“We take responsibility”

Major challenges need clear objectives. We can find answers to the sustainability issues of our time by focusing on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda. The “Global Contract for the Future” was adopted by 193 heads of state and government on September 25, 2015.

The cornerstones are: Ending inequalities, strengthening self-determination, gender equality and a healthy life, preserving natural resources and their sustainable use, protecting human rights and building global partnerships.

The goals of the 2030 Agenda are essentially:

  • To end poverty, hunger and inequalities
  • To promote and shape prosperity and sustainable lifestyles for all people
  • To strengthen and safeguard people’s self-determination, gender equality and a good and healthy life for all
  • To protect human rights, ensure peace, good governance and access to justice
  • To respect the Earth’s ecological limits, combat climate change, preserve and sustainably use natural resources
  • To build a global partnership

A sign of responsibility lived by ourselves

At KONCEPT HOTELS, sustainability is based on responsibility that we live ourselves. We shape sustainability ourselves. This begins with our cooperation with local companies, extends to photovoltaics and rainwater retention, through to newly planted fruit trees and our renaturalized meadow area in the Swabian Alb – our “hotel for nature”.

Because we combine responsibility with fairness, we call our corporate strategy in the area of sustainability FAIRESPONSIBILITY. As a hotel company, we want to act sustainably in all areas. That is why we see our many individual measures as important steps on a major journey.

Detailaufnahme von einer Biene auf einer Blume
For each booking through our website we save one square meter of nature

Sustainability targets for 2023 achieved

All the goals we set ourselves for 2023 were also achieved. We succeeded in fully integrating housekeeping into our company. We were also able to create integrated jobs in collaboration with Caritas Wertarbeit.

Our liquid soap, shower gel and shampoo have been fully converted to certified qualities and at the beginning of November we started the renaturation of our flowering meadow at the foot of the Swabian Alb. We have trained our own sustainability manager at university to take a scientific and strategic approach to sustainability.

Nahaufnahme einer Butterblume

Major tasks for 2024

This year, we are focusing on three areas of sustainability. We want to promote the topic of water even more than before. This ranges from company-wide water savings to keeping wastewater clean and thus protecting water bodies. We have also placed the topic of inclusion at the top of our sustainability agenda and will continue to promote biodiversity by building a second habitat.

Discover our world of sustainable responsibility in the sixth KONCEPT HOTELS Fairesponsibility Report.

Step by step to more sustainabilityThis is how KONCEPT HOTELS implement the 17 goals of the UN Agenda 2030:

Polo beats fast fashion

Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms and everywhere

We rely on sustainably produced textiles from Trigema. This is because the production of cheap textiles in third world countries promotes poverty, destroys nature and supports child labor. This is why we are continuing our holistic sustainability strategy beyond hotel textiles to include our employees’ clothing. With Trigema as our new textile partner, we are clearly committed to Germany as a location and to fair and environmentally friendly production. The new polo shirts from Trigema for KONCEPT HOTELS are of particularly high quality and have a long life cycle.

Shirts produced with solar energy: With the new textile partnership, we are setting an example against cheap fashion and fast fashion. As Germany’s largest manufacturer of sports and leisurewear, the family-run company Trigema pursues a strictly sustainable course.

In addition to CO2-saving and environmentally friendly production in Germany, the company generates its own solar power on a total area of 6,000 m² and is very committed to its employees. The new polo shirts for KONCEPT HOTELS are certified in accordance with “Standard 100 by Oeko-Tex” and are free from harmful substances.

The coffee thing

Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

We trade fairly with fair trade coffee from Bulls Coffee. Non-fair trade coffee is a major problem for people and the environment. Smallholder families live on less than two dollars a day. Not being part of cooperatives, they are at the mercy of local traders and have no access to market and price information. Due to the small areas under cultivation, many coffee farming families remain trapped in poverty.

Direct trade supports coffee farmers: We source our coffee for our Swiss hotel from the small roastery Bulls Coffee in Brugg near our KONCEPT HOTEL Löie.

