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Green investments reduce climate footprint

Mattias Bernunger, VP Asset Management & Development at Pandox, is responsible for the Company’s green investment programme 1.0, the new investment programme 2.0 which is under development, and for BREEAM certifications at the hotels Pandox operates.

7 June 2022

What is green investment programme 1.0?
“It is Pandox’s first green investment programme; it covers 12 of the 20 hotels we operate and will continue until the end of 2023. Preparations are currently under way for a second green investment programme, 2.0, which will include a further six hotels operated by Pandox.”

What is the most important aspect of the green investment programme?
“Above all it provides increased awareness of the positive effect that green investment and green actions provide for Pandox in the form of a smaller climate footprint. We are also seeing a clear financial effect through the cost savings made. Through good cooperation between hotels, consultants and key individuals at Pandox, we have sparked interest in green investment and created an efficient process.”

What has been the biggest challenge during Covid-19?
“Covid-19 has restricted us on many fronts, including availability of people, opportunities to meet, travel and implementing initia-tives and projects on site. The hotels have had low occupancy. We have therefore seen cost increases and longer lead times for some of the projects in the investment programme, which has delayed the end result. We’re still optimistic and we are seeing a positive trend. Our investment programme will be aligned with our plans as soon as occupancy at the hotels increases again.”

Has the pandemic had any positive effects?
“In hotels with very low occupancy we have been able to set a more precise base level for energy and water consumption. This allows us to set more accurate targets in relation to occu-pancy. Also, at the hotels where we had already rolled out the green investment programme, we have been able to close down the properties in a controlled way and in doing so, save energy, water and money.”

What is included in investment programme 2.0?
“We have taken the best of Pandox’s first green investment programme, such as energy and water reduction measures and technical installations, but also included BREEAM certification and the waste perspective.”

Will the new programme live up to the ambitions of the Paris Agreement?
“We have studied the requirements in the Paris Agreement, and with good planning and targeted action, I believe that over time we’ll be able to realise the intentions in the Paris Agreement in our own operations.” 

How is the BREEAM certification process going?
“Two hotels were certified during the year at the Very Good level. This means that five of the 12 hotels are now certified at that level. This year we submitted an additional seven hotels for certification. We’re frequently checking on the process and always making improvements. We’re convinced that more of the hotels will receive certification at the Very Good level. We hope to be notified by BREEAM in spring 2022.”

Is it worth the expense and time it takes to obtain BREEAM certification?
“The certification process involves a lot of administrative work, but it’s also very educating and helps our hotels to develop. We also believe that it’s easier for certified hotels to secure green financing and that they ultimately have more satisfied guests.”

What is required to reach the Very Good level?
“It is essential for both executive management and the Board to understand the issues. We also need to have a dedicated team with the patience and skills to chase materials, prepare the required documentation and ensure that we’re pursuing the right topics so that the process is relevant for us. A follow- up process also needs to be implemented.”

What has BREEAM given you?
“BREEAM has given us a more organised process and a greater understanding of how we can constantly improve in areas such as the environment, energy efficiency, the physical envi-ronment at the workplace, wellbeing among employees and much more.”

What do you think will be the next big sustainability topic going forward?
“Climate change and our adaptation to a warmer climate. We must reduce greenhouse gas emissions and get the high car-bon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere under control. We need to find innovative and profitable ways to store car-bon dioxide, which is our biggest threat and challenge.”