Oasis of well-being in the Alps
Sustainability is a top priority on the Mieminger Plateau: The Alpenresort Schwarz is a real showcase for holistic action and management.
From the waste concept to the comprehensive health programme for employees – all measures are based on the idea of sustainability.
The Pirktl family has owned the main hotel since the end of the 19th century, and since the 1960s the Alpine resort has offered its guests countless opportunities for active holidays between hiking, golf and winter sports. In the past decades, the wellness and health offers have been continuously expanded and the hotel has developed into a five-star all-year resort. The surrounding mountain nature either motivates to sporty-active recreation or invites to sweet idleness in front of an imposing backdrop. Around 40 qualified health experts are available to advise and accompany guests: whether it’s personal training in the fitness area, a varied exercise programme or yoga sessions several times a week – a vital experience is guaranteed at the Alpine resort. Serenity then returns to the ME SENSE Spa, where a sauna village, several pools, a bathing pond and certified organic natural cosmetics await guests.
Efficient energy savings
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are to be implemented throughout the company. In this context, the Alpenresort Schwarz has already been awarded the TRIGOS Tirol 2020 in the category ‘Exemplary Projects’, which stands for responsible business. The environmentally conscious actions are noticeable, for example, in the area of energy. Energy efficiency was increased by cooling the rooms with a 12m³ ice storage tank, using motion detectors, energy-saving lamps and timers. Furthermore, a power-saving management system with power-saving analysis is used for all devices and machines. In addition, the Alpine resort has a 300 m² solar system and a rainwater collection basin with a capacity of 160,000 litres, which covers the complete irrigation of the garden and balcony flowers.
Sustainability and regionality in food
Environmentally friendly energy is also generated at the holiday resort from food leftovers by recycling them in a biogas plant. To keep food waste to a minimum, the hotel restaurant offers an à la carte menu instead of a lunch buffet. Of course, attention is already paid to sustainable quality and the reduction of greenhouse gases when purchasing: The Alpenresort Schwarz purchases products such as potatoes, eggs or farm yoghurts from local farmers. ‘The focus has been on regional purchasing for years. Our chefs pay attention to what local agriculture supplies and what we can offer our guests,’ says Katharina Pirktl, head of employee development and quality management. In addition, sustainable to-go beverage cups have been introduced and deliveries are made in reusable instead of disposable containers whenever possible.
Fully committed to sustainability
Environmental awareness plays a major role for the host family in all areas of the resort. For example, a uniform waste concept was already created in 2010, which reduced the amount of residual waste generated by 45 percent. The five-star resort also refrains from the excessive use of detergents and cleaning agents; through an overall concept, 50 percent of energy and water costs as well as 70 percent of cleaning agents could be saved. The laundry management also provides for changing the bed linen only every three days or at the request of the guests. Another point to which special attention is paid is the saving of paper. In this respect, the Pirktl family has pushed ahead with digitalisation in their own house and offers, for example, paperless check-in and check-out. Furthermore, weekly programmes, information brochures and other printed materials are available digitally.
For the benefit of the employees
The owners are also interested in creating an attractive workplace for their staff. ‘I believe that we are a place for valuable encounters and respectful interaction,’ says managing director Franz-Josef Pirktl. His wife agrees: ‘Our mission is to create a space for cordial encounters, well-being and further development. The ‘we-thought’ is bigger for us than anything to do with hierarchies and the like. The people who work here are a matter of the heart for us.‘ That’s why the Alpenresort has individual working time and hour models, and thanks to ‘Equal Pay’ women earn just as much as their male colleagues. The ‘Workplace Health Promotion’ aims to strengthen the health and well-being of all employees. As a result, there are about 70 training sessions and workshops a year on the topics of ‘nutrition’, ‘exercise’, ‘social’ and ‘mental’.
The staff house is also characterised by comfort and high energy efficiency. Best examples include a thermal solar system, a heat recovery system, automatic shading systems and a comprehensive e-mobility concept. Green electricity filling stations and charging stations for e-bikes and e-scooters ensure sustainable mobility. The alpine resort also remained true to its line when it came to the investments in the ‘Schwarz Teamhaus’: a large part of the investments amounting to six million euros went to local businesses.
The Alpenresort Schwarz is a Tyrolean success story. Lebensraum Tirol Holding, in cooperation with its subsidiaries (Tirol Tourist Board, Standortagentur Tirol and Agrarmarketing Tirol), brings special companies, projects, initiatives and people before the curtain. What they all have in common is that they play a pioneering role and act as role models for sustainability and responsible business. They contribute to the sustainability of the Tyrolean economy, society and environment and encourage the dissemination of sustainable change concepts. You can find more success stories here (in German only).