The CERVO Mountain Resort talks ‘sustainability’
Read our interview with CERVO’s Sustainability Manager, Madeleine Dias de Rezende, where she reveals her top tips for a sustainable holiday in the mountains.
CERVO’s top tips for a sustainable holiday in the mountains
In your opinion, what makes a hotel “sustainable”?
Sustainability is built on the basic pillars of ecology, economy, social responsibility and leadership. If this is translated to the hotel industry, the topics of energy (heating, cooling, electricity, and water), healthy economies ( job security, mutually beneficial relationships with suppliers), social responsibility (local projects, fair supply chains, donations), and a holistic management approach (employee culture, flat hierarchy, training opportunities). These pillars form part of our holistic and sustainable concept.
Were you always pro-environment since you opened in 2009, or did sustainability become the core of CERVO when you reopened in 2020?
Sustainability has been part of our philosophy since the founding of CERVO Mountain Resort in 2009. However, with the reopening in 2020, we have focused on it even more and intensified our efforts.
Tell us more about the steps that CERVO is taking to drive sustainability and how sustainability is incorporated in the resort’s daily operations.
Achievement of the ibex fairstay certification and the Platinum Award last autumn, has moved us a huge step closer to our goal. In the coming years, the focus will be to optimize our food waste, supply chain, and waste reduction. Another central focus will be the reduction of our CO2 emissions.
We renewed our energy heating system with our 2020 remodel and have been heating with geothermal energy and an integrated heat recovery system since then. This allows us to generate 99% of our heat ourselves.
Since 1 January 2023, we have switched to 100% hydropower from the Zermatt hydropower plant. This energy concept has enabled us to take an enormous step toward renewable energy sources. Nevertheless, we will always remain open to integrating new ways and innovations into the hotel operation. All restaurants have an integrated water filter system and in addition 10% of our water income is donated to the Water is Right foundation.
Our hotel rooms and the entire hotel area are furnished in zero-waste style, while we are always trying to test and exchange new products.
We are constantly in exchange with our producers to avoid packaging waste and we select suppliers with a reduced packaging policy. Through implementing regular training, employees are always aware of the need to correctly separate waste.
How do you raise awareness amongst your guests, during their stay at CERVO, as well as when they go back home?
Before our guests arrive at CERVO they have already enjoyed a completely sustainable experience, travelling to the hotel by electric car and they are able to offset the CO2 emissions of their overnight stays at the time of booking. The hotel environment has been created using local, natural and handmade materials. Everywhere in the hotel, there are messages and small notes that draw attention to our initiatives, from the hotel rooms to the breakfast buffet to the gastronomic and cultural offers in the entire hotel. Our guests will find hidden notes and information all around the hotel and their hotel room.
Do you see an increased interest in the environment and sustainability from your guests?
Yes, our guests are generally searching for more conscious ways of traveling. We find that they react very positively to our practices, as we avoid imposing them on anyone. What we do, we do out of conviction. Our guests enjoy the experience through appreciation of our practices and do not have to forfeit the quality of their stay, making it even more beautiful and easier.
What are your best tips for a sustainable holiday in the mountains?
Ask yourself if you really do need fresh towels every day.
Why not try a vegetarian dish every now and then?
Better walk twice to the breakfast buffet than having excess food on your plate which has to be thrown away.
Check in advance whether the hotel you plan to go to is committed to sustainability.