Today, Scandic reached a sustainability milestone by recertifying all of its previously ecolabeled hotels according to the Nordic Swan Ecolabel’s new, tougher environmental requirements. More than 88 percent of Scandic’s hotels are ecolabeled and the company is continuing its efforts to ensure that all hotels are certified by the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.
The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is the official environmental certification in the Nordic countries. It updates its requirements approximately every four years, and the most recent update in 2023 included higher environmental goals. To continue to be certified, Scandic’s ecolabeled hotels have now undergone a rigorous recertification process where each hotel must meet all of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel’s new strict limit values for energy, water, waste and chemicals as well as organic food and beverages. To retain certification, ecolabeled hotels must also undergo annual follow-ups and team member training.
"At Scandic, we’ve integrated sustainability as part of our strategy, so it’s natural for us to monitor our initiatives and demonstrate how they make a difference for our guests, our team members and society at large. By cooperating with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel, over the years we’ve reduced our water consumption, eliminated harmful chemicals and single-use items, reduced food waste and increased the percentage of organic food we buy. And we’re extremely proud of this progress. Recertifying our ecolabeled hotels is critical to guarantee that we can offer our guests services certified by the toughest environmental labeling," says Jens Mathiesen, CEO of Scandic Hotels Group.
Scandic initiated a long-term collaboration with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel in the 1990s to get help and guidance in reducing its environmental impact. This effort has paid off. Between 1996, when Scandic started its sustainability reporting, and 2022, the company reduced water use per guest night by 32 percent, energy use per guest night by 31 percent and CO2e emissions per guest night by an impressive 65 percent.* This is thanks to measures including installing water-efficient fixtures, switching to 100 percent renewable energy for electricity, using energy efficient lighting and implementing various technical solutions for energy and heat optimization.
Several initiatives to create behavioral changes have also contributed to Scandic’s reduced impact. These include team member training, encouraging guests to make conscious choices like turning off the tap while brushing their teeth and introducing on-demand cleaning. Scandic also prioritizes sustainability in its supplier procurement. Today, items such as TVs, beds and cleaning and laundry products are environmentally certified.
"We’re very pleased that a powerful player like Scandic is committed to meeting the new tougher requirements of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel and certifying all of its hotels in the Nordic countries. This is helping drive the green transition and making a difference, inspiring guests to adopt new habits and influencing other businesses since Scandic demands ecolabeled products. It’s creating what you could say is a 'Swan effect' in other industries that must comply with Scandic’s sustainability requirements," says Anna Linusson, CEO of Miljömärkning Sverige AB.
To be certified by the Nordic Swan Ecolabel, a hotel must serve a certain percentage of organic food and beverages, purchase ecolabeled furniture and textiles, use only environmentally friendly chemicals for cleaning, dishwashing and laundry, reduce water consumption, energy use and waste, and have clear, transparent environmental goals. Currently, 87 of Scandic’s hotels in Sweden, 30 in Denmark, 45 in Finland and 76 in Norway are ecolabeled and all of these have now been recertified according to the Nordic Swan Ecolabel’s new requirements. In 2023, Scandic will also launch Nordic Swan Ecolabel certification at its hotels in Germany and Poland, which means that these hotels can start their journey toward environmental certification.
Scandic’s ambition is for all hotels operating under the Scandic brand to be certified by the Nordic Swan Ecolabel. At minimum, all hotels must comply with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel limit values for energy consumption per square meter, unsorted waste, water consumption and ecolabeled chemicals for cleaning, laundry and washing dishes.
* Figures are based on development per guest night from when Scandic began sustainability reporting in 1996 up to 2022. This reporting includes all of the company’s hotels and refers to water and energy consumption, waste and CO2e emissions.