The coffee from Bulls Coffee is “direct trade”, which means that the price is far above the normal world market price – even above the fair trade level. A large proportion of the sales proceeds go to the people who laboriously harvest the coffee themselves. This sustainably improves the living conditions of the coffee farmers and their families.

Lucia and the culture

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

We take care of people from different cultures. KONCEPT HOTELS is about more than “human resources”, we are about people – individual, culturally diverse, with stories that are more than just CVs. The perspectives they develop with us and fill with life in the long term should be as genuine as the people themselves. This also includes bringing different cultures together and managing the sometimes difficult “culture clash” – one of the tasks of our new People and Culture Manager Lucia Aponte-Khemili.

Building solutions where it counts: in the middle of the hotels and among the people, Lucia takes care of employees’ problems.

“We want to understand people’s problems. We don’t want to deal with employees head-on, we want to be right in the middle of things,” she says. “That’s why I regularly ‘tour’ our hotels to find solutions where it matters.” In this way, even semi-skilled employees with different cultural backgrounds and levels of training are integrated into a working environment characterized by respect and appreciation.

Mitarbeiterin Lucia KONCEPT HOTEL

Yes to Nana

Goal 4: Ensure inclusive, equitable and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

This is what a career at KONCEPT HOTELS can look like. Nana got to know KONCEPT HOTELS at a time when he was working for a cleaning service provider that looked after our hotels. He did such a remarkable job that we took him on.

He now leads the housekeeping team at KONCEPT HOTEL Josefine, trains new employees and takes responsibility for them.

He has achieved his goal and found his calling at KONCEPT HOTELS, is part of the recruiting campaign video and feels completely at home with us.

Gini and the magic of cleanliness

Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

We open up opportunities, regardless of gender. At a large level, familiar patterns are often slow to change. This also applies to people’s pay. Even in affluent nations, there are still glaring differences between the income of men and women for the same work performance. We are changing this in our company. One measure we are taking on the road to more equal opportunities in society is the in-sourcing of our housekeeping. This enables us to control salaries ourselves and pay men and women equally.

Equal pay for equal work: The Gini coefficient shows how unequal the pay of employees of different genders is. It was named after its inventor, the Italian statistician Corrado Gini.

The coefficient is expressed as a number between 0 and 100. Zero means that everyone within a population group earns or owns the same amount. The average value of the Gini coefficient in the European Union is 30.2. Our value in 2023 was 16.

How it works with the water

Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

We stay clean when it comes to cleaning. Even if the water comes out of the tap ready to drink, its purity is everything but a given. That’s why we are committed to it. Since summer 2022, we have only used cleaning agents that are based on soda, vinegar or spirit and are certified with the Blue Angel environmental label. In 2024, we want to reduce water consumption per overnight stay by 20 percent by using modern technologies.

More about our water protection and conservation measures

Tübingen and the sun

Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

We continue to see sustainable energy supply. At our KONCEPT HOTEL Neue Horizonte in Tübingen, 80 photovoltaic modules with a total area of 160 square meters produce up to 30 kilowatt peak (kWh) of electricity free of charge and CO2-neutral. We feed what we don’t use ourselves into the grid. In 2023, we were able to cover all of our electricity needs ourselves in Tübingen.

Every new hotel has photovoltaics: In order to achieve the ambitious climate targets we have set ourselves for all KONCEPT HOTELS in 2030, we are planning to install photovoltaics in every new hotel project. This should be dimensioned in such a way that it generates enough electricity to achieve energy self-sufficiency. We are already supplying existing buildings sustainably with 100 percent green electricity from renewable sources.

Lack of qualified personnel?

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

We support people with special needs and special people. An entire industry, an entire country is complaining about a shortage of skilled workers. Of course, you can’t talk it away, but you can find solutions that are so obvious that many people don’t see them. This is exactly what we do with our KONCEPT HOTELS. We see the potential of mothers, of people with special needs and also of the opportunities offered by remote working. This has resulted in new working structures in our company, which we believe should be a matter of course for the entire economy.

