The Greening of Lower Austria
It is important to treat resources in sustainable ways.
The economies in industrialized countries have faced the above problem since the 1970s. This subject has moved to center stage again with our recognition that humankind is changing the global climate. Economic sectors that have never been involved before are now entering the discussion. One of them is the tourist industry.
Lower Austrian tourist businesses in general and enterprises serving business