Berlin, 18. November 2022 – All eight SMARTments accommodation facilities in Germany and Austria have been certified with the Biosphere distinction. The evaluation system, developed in accordance with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and especially adapted to the tourism sector, distinguishes accommodation establishments that implement comprehensive sustainability concepts thus enabling a responsible tourism. In order to achieve this, environmental, economic and social aspects are examined through a wide procedure for both the companies’ own facilities and the services they offer to consumers and employees.
The Biosphere distinction is awarded by the Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI), and its certification ethodology comes up from REDS, a branch of SDSN in Spain, an entity created in 2012 under the auspices of the United Nations Secretary-General which mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the SDGs and the Paris Climate Agreement.
According to the certification requirements, both visitors and the respective destination must benefit from this. As a prerequisite to obtain the distinction, all subareas of the UN goals (environment and climate change; society and culture; governance and economy) must be sufficiently covered. As the UN identifies sustainability, it must be pursued in a comprehensive manner and not by objectives limited to individuality.
The award for the SMARTments business, which belongs to the GBI group of companies, is also very special for the Biosphere organization: “After several hotel chains have undergone our evaluation system, SMARTments business is the first group to complete the process in German, becoming the first accommodation to hold this international recognition in Germany”, says Beatriz Margallo Moscoso, Export Manager of Biosphere.
“The fact that we handled the demanding audit so well makes us proud”, says Burak Ünver, Managing Director of SMARTments business: “Our goal was to use the certification to demonstrate not only the sustainability of our concept in terms of ecology, energy efficiency and climate change, but also in terms of positive social aspects. Because that is our claim for all our accommodations”.
However, with the awards received by all SMARTments businesses, the efforts towards greater sustainability have just begun. The special aspect of the Biosphere distinction is that companies are not only assessed once at the beginning of the process – when they reach the required optimum level – but they maintain their distinction over time through annual random verification systems once the certification is achieved. Sustainable efforts must be continuously adapted to changes and be assessed so that sustainability requirements continue to be met. For SMARTments’ future commercial houses, the criteria of the distinction have been established since the beginning as a basis for construction planning.
Three further SMARTments for long-stay travelers are currently under construction in Frankfurt and Hamburg. According to Managing Director Ünver, the Biosphere certification has a special motivating aspect for his SMARTments team of about 50 people: “The Biosphere programme concept enables each accommodation complex to independently implement and pursue sustainability goals, document it and provide the necessary evidence”, Ünver emphasizes: “This decentralized implementation increases the employees’ sense of responsibility for sustainability”. Because in the CEO’s opinion, motivated employees who make every decision having its sustainability impact in mind are the best guarantee that Biosphere requirements will be met in the future too. Ünver: “If every employee feels that they can make a difference in terms of sustainability and on-site teams adopt this approach, the SMARTments business will continue to be exemplary in this respect in the future”.