Sustainability policy 2022
Who are ESS Group and what do we believe in?
Long term perspectives are important for us
Sustainability is a great focus for us at ESS Group and is becoming more and more noticeable in the world, particularly in the Nordics. Making changes for the environment, nature and climate is important and we should strive for lowering our climate footprint. The sustainability topic we are most passionate about is the work we do in CSR. We feel that we can make a real difference and we have high hopes of changing lives.
In all aspects regarding sustainability, our goal is to work long-term with everything we do. We define long-term as being serious about our work and always doing things wholeheartedly. We are not interested in quick fixes or fast money but rather leaving a legacy and doing things that we can be proud of.
Our sustainability work is carried out on two different levels. We want to implement sustainable thinking in our overall work, which is done centrally, as well as at each individual destination where we want to support and encourage local projects and initiatives, such as beach cleaning days for our destinations located around the coasts.
Our daily operations – we offer world-class individual guest experiences with the highest service standards and quality. We challenge ourselves in doing this by always choosing the right suppliers of, for example, laundry or heating, choice of produce in our menus etc. In doing so, we believe we minimize our climate footprint.
Our coworkers – we want our employees to enjoy themselves and to grow with us. We want to incorporate balance in their everyday life. We do so by giving them the best conditions, such as: clear expectations on what to expect, precise job descriptions, clarity in where to get support, as well as a balanced work schedule.
Our Society – We believe in hope and opportunity. We use our voice to positively affect our surroundings, the public opinion, and politics. We want to create the world’s best workplace so that our employees enjoy working with us and so that they pass that feeling forward. Our CSR investments are well defined through training and opportunities for development. During 2022 we’ve started our own school where we offer apprenticeship for people outside of ESS Group, within the Nordics.
Doing it for our guests – together with our employees
ESS Group’s vision is to create unique experiences for each guest. We promote sustainable development for and together with guests, employees, and the outside world, but also for future generations to experience a good, healthy, and sustainable environment.
We strive to offer experiences with a high level of quality and at the same time reducing our climate footprint. Our imprint should permeate decisions at all levels of the organization, involve all our employees and be integrated in a natural way at all our destinations. Through information, introduction and competence development, our employees will be motivated to perform their tasks in accordance with our established routines that promote sustainable work and development.
We sign off on UN’s Global Compact’s ten principles. These principles are a stable and reliable basis that matches the basic values that ESS Group stand for.
ESS Group is today present in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. The resorts within our family that opened before 2020, are all certified with Swedish eco label The Nordic Swan. Our Danish destination is Green Key certified.
Moving forward through different projects
ESS Group’s objective is to be long-term, and we believe in doing so step by step. Our vision is to continuously improve ourselves. During 2022 and 2023 we are launching the following projects:
- Food waste
- “Kranmärkt” certification on all our locations
- Sustainable employments through the different stages of life
- Starting our own education center
- Launching a recruitment app with job opportunities for everyone
- More local initiatives at our destinations
How we live up to what we believe in:
Energy and water
All electricity used in our facilities is generated through waterpower plants. Approximately 90–100% of our heating derives from renewable fuels. Where it is possible, we use LED-lightning to reduce energy consumption. We have begun to install solar cells, and we strive to be able to be as self-sufficient as possible in the future.
In most of our swimming pools, we use UV cleaning systems. This is to reduce water consumption, as well as chemical consumption.
We use our own carbonated water at all our conference facilities. There may be aluminum cans, plastic, or glass bottles in the minibars, at certain events at two of our destinations, and for events where guests are more than 200 attendees and are mingling. The bottles are made from recycled plastic and glass which are then recycled. Aluminum cans are also recycled.
In 2023 our goal is to receive the Swedish certification Kranmärkt.
100% of our laundry detergent, 100% of our dish soap and 80% of our cleaning products are environmentally friendly. When cleaning public areas, conference rooms and hotel rooms, we do so without the use of chemicals.
Due to hygiene reasons and requirements regarding food, we use chemicals to clean the bathrooms, toilets, and our kitchens. All our cleaning products are free from scents. By using a system of automatic dosage of laundry detergent, dish soap and cleaning products for our machines and hotel rooms, we minimize the usage of chemicals.
