Inspira Santa Marta Hotel: Doing it right, globally and locally
Inspira Santa Marta Hotel leads Lisbon for sustainable luxury. Built to be an exemplar of green design, Inspira Hotel counts itself as one of Green Globe’s elite Gold Members and holds the highest certification compliance score in Portugal.
Inspira General-Director Tiago Pereira, says, “Doing the right thing is the motto guiding everything we do at Inspira, it is the concept that defines it. Around it we have combined the three fundamental pillars of our identity: environmental sustainability, social responsibility and sustainable development.
“As we ponder over the future of the hotel industry, we are forced to reflect upon the premise of our true conviction. We believe, on a global scale, that within the development of our industry there will inevitably be a greater adoption of more sustainable practices. It is natural that more responsible and conscious tourism will be pursued when it comes to resource management,” added General Director Pereira.
Inspira seeks to offer its guests a unique experience in an ecologically sustainable hotel. The hotel’s policy of responsibility, including sustainability as one of its core values, applies to all aspects of business ranging from the use of environmentally friendly materials, paperless systems and even gastronomic concepts, amongst others. At the same time Inspira’s management policies and values are geared toward reduction, as this is the fundamental way to minimize the environmental impact of business and really make a difference.
Inside the stylish walls of the hotel, employees directly participate in environmental management via their roles in the Green Squad. Representatives from each department are encouraged to monitor and measure the progress of the property’s sustainable actions, ensuring their continuous improvement via reports to monthly meetings.
Another significant commitment Inspira has taken on is the reduction of its carbon footprint. The certificate of CarbonFree emissions compensation (Ecoprogresso) includes direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions related to the hotel activity. The carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) of 164t of emissions was neutralized with the support of a national project, Sown Biodiverse Pastures Project – Biodiverse Pastures for Climate Change Mitigation and Soil Protection. The project promotes the sustainability of agriculture and the mitigation of environmental impact by via improved farming practices.
At Inspira, the quest for a more sustainable world also means involving the community in pursuing social goals that look to the common good. The hotel has always undertaken an active role in citizenship education and in the promotion of the principles of equality, diversity and respect. Supporting communities is part of Inspira’s identity and the dedication of its employees allows connection to projects and initiatives of great relevance.
On an international stage, Inspira’s partnership with non-governmental organization Pump Aid assists by installing drinking water pumps in developing communities. Inspira sponsors this project using the revenue generated from selling recycled glass bottles with filtered water that is bottled on site.
Locally, partnerships and protocols have been established with several social-good institutions whose projects provide shelter and assist people in different vulnerable conditions. These partnerships include: Fundação Rui Osório de Castro and APPDA – Lisboa.
As a result of the partnership with APPDA Lisbon, Inspira has officially became one of the few places selling objects created by APPDA members. The ceramic or recycled pieces are handmade with a price range between €2 and €15, and all funds are reverted to the institution. The Association’s purpose is to provide services to people with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and their close relatives.
The Fundação Rui Osório de Castro is a local NGO founded with the aim of informing and enlightening parents, children and friends about issues related to pediatric oncology. The organization helps all to better accept and live with the disease, while contributing to the development of scientific research in this area. Inspira retails the organization’s mascot Xi-coração, with all revenues donated to the institution.
The Inspira Santa Marta Hotel has always been a clear supporter of local economy and commerce, always preferring products developed in compliance with high ethical criteria and sustainably produced. Last year a kitchen garden was also built on the hotel roof top with different spices grown for use in the hotel’s restaurant, which is a strong supporter of the Zero Waste Movement.
Inspira’s staff and management also directly participate with volunteering programs. Last year a team of Inspira’s employees visited Sintra-Cascais Natural Park to assist with biodiversity conservation. Employees also delivered food to the homeless people with Centro de Apio ao Sem Abrigo – CASA. The food was obtained through revenue raised from the Hotel’s Open Restaurant during Christmas. And on top of that, hotel management and staff also found time last year, to put aside a few minutes of their day to donate blood at the Lisbon Blood and Transplantation Center.
General-Director Tiago Pereira, concludes: “All these initiatives are super positive and different, and what I feel is that we give away a few minutes of our life, but that may mean a lifetime to others who are in need. These are small gestures that change the lives of many people and enrich those who give.”
Green Globe is the worldwide sustainability system based on internationally accepted criteria for sustainable operation and management of travel and tourism businesses. Operating under a worldwide license, Green Globe is based in California, USA and is represented in over 83 countries. Green Globe is an Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). For information, please visit greenglobe.com