New career opportunities with a mothers-first strategy: At KONCEPT HOTELS, 40 percent of all employees are mothers – and 100 percent of them are wonderful. Mothers think in a solution-oriented, constructive and responsible way and are a real treasure for our company. We have developed particularly flexible working models so that they can develop both privately and professionally. Our Mothers First strategy specifically opens up career opportunities for mothers. To achieve this, we build our working reality around their private life situation, not the other way around. We are also becoming increasingly successful in integrating people with special needs into our company. In cooperation with Caritas Cologne, we create jobs that make sense and are more than just employment.

Here you can find the figures on the topic

We know where

Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

We stimulate economic and living spaces. Infrastructure is like life: it needs a point of origin, impetus and nourishment to grow, as well as constant maintenance and further development. Functioning and efficient infrastructures are part of the solution to the global challenges posed to humanity by population growth and the climate crisis. With KONCEPT HOTELS, we use digital technologies to strengthen and expand infrastructures that promote purchasing power, economic strength and new life. In Münsingen, Switzerland, we have achieved this particularly well and vividly with the further development of the Gasthof Löwen into the KONCEPT HOTEL Löie.

New vitality for the king of animals: In 2019, we took over the Löwen, carried out a core refurbishment and established our digital operating concept. The lower employee costs enabled renovations with new building technology and sustainability measures. This enabled us to drastically reduce energy consumption and thus a previously large cost item. In 2020, the former meeting room was converted into ten additional rooms, bringing the total to 27. Just a few years later, our structural measures are already bearing fruit: in 2023, turnover was more than twice as high as in 2018. Last year, we accommodated around 6,500 overnight guests. Before the repositioning, the figure was around 2,000. Every guest brings purchasing power, economic strength and life to tranquil Münsingen. Without our digital approach, the Löwen would have died.

Why not

Goal 10: Reduce inequality

We equalize opportunities. Everyone has the right to a self-determined life and to social and economic participation. This is not only a matter for politicians, but also for companies. For KONCEPT HOTELS, equal opportunities are not a burden. For us, equal opportunities offer the chance to make positive changes. We can integrate the incomparably high and responsible commitment of mothers, for example, into our company through new workplace and working time models. And by integrating people with special needs into our hotels, we are breaking away from fixed job descriptions and experiencing incredibly positive impulses for our working atmosphere and our daily interactions.

Find out more about our first integrated employee

The train has left the station

Goal 11: Make cities and settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

We move paths that lead people to people. Every second person in the world now lives in a city. Metropolitan areas simply attract us magically and the influx continues unabated. For a sustainable and resource-conserving urban future with modern living space, we need mobility concepts that have a low carbon footprint. We are therefore paving the way for our employees to get to work and to our hotels using sustainable means of transportation. In addition, we only open businesses in an action circle that can be realized with a low CO2 footprint.

When we are on business trips, we only travel by train or car. We have issued all our traveling employees with a BahnCard and offered everyone in the team a job ticket. For flights, the train has finally left KONCEPT HOTELS: In 2023, there was not a single work-related flight for us. Whenever and wherever the train goes: We use it! Even if we get stranded somewhere in the Stuttgart, Siegen or Cologne area at 10 p.m. in the sleet. There are always solutions for a sustainable onward journey or an unforeseen overnight stay. That makes life and work interesting and occasionally opens up new thinking spaces and perspectives.

Let’s go naked

Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

We add sustainability. Care and cosmetic products have a direct impact on people and nature in a hotel. The majority of common shower gels, creams etc. are based on mineral oils. This is neither good for the skin nor good for the waste water, not to mention the CO2 balance and the waste materials from product manufacture. Crude oil is the starting point for ingredients such as surfactants, preservatives and fragrances. All KONCEPT HOTELS have been using vegetable oil-based shower gels and soaps right from the start. Since 2023, we have been going one step further.

