At Bellagroup we base our work on the concept of Responsible Hospitality. This means that we, in addition to delivering the best possible service for our guests and customers, also take responsibility for the impact that our business has on society and the environment and strive to affect our surroundings positively.
We strive to be the leading hospitality company in Denmark by hosting moments that matter. This is our purpose and it encompasses our approach to everything that we do. We make the most of our potential to create positive impacts – on us, on our guests and on the community around us.
Due to this, we have defined sustainable focus areas and initiated concrete initiatives within each area.
As a long-standing signatory of the United Nations Global Compact, we have embedded the UN’s 10 Principles and the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across our business. We see the SDGs as an overarching framework that can help us shape and communicate our Responsible Hospitality goals and initiatives.
Based on stakeholder feedback and an evaluation of business impact, we work with three SDGs – no. 8, 12 and 13 – which have been identified as the most relevant to our activities.
We will continue to work with these goals through partnerships within and across our industry to push for progress
In Bellagroup, we follow the two ISO standards 14001 and 20121 for environmental management and sustainable events as implemented in our internal ISO management system.
The management system consists of a Sustainability Policy, along with the formal documentation describing how we work across Bellagroup to further a sustainable operation and reach the objectives we have set for ourselves to improve our social and environmental impact.
Our 2024 improvement objectives have been set, focusing among other things on increasing our utilization of renewable energy and reducing our food waste.
You can see our 2024 objectives here
And our sustainability policy here
In 2022, Bellagroup launched a new strategy for Responsible Hospitality, which serves as the foundation for all of our sustainable initiatives. The strategy must ensure that we run a responsible business and provide unique experiences for guests and customers in a responsible way.
By 2050, we strive to be completely net zero. We do not yet have all of the solutions in place. However, we are constantly looking for new and responsible ways to provide excellent customer service. We will create a better and more sustainable future for tourism and the hospitality industry in Denmark by acting responsibly.
Bellagroup's zero waste strategy is based on an ambition to give waste and surplus materials a new life through recycling and upcycling.
A good example is the construction of Crowne Plaza Copenhagen Towers. Here, wall panels are created from wood from old window frames, doors, and floorboards, while the floors are made from recycled concrete. The furniture in the lobby is also produced from recycled materials.
As part of Bellagroup's focus on biodiversity, AC Hotel Bella Sky Copenhagen has provided shelter for hundreds of thousands of bees in recent years.
In Denmark, the species is unfortunately threatened due to the widespread use of pesticides, but we strive to create the right conditions for the bees, which in return help create a greener Copenhagen.
The bees make themselves at home in the green spaces around the hotel and the congress venue. In 2022, Bellagroups bees produced 87 kilos of honey, which was - among other things - served to our guests in Bella Center Copenhagen and AC Hotel Bella Sky Copenhagen.
The bees are looked after by Bybi, which among other things recruits beekeepers among refugees, the long-term unemployed and the homeless.
Bella Arena is the latest addition to Bella Center Copenhagen and can accommodate all kinds of concerts and events. It is also a modern building that holds a DGNB Gold certification.
The DGNB-Gold certification is one of the highest certifications for sustainable constructions. Bella Arena is constructed and operated with a 360-degree approach to our Responsible Hospitality strategy, which also considers social sustainability, carefully chosen food and beverage providers, as well as building materials. Bella Arena is one of the biggest venues in Northern Europe, with seating for 7,000 people and standing room for 8,600 guests.
By the end of 2023, a solar panel park the size of two football fields on the roof of Bella Center Copenhagen will provide one-third of the congress center's annual electricity consumption. The solar park will be the largest of its kind on the island of Zealand, and it will play an important role in Bellagroup's sustainability strategy, which aims to achieve net zero energy by 2050.
The facility generates enough energy to power 537 homes for an entire year. It will reduce Bellagroup's total CO2 emissions by 380 tonnes per year beginning in 2024.
When the Danish summer approaches, the water from the Port of Copenhagen keeps the rooms at the Copenhagen Marriott Hotel cold in addition to the air conditioning systems, which also helps to lower the temperature.
The water-cooling system circulates cold water from the harbour into two heat exchangers, where it cools the large pipes before being sent out to cool the rooms. After that, the seawater is returned to the harbour.
