment of environmental, human, and economic vitality. Acutely aware of the scarcity of earth’s resources, we at Werkhof Hannover are committed to prudent stewardship. That’s why being efficient and limiting our demand for resources is so important to everything we do.

To us, sustainability is more than just trying to create less trash or turning off the lights when you leave a room. It means that we need act responsibly toward everyone: co-workers, guests, tenants, customers, and suppliers.

Being an independent, family owned-and-operated company affords us the opportunity to redefine this responsibility anew for ourselves every day. You might be asking yourself, “what exactly does Werkhof Hannover do to justify calling itself a ‘sustainable’ business?”

How Sustainable We Really Are

At Werkhof Hannover we work to take care of our community and our environment on many different levels. This includes everything from sourcing sustainable products to supporting non-profit organizations. We work exclusively with recyclable and environmentally-friendly goods and school our employees on how to use them on a regular basis.

Werkhof Hannover’s emergence from beneath the rubble of a derelict manufacturing plant in 1988 is itself an incredible triumph of sustainable development. Our plan was to preserve the old and then put it to use in a new way that wasn’t going to harm the environment. We took an eco-friendly approach to renovating the site and the buildings on it. That applied to both the work crews and the building materials they used.

Our entire complex receives its power and heating from an on-site cogeneration unit. We collect rainwater and use it to flush our toilets. That helps us avoid wasting our precious drinking water. We we’re concerned with contributing to the loss of animal and plant habitats, so we also installed green roofs where it made sense.

Sustainable Conferences and Meetings

Our sustainable approach to hosting conferences starts in the earliest stages of planning. We design policies that integrate waste reduction and recycling while eschewing single-use plastics. We’re also keen on reducing energy consumption and providing catering services that feature fair-trade goods from our region. Correspondingly, our restaurant is geared toward offering snacks, lunches, and beverages that aren’t just tasty and healthy, but align with these values as well.

Timers and motion detectors ensure that we don’t waste electricity unnecessarily. Where possible, we prefer to use natural light sources and to ventilate our facilities with fresh air instead of using air conditioning.

All of our conference rooms and hallways are cared for using organic cleaning products. And our cleaning staff is conscientious about sorting the trash as well. In a Werkhof Hannover lavatory, you won’t find disposable items like paper towels. We stock them exclusively with organic and eco-friendly toiletries instead.

If you can’t find notepads, pencils, or other stationary in our conference rooms, don’t worry. We have better options to offer you. Our printer paper was produced in an environmentally friendly manner from wood pulp harvested from sustainable forests. The pens we offer you are made of recycled cardboard and corn.

Sustainable Lodging

Whether you’re coming by commuter train (S-Bahn), tram, or bus, our hotel is easy to reach. If you’re interested in exploring Hannover, just rent one of our hotel bicycles.

Look forward to being treated to refreshments when you check in. We consider offering minibars in every room to be pretty wasteful. That’s why we’ve got a maxibar in the lounge for you to enjoy instead.

Complimentary water is available to guests around the clock. Please treat yourself to our water dispensers at any time. For guests who prefer bottled mineral water, we provide Viva con Aqua which supports clean drinking-water projects around the globe.

We’ve removed the bulky hotel guest directory from your room and replaced it with a convenient QR code. Left your toothbrush at home? Don’t worry! We’ve got sustainable Hydrophil bamboo toothbrushes and Denttabs toothbrush-cleaning tablets available for you at reception.

We clean your room and do the laundry using only natural cleaning products and detergents. When guests decide to reuse towels, they contribute to controlling pollution and protecting the environment.

Our breakfast buffet is chock-full of organic and sustainably-grown selections. As you might expect, we’ve largely done away with the plastic packets you normally see littering buffets.We’ve built close connections with suppliers throughout the region to ensure that what comes out of our kitchen is always seasonal, fresh, and grown locally. The two honeybee colonies on the hotel roof aren’t merely our contribution to biodiversity, they also help sweeten up the breakfast table.

Sustainable Food and Beverage

What people choose to eat and drink has a significant impact on their ecological footprint. That’s why we use products from our region as often as possible. We believe strongly in the farm-to-table philosophy, which means the meat and produce that the Werkhof Restaurant serves is seasonal and fresh. Skipping long-distance transportation is a great way to reduce the impact on the environment as well We’re proud to support the regional economy by sourcing our meat and produce from nearby. Buying locally also helps us strengthen the relationships with our suppliers.

We have proudly sourced our sustainable coffee and tea from GEPA – The Fair Trade Company for over fifteen years. Buying fair trade guarantees equitable prices for small farmers, improves the relationship between producers and consumers, and represents a responsible and considerate way of doing business. GEPA coffees and teas are all organically grown and help promote climate-friendly economies.

If meat or fish doesn’t have clear origin labeling, we don’t cook it. We have plenty of vegetarian options on the menu and our selection of vegan dishes and snacks is growing steadily.

Why not stop by the Werkhof Restaurant, grab some takeout, and experience the deposit-free, reusable to-go boxes from Vytal? They help you save money and reduce packaging waste. No surprise here: our coffee to-go is served in reusable cups.

Thinking about how to avoid wasting food is a fundamental part of the way we go about planning our menus and buffet services.That applies to everything from shopping and preparation to portion sizes.

Purified tap water is available for our employees as well as for our tenants and guests. Soft drinks from Fritz-Kola provide extra refreshment if needed. Sustainable, social, and delicious. Why don’t you try one along with an edible straw made from apple juice?

Building a Better World Together

Those were just a few examples of our approach to sustainable business.Don’t worry, we won’t list the rest of them for you here. We recognize there’s still a long way to go and that it’s up to us to improve every single day. When it comes down to it, sustainable business is all about treating each other well and protecting the environment.

And running a sustainable business well is all about finding the right blend of ecological and social responsibility and economic viability. Because productivity is the way we safeguard our ability to keep contributing to creating jobs and building a better world together going forward.