Soap, shower gel and shampoo demonstrably sustainable: guests can now clean themselves in a demonstrably sustainable way in all KONCEPT HOTELS. To this end, we have switched to liquid soap, shower gel and shampoo from the Organic Damana line by French manufacturer GM. These were the only products to meet our high sustainability requirements.

Our new head-to-toe fresheners are certified as Cosmecert and Cosmebio according to the guidelines of Cosmos Organic, are vegan and 99 percent of the ingredients are of natural origin. Only natural fragrances, herbal extracts, essential oils and plant oils are used. Production is free from formaldehydes, phthalates and para-benzene and does not involve animal testing.

If Goethe knew

Goal 13: Take immediate action to combat climate change and its impacts

We go local and promote the local and regional. Man-made climate change is fundamentally altering our habitat. With negative consequences for people and nature. KONCEPT HOTELS implement climate protection with regional solutions that reduce the carbon footprint of mobility and offer people living space exactly where it is needed. Such as with our new hospitality brand KONCEPT HOMES.

“See, the good is so close”: KONCEPT HOMES strengthen the regional infrastructure. Our digital, sustainable and local accommodation concept offers municipalities the opportunity to welcome tourist guests and business travelers in a resource-saving building. In this way, we act locally and regionally in a holistically sustainable manner and contribute to global climate protection. KONCEPT HOMES combine digital guest solutions with high sustainability standards and adapt carefully and cooperatively to local conditions.

Holistic alignment with ESG standards: The new KONCEPT HOMES extend our urban KONCEPT HOTELS to include a solution for small and medium-sized communities and rural regions. They are characterized by an even more holistic ESG orientation and a hybrid residential approach. They are operated with the sustainability and digital expertise of KONCEPT HOTELS.

Our solution for local sustainability

Wet is better without

Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

We immerse ourselves in the protection of one of our most valuable treasures: Water. Oceans are the source of life. They provide food, raw materials and energy. Although they are essential for humans and nature, the oceans are endangered. KONCEPT HOTELS protect water resources by using certified sustainable cleaning agents and the environmentally certified textile management of MONOWii.

Dry steam in all corridors and sustainable cleaning agents: Since 2023, we have been taking a further step towards the comprehensive protection of the endangered resource of water by using demonstrably environmentally friendly cleaning agents. We have opted for the sustainable “Tana Professional” product line with the well-known Frosch logo.

The cleaning products are characterized by environmentally friendly and biodegradable ingredients as well as innovative and recyclable packaging. The cleaning agents used have the EU Ecolabel and are particularly kind to the skin. Since 2022, all KONCEPT HOTELS have been using only certified organic cleaning agents that do not pollute the environment or waste water. In addition, a dry steam device has been in use since 2021 – dry steam removes dirt and viruses without any chemicals.

Textile management with environmental certification: One area in the hotel that can cause high water consumption – even if not in the hotel itself – is the bed linen. Here we work together with MONOWii Textile Management, who supply us with textiles made from a special yarn that absorbs less water. This means that less detergent is used when cleaning the hotel textiles.

Reinigung der Möbel im KONCEPT HOTEL

Meadow by meadow back to nature

Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems

We give life. We need intact ecosystems for sustainable development. The cultivated landscapes in Central Europe can only be worth living in the long term if humans and nature achieve a sensible balance and harmonious coexistence. Not least the drastic decline in insects shows that much still needs to be done before flora and fauna can be filled with life again.

Farm meadows become species-rich grassland: An important step on this path is the conversion of intensively farmed grassland into extensive, lean and species-rich grassland. KONCEPT HOTELS is doing this at the foot of the Swabian Alb on a 5,000 square meter meadow.

On November 1, 2023, we started the work together with a landscape planner and the Tuttlingen district office. Among other things, this means that the green areas will no longer be fertilized and will only be mowed twice a year. To teach our guests about the protection of terrestrial ecosystems, they receive a wildflower mixture as a bedtime treat, made in a Caritas workshop.