Most of our laundry is sent to our supplier Elis. They are a circular laundry supplier that focuses on sustainability. They are certified by a numerous of Swedish eco-friendly certifications, such as the Nordic Swan, ISO, EcoVadis and UN global goals. We feel very assured that our laundry suppliers are managed in the most eco-friendly and sustainable way.
We sort our waste as thoroughly as possible. Handling waste such as glass, paper, newspapers, corrugated cardboard, plastic, metal, organic waste, batteries, toners, and cartridges is an important task on the road to a sustainable work environment. Sorting takes place at each destination according to the capacity that each municipality provides, and we are constantly striving towards continuous improvement. Disposable items are avoided as far as possible and when unavoidable, eco-labeled products are used.
Disposable items and packaging are used as little as possible. Disposable items such as glasses, mugs, cutlery, and plates are not used in our restaurants and other serving areas. On occasions when guests request take-away, we use disposable items that are made from at least 75% renewable materials such as paper, cardboard, or wood. In addition to this, we work continuously to remove all disposable plastic from our daily operations, in accordance with EU directives.
Restaurant and kitchen
We reduce our climate footprint and negative effects on nature by actively working with sustainable activities in our Food & Beverage departments. We have stipulated the following minimum requirements at all our destinations, independently, and in addition to, our certification requirements:
As much as possible, we strive for choosing raw produce in accordance with the seasons and to buy as much of it locally.
In order for us to lower our waste and to control how much animal produce is put on the plate, we stopped serving buffets for lunch on all but one destination. On the one destination that does serve buffet for lunch, we offer a large selection of vegetables, and by applying the nudging method, we influence our guests to fill the plates with mostly vegetables. Protein and carbohydrates are placed last on the buffet.
We always offer vegetarian options on our menus, and we strive for reducing the animal protein in our restaurants.
We work with environmentally certified produces, such as MSC, ASC, KRAV, and Eko. Our goal is to increase this every year.
We’ve chosen to work with European Chicken Commitment (ECC) to ensure animal welfare. This includes the chicken we buy and serve. All criteria will be met by the year 2026. In addition, at least 20% of the chickens (in addition to meeting ECC’s criteria) will have had access to outdoor living.
ESS Group only buys eggs from hens that are cage free. All the eggs we serve come exclusively from free-range chickens; this also applies when we use eggs as an ingredient.
To reduce the amount of laundry we no longer have tablecloths in most of our restaurants.
At all our destinations, we only serve organically labeled Cava. These amount to approximately 50.000 bottles per year.
The coffee we offer is at minimum certified by the Rainforest Alliance – an organization that works with preserving the biodiversity and a sustainable development. In addition to Rainforest Alliance certification, 25% of the coffee we serve is eco-certified. This equals approximately 4 tons per year.
Green cooking workshops have been conducted at all our destinations to create greater awareness and to generate an interest for more innovative cooking in everyday life.
In 2023 we will launch the project “Food waste” at our restaurants and kitchens in order to a decrease food waste by 25%. We will purchase a system for measuring and benchmarking. We will educate our employees in menu structuring. This will be considered a basic precondition when training our employees.
When establishing contact with suppliers, we demand and inquire information about the available environmental sustainability aspects. All materials used at our conference outlets and in our offices, such as flipcharts, whiteboard pencils and copy paper, are environmentally friendly. This also applies to soft paper tissues used in kitchens and bathrooms. In all guest areas we have implemented towels/wipes instead of paper towels.
All our printed material is printed at certified printers, and we strive for environmentally friendly paper as much as possible. We also try to use digital solutions instead of printing.
All destinations of ESS Group that sell interior decoration and furniture, have established a Code of Conduct that all suppliers must follow.
In 2023 we will require a signed Code of Conduct from all our suppliers for us to work with them.
ESS Group encourages restoration and recycling. Furniture wear is restored to the greatest extent by repairers at each destination. We recycle by organizing sales of furniture when remodeling hotels or similar activities.
