Winter the Austrian Way | A focus on sustainable hospitality

chemmy alcott and hotelier in lederhosen stand at the top of a grand staircase in an old fashioned, high end Austrian hotel, with pink lights shining on the ceiling

Chemmy Alcott travels around Austria to check out its green credentials

First, the Ski Sunday presenter visited the SkiWelt to interrogate the on-slope practices – that’s eco-friendly snowmaking and grooming, and solar-powered lifts. Then, she headed to Seefeld to find out exactly how it’s earned its stripes as a leading green ski resort. Now, Chemmy dives into sustainability within the hospitality sector, looking at what hotels are doing to combat their environmental impact, in one of the world’s leading ski and winter tourism destinations – Austria.

Watch here as Chemmy chats to Hotel Klosterbräu’s owner, Alois Seyrling, to find out how he’s made a 200-year-old hotel more sustainable:

Hotel Klosterbräu is one of the best examples of a business going above and beyond to reduce its carbon footprint. Run by the same family for six generations, the famous Seefeld institution – located within the walls of a 500-year-old monastery – has become a best-practice model of a sustainable hotel. Just take a look at its impressive eco-friendly initiatives:

  • 100% of the hotel’s electricity comes from a mix of solar, wind and hydro power, while the heating runs on wood chipping fuel. The hotel plans to build its own state-of-the- art wood chipping plant with wood from its forests
  • A solar system serves as a supplementary power source for heating its swimming pools
  • Furthermore, the photovoltaic system on the hotel roof was expanded +150kw in spring 2023
  • Klosterbräu is all about the ‘garden to the plate’ ethos: it grows vegetables and fruits in its garden, has 200 chicks (for eggs) and a bee farm (for honey products). Currently, 50% of the menu is vegetarian/vegan too
  • In a bid to reduce waste, the hotel has banned plastic bottles, and kitchen waste is used to produce compost or feed their animals. It aims to reduce its emissions per overnight stay from 20kg to 12kg by 2030. “We opened our farm two years ago. The next project is to grow even more veggies and fruits, like apples for our own schnapps,” says Alois Seyrling, owner of Hotel Klosterbräu
  • Guests arriving by public transport can book the hotel’s free e-shuttle service. E-scooters and e-bikes are also free of charge

Catch up with Chemmy’s journey beyond sustainable hospitality as she looks into winter the Austrian way…

Things to consider when choosing your ski hotel

  • Renewable Energy Sources: Does the hotel invest in and utilise renewable energy sources such as solar panels or wind turbines to generate clean energy on-site?
  • Energy Efficiency: Implementing energy-efficient technologies and practices throughout the hotel, from efficient lighting systems to smart climate control, can significantly reduce overall energy consumption.
  • Carbon Offsetting Projects: Does the hotel engage in carbon offsetting projects, such as investing in reforestation initiatives, renewable energy projects, or methane capture programs, to compensate for emissions it cannot eliminate?
  • Waste Reduction and Recycling: Implementing robust waste reduction and recycling programs to minimise the generation of waste and promote a circular economy.
  • Green Building Design: Has it been constructed or renovated with eco-friendly materials and sustainable building practices to enhance energy efficiency and reduce environmental impact?
  • Community Engagement: Are the needs of guests, locals and nature aligned? Does the hotel actively participate in and support local community initiatives related to environmental conservation and sustainability.
  • Does it use seasonal, regional, organic food

For more ideas on how to keep your ski holiday green, visit Austria’s sustainable holidays page.