BERLIN (eTN) – In a move to become more environment-friendly, one of Europe’s largest hotel operators, Scandic, has announced it is phasing out bottled water. With 141 hotels in operation and under development, this move is no mean feat and marks another milestone in the company’s environmental work.

The European hotel operator said it has decided to stop selling bottled water in its restaurants and during conferences. The hotel chain calculates that this move will cut fossil carbon dioxide emissions by 160 tons per year. It claims it currently sells around 1.2 million liters of water, equating to 3.6 million 33cl bottles, every year.

The latest move is in line with Scandic aim to implement “greener” measures. Last autumn Scandic decided to reduce fossil carbon dioxide emissions from its direct activities to zero by 2025, with an interim target of halving emissions by 2011. Bottled water is being phased out at Scandic as part of the next focus, which in part is on shipments to the hotels.

“After careful consideration, we have decided that this is the right thing to do,” comments Jan Peter Bergkvist, vice president of Sustainable Business at Scandic. “We believe that our guests are interested in taking the next step towards a sustainable future, and that everyone is starting to realize the madness of transporting water around on our roads.”

Instead of bottled water, Scandic will now be offering its guests chilled and filtered water, both still and carbonated, from taps. The taps will ensure that valuable minerals and salts are retained while unwanted chemicals are removed. Scandic’s guests will still be able to have their water bottled – but filling the bottle at the hotel avoids unnecessary shipments of water impacting on the environment.

According to the Stockholm Consumer Cooperative Society, bottled water generates 1,000 times the carbon dioxide emissions created by the same quantity of tap water. Scandic expects to cut fossil carbon dioxide emissions by around 160 tons a year, based on the fact that the hotel chain currently purchases over 1.2 million liters of bottled water every year in the Nordic countries alone. That is equivalent to over 3.6 million 33cl bottles.

Since 2005, Scandic is a proud founder of the Stockholm Water Prize, a prestigious global award presented annually by the Stockholm Water Foundation to an individual, organisation or institution for outstanding water-related activities. The 2008 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate will be announced today, in conjunction with the World Water Day on 22 March.

What’s Nordic common sense? Well, for Scandic it means “a stay at Scandic is a step towards a more sustainable future − for our society and our environment.”

[Climate change is a reality. If you know a company or anyone in tourism doing good work for the environment, do not hesitate to let us know. eTN is very much interested in showcasing their work. Send us your recommendation via the email address:]