Our aim is to make life for you easier: whatever place you choose from our guide you can be sure you’re doing the right choice from an ethical point of view.
Given the fact that there cannot be a 100% sustainable activity we decided to make a list of features/requirements which have to be fulfilled (at least partially) in order for us to consider it sustainable.
We started by identifying six areas covering all the matters that commercial activities have to deal with in order to be sustainable:
Policies and strategies
Energy and Water
Within these categories we developed 31 requirements, which vary depending on whether they are applicable to hotels (H), shops (S) or food places (F).
Hotels are required to meet at least 4 requirements, while food places and shops need to meet at least 3 requirements. For food places, serving only vegetarian or vegan food is considered sufficient for being included. This is because pollution through fossil fuel usage, water and land consumption are all environmental effects associated with meat production. Deciding not to serve it is probably the best thing a restaurant can do to reduce its environmental impact and attract a more ethically-aware clientele.
You can find the full list of requirements below.
A code of ethics outlining values and propositions of the organisation, agreed to by all the employees, is adopted.
The environmental, social and economic impact is reported annually through a sustainability report. The report shall be publicly available and freely downloadable by stakeholders.
The hotel makes its venues available for the organisation of “green meetings”. Green meetings are conventions conducted in ways which minimize the environmental impact of the event. Hotels which offer the organisation of such meetings apply environmentally preferred practices to waste management, resource and energy use, travel and local transportation, food provision and disposal.
Involvement in a reforestation programme (or similar) allows the business to be carbon-neutral.
At least 50% of the electricity comes from renewable sources. Alternatively, the organisation produces renewable energy locally (for example via photovoltaic panels or wind plants), being able to cover at least 30% of its consumption.
An extensive energy-efficiency strategy is in place, via retrofitting and the use of energy-efficient equipment (most lighting and appliances must be EU Energy Label class A or better) and through process redesign allowing for the elimination of unnecessary energy use.
An extensive water-efficiency strategy is in place, via retrofitting and the use of water-efficient equipment (e.g. flow reducers for sinks, double-mode flushers and water efficient appliances) and through process redesign allowing for the elimination of unnecessary water use.
The building is designed or renovated with the purpose of minimising its environmental impact through top-class thermal insulation, the use of high efficiency heating, cooling and ventilating systems (such as geothermal heat pumps), and the use of natural or otherwise environmentally friendly materials.
With regards to the interior design, second hand furniture and/or ecologically sustainable materials are used extensively (>50%).
(For hotels the two requirements are considered separately).
Deliveries to customers and/or from suppliers are managed exclusively via bike couriers or carriers using only electric or hybrid vehicles.
Power sockets for electric cars and bikes are available within 100 meters from the structure and are free to use for customers.
The restaurant is committed to not using plastic water bottles. Water is filtered on site and offered to customers.
Cooking oil is reused as many times as possible and then 100% of it is recycled through specialised operators.
The organisation has a strong commitment to carrying out separate waste collection not only at the final level as required by the local law, but at all levels including public areas, allowing for less contamination.
Biodegradable utensils and packaging are used whenever possible.
A sound packaging reduction policy is in place (e.g. the shop offers unpackaged options whenever possible). Alternatively, there is widespread use of returnable packaging, both with suppliers and customers. The use of returnable packaging is incentivised by offering discounts or cash-back on packaging.
More than 30% of the products used or sold by the company have organic or fair-trade certifications. When possible, short supply chain products are preferred (e.g. food that comes from less than 100km away).
At least 25% of the menu is changed according to the availability of seasonal products.
The restaurant offers vegetarian or vegan cuisine only.
No laundry detergents containing chlorine, phosphates, or other chemicals dangerous to human health are in use. Products containing synthetic dyes or perfumes that can be extremely dangerous for people and the environment are banned as well.
A relevant part of the ingredients (e.g. bread, jam, beer, wine etc.) are manufactured at the venue.
Suppliers are selected on the basis of sustainability criteria. Their list is available on the company website or it can be otherwise easily retrieved by customers.
The majority (>50%) of the products for sale are recycled (e.g. upcycled) and/or second hand.
Most of the products for sale are designed and manufactured by local artisans according to local traditions.
The structure is designed in order to grant full accessibility to customers with disabilities.
The organisation is strongly committed to the development of the local community. This can be achieved through the support to local associations and cooperatives aimed at improving the quality of life in local communities.
Part of the employees (at least ⅓) come from a disadvantaged context and or are employed through rehabilitation programmes. This has to be achieved through the implementation of (or the partnership with) a “type B social cooperative” under the Italian law.
The organisation dedicates part of its profit to charity initiatives.
The organisation promotes sustainable behaviours and/or mobility with its employees and/or customers. This is achieved through sustainability-focused communication strategies and/or partnerships with sustainable mobility professionals or other sustainability-focused businesses. Alternatively, facilities for sustainable mobility such as a bicycle parking are provided.
Bicycles are available for guests. They can be supplied within the venues of the hotel or offered at a discount price in a partner bike shop.
The venues of the organization are located in a natural area and/or are enriched by gardens/parks.
The company is involved in the promotion of organisations engaged in the conservation and restoration of biodiversity. Alternatively, the company is driven by a biodiversity-responsible policy in its purchases.
We adopt a no gambling machines policy. We believe that no business can consider itself socially responsible when it makes money by exploiting the irresponsible behaviour of desperate people.