Sustainability efforts in the Alps – Robinson Club Amadé, Austria

The winter season has started in Europe and while many Travelife members are closing for this season, for the hotels in the Alps mountains a very busy time lies ahead.

Naturally, hotels in snowy destinations are facing very different challenges regarding sustainability than sunny destinations. The Alps are a very unique natural area and its biodiversity is sensitive to changes to the environment. Also the small communities living there have unique cultures and traditions.

The Robinson Club Amadé has taken innovative steps both to protect the environment and support the community. For example the resort uses a traditional Austrian building style with sustainable architecture.

The Robinson Club Amadé saves as much energy as possible, for example by operating ‘heat exchange’, using the heat produced by fridges to heat the pools.

Biomass heating plant
To source energy sustainably the Robinson Club Amadé has supported the building of a biomass heating plant to produce heat for the hotel and the surrounding area, by burning wood chips and other natural waste material from local farms and the surrounding forest area. The plant uses technology to reduce dust and to make the steam emissions almost invisible.

Originally the plant was installed only to meet the hotel’s energy needs. However, it is now producing enough heat to supply 95% of the neighbouring village of ‘Kleinarl’.

Kleinarl biomass heating system

Wildlife protection
To help protect local wildlife, the Robinson Club Amadé donates fish to the local river in order to keep the number of fish stable. Their garden includes an ‘insect hotel’, which provides natural materials for insects to build a winter home. This is particularly important as developments in the area have reduced natural spaces for insects to nest. This offers important species, such as honeybees and bumblebees, a home so they can survive the winter, with the aim of helping to keep the natural environment in balance.

Insect Hotel

Waste reduction
The Club Amadé uses 100% ‘PLA’ (thermoplastic aliphatic polyester) drinking glasses to avoid toxic plastic waste. PLA is made from renewable resources, such as corn starch, sugarcane, or tapioca roots, chips or starch. As well as it being made of renewable materials it also can be composted, turning into soil.

PLA – composting possible within 6 weeks

These examples give some ideas of how a hotel in a mountain environment can work to be more sustainable.