Travel and transportation
ESS Group shall regulate business travels so that they are as cost effective as possible, as well as environmentally friendly and safe. Traveling within the company shall only take place when necessary and with the environment in mind. We encourage such things as carpooling and traveling by train.
We encourage our co-workers to travel to the workplace as environmentally friendly as possible.
Flying will only be an option when the destination is more than 4 hours away and should always be used as little as possible. When flying is inevitable, the travels must always be climate compensated.
ESS Group’s car policy states that co-workers should choose green cars (electric or charge hybrid) where it is compatible with the driver’s company driving.
We inform our guests on how to reach us by bus and/or train. We encourage our guests to choose public transport. All our destinations are reachable by train, in some cases in combination with bus. In addition, we offer charging of electrical cars at all our facilities that have parking.
We prefer local suppliers and locally grown produce, in order to minimize long transport distances. By coordinating orders and deliveries, we make an active choice to reduce the number of transports.
The key to ESS group’s success is without a doubt our co-workers. We closely follow the well-being of our employees by measuring eNPS (employee net promoter score) every two weeks. This gives us the possibility of rapidly acting on deviations in order to improve and preserve a positive work environment. By working systematically with work environment management, where head of department and work safety representatives are educated in BAM (Swedish: Improvement of work environment), we continuously improve our knowledge and conditions in our workplaces to create a safer working environment.
We have employees from approximately 30 different nations in our group of staff. We work actively with equal treatment and inclusion of all employees. We continuously offer introductions and continuous skills training. We have zero tolerance against violations, harassments, and discrimination.
Regarding the prevention of drug and alcohol, harassment- and discrimination, we have a clear action- and policy plan and this is communicated to all members of staff.
All our employees have access to wellness allowance, and we encourage them to use it. We continuously arrange activities that focuses on physical activity, such as soccer, yoga, running etc. We continuously measure the number of sick leaves within the company.
ESS Group has an app for internal communication that is available for all employees, no matter department, destination, or country. This is a great way to create a sense of belonging across all borders.
In 2023, we will launch a Sustainable Employees project that aims to establish processes that ensure that our employees can keep working in a business that requires staff 24/7, through different stages of life, parental leave for example. We respect that all employees need a healthy balance between work and leisure.
CSR and ESS Academy
We believe in hope and possibilities. Our driving force is to include and create synergies throughout our community. We believe this leads to an improvement of the world’s overall well-being.
ESS Group’s goal of creating hope and opportunities is defined by creating growth opportunities for everyone. We believe that integration is key when going forward in society and for our self-sufficiency when building our organization. We do this through two major efforts in the coming years. Our goal is to be self-sufficient by 2024.
During 2022 ESS Group will launch a recruitment app with the purpose of giving everyone the opportunity of employment. The app is operated by ESS Group, but we wish for more employers to take advantage of it.
In 2022 we’ve started an education center where we offer apprentice programs for training in restaurant, kitchen, bar, and housekeeping. Our goal is to certificate approximately 20 trainees per month and to be able to offer immediate employment to as many as possible.
Laws and regulations
ESS Group is present in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.
ESS Group follows each countries’ national laws and regulation within the area, and we have an organization that follow and update changes. Environmental legislation and regulatory requirements must constitute a minimum level for sustainability work. Our goal is to exceed these requirements over time.
Code of conduct
At ESS Group we prioritize having structures and guidelines set up for a sustainable operation. Through our code of conduct we can more easily create transparency for all establishments of ESS Group. The code of conduct serves to create clarity and to be a common ground for the values of the company.
Through, for example, the eco labels Nordic Swan, Green Key and KRAV certifications, we can control, measure, document and plan our work to minimize the business’ environmental impact. Some of these include water use, energy, and waste.
We will inform and motivate all employees so that they can carry out their work in the most responsible way possible. We do this through documentation, workshops, and best practices.
Taking responsibility for the environment, nature and people must be a natural part of our daily activities. ESS Group’s sustainability policy and code of conduct will be accessible to all employees by being visible in our internal communication app and introduced when welcoming new employees.
CEO, ESS Group