Experience sustainability with our HOTEL FOR NATURE: With our own biodiversity area, we are consistently implementing our local commitment to sustainability in Germany. Under the project name HOTEL FOR NATURE, KONCEPT HOTELS save one square meter of valuable meadows for every overnight stay. We also award sponsorships to private individuals and companies who help us to manage our biodiversity area on site. In this way, people from the region can actively participate in our commitment to a better world.

Nahaufnahme einer Butterblume

Cast off for Lena

Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development
We are setting out to achieve new sustainability goals. Sustainability has been part of the DNA of our KONCEPT HOTELS from the very beginning. We have implemented many things that did not yet exist in the hotel industry, or not yet in this form. From sustainable cleaning products to photovoltaics, our own biodiversity area and integrated workplaces. In 2023, we decided to take an even more structured approach to sustainability and make it part of our management system. To this end, Elena Linke, our authorized signatory and Head of Finance, underwent further training to become a sustainability manager in accordance with the ZNU standard at Witten/Herdecke University. In this interview, she explains her motivation, goals and why sustainability is a top priority at KONCEPT HOTELS.

Interview with Lena

The future is for everyone

Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development

We shape tomorrow together. Big goals need strong partners. The UN’s 17 global sustainability goals can only be achieved effectively through global and local partnerships. This applies equally to very different challenges, such as the eradication of hunger and poverty, fair trade, clean water and climate protection.

Many small steps for one big goal: sustainability. As in previous years, we will continue to support a number of projects, associations and initiatives in 2024 that aim to make our world a fairer and more inclusive place. After we were unable to build on our financial commitment of previous years in 2021 due to the pandemic, we managed to invest more in sustainable projects in 2022 than ever before.

We raised around 30,000 euros for our biodiversity area alone. In 2023, we invested a substantial amount in the area of edutainment in particular. In 2024, our sustainability activities will focus on water consumption and water conservation, inclusion and biodiversity.

Blütensamen hergestellt in einer Behindertenwerkstatt
KONCEPT HOTEL Tübingen Neue Horizonte Gebäude mit Biosphere Zertifikat

Outstanding sustainability

In 2022 we won the most prestigious award for serviced apartments, the So!Apart Award. Our KONCEPT HOTEL Neue Horizonte in Tübingen was awarded the top spot in the “sustainable and exceptional” category. At the award ceremony on 16 November 2022, the jury praised the comprehensive sustainability focus as part of the operational concept of our entire hotel group. The new building in Tübingen has the highest level of sustainability of KONCEPT HOTELS to date. Overall, we have verified around 120 individual measures in the areas of environment, social affairs and corporate governance at our hotel in Tübingen. These include our energy self-sufficiency measures and species conservation projects, as well as inclusion measures and targeted employment for disabled candidates.

Three major goals for 2024

Water: Water savings, water conservation and water protection are at the top of our list of sustainability priorities at KONCEPT HOTELS in 2024. As a large-scale measure, we want to significantly reduce our water consumption by using new flow limiter technology.

Inclusion: Over the course of 2024, we will drive forward the sustainability topic of equal opportunities in the workplace and in society. Further integrated jobs will give people with special needs the opportunity to be truly valued in an entrepreneurial environment by demonstrating their special skills.

Biodiversity: Following the successful launch of our first biodiversity area at the foot of the Swabian Alb – our “Hotel for Nature” – we are pursuing the goal of integrating a second habitat into our sustainability activities.

Our 2030 target: maximum emissions reduction

The Paris Climate Agreement gave global climate policy a new binding framework in December 2015. To date, 188 countries have signed the agreement. They have thus committed to the goal of limiting global warming to well below two degrees. This is to be achieved by reducing CO2 emissions, among other things. The result is a balance between emissions caused on the one hand and emissions avoided on the other.

At KONCEPT HOTELS, we want to have achieved maximum emissions reduction by 2030 at the latest. This means that we will measure our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, draw up a reduction plan and offset the emissions. By 2035, we have set ourselves the goal of “net zero” and thus also the inclusion of Scope 3 emissions.


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