When it comes to meat and dairy products, animal welfare is an important pillar of sustainability. It is an issue we care deeply about and the reason why we prioritize meat from suppliers who offer respectful and quality care for their animals.
We support our supplier selection with the following additional principles for sustainable sourcing, when possible.
Local sourcing stimulates our local economy. It means that our products are fresh and their transportation short, which helps reduce our climate impact.
Seasonal products are healthier, more cost-effective and environmentally friendly. Seasonal food is very often also local.
We support fair trading conditions and encourage sustainable farming in developing countries through our sourcing. When we have limited insight into trade and labour conditions, we prefer to buy Fair Trade certified products.
Organic and biodynamic
Less harmful chemicals and pesticides in our food equals a healthier body and mind. It also keeps our ground water clean for future generations.
We buy meat from local farmers that are committed to animal welfare. We also believe that the highest quality of meat comes from healthy animals.
By primarily buying MCS or ASC certified seafood, we help protect our marine environment and reduce overfishing in our oceans.
Sustainability and quality from our suppliers
We continually work to increase transparency, reduce environmental effects and seize opportunities that positively affect our local community through our selection of suppliers and products. We collaborate directly with suppliers to create products that live up to our expectations and quality standards.
We believe in dialogue with our supplier partners, but also expect them to comply with our Supplier Code of Conduct. This Code of Conduct is based on international standards concerning human and labour rights, environmental practices, anti-corruption and other industry standards. Because, as a large corporate buyer, we have the power to use our influence to create ripples of sustainable change that leave positive marks throughout the entire value chain.
Among our suppliers are:
Pork from Grambogård
Grambogård, a farm that supplies pork from pigs that are bred under healthy and environmentally friendly conditions. The supply chain is as short as possible and that the final product is local, sustainable and of high quality.
Milk from Øllingegaard Mejeri
Our milk comes from Øllingegaard Mejeri, who get their fresh milk from 11 organic farms in Zealand. Øllingegaard is 100% organic and in charge of both the production and transportation of the milk to the consumers.
Our constant search for new and sustainable quality products that we can offer our guest is a central part of our Responsible Hospitality work. Coffee is very important to all our businesses, and to most of our guests and customers.
In our search for a new and better coffee, we came across the interesting Orang Utan Coffee project. Orang Utan Coffee is a high-quality coffee made from beans grown sustainably in a protected area in Sumatra, Indonesia. The project supports both the sustainable coffee farmers, the preservation of the rain forest and the work to protect the existence of the threatened orangutan.
The result is a delicious coffee that in addition to being a treat to the taste buds, is also good for the environment and the local Sumatran economy.
It is great to buy and eat chocolate of amazing quality - but the price is on average 2.5 times the price of regular chocolate. However by buying sustainable and tasty chocolate from Original Beans, we actually support many different sustainable projects around the world.
Who and what is Original Beans?
The company has existed since 2008 and works to conserve rain forests and old, rare varieties of cocoa through the production of luxurious chocolate alongside local farmers across the globe.
Original beans supports the conservation of rare varieties of cocoa, preservation of endangered species, improvement of farmers’ living conditions, and the establishment one of the world’s first climate positive supply chains. The cultivation of forest-chocolate is a sustainable and green alternative to much more destructive farming practices such as the production of palm oil.
A practical approach to education is a collaboration between Bellagroup and the local schools, which aims to give 9th grade students a practical insight into what it entails to work with hospitality, gastronomy and other areas relevant to vocational careers.
The hospitality business is in need of an increasing amount of workers with vocational qualifications; however, the number of students choosing a vocational education after finishing secondary school is decreasing. In general, one in five young adult still does not have an education seven years after having finished secondary school.
Our close cooperation with the job centers and other organizations enables us to create concrete results and success stories for people who would otherwise be unemployed. We are dealing with people who belong to vulnerable groups in society and need help getting in or back in the labour market. We hire employees in internships, wage subsidies, flex jobs, student positions, etc.
A former initiative was insourcing the house keeping, and a group of integration citizens and recipients of cash benefits with non Western background went through a trainee programme and a big part of them were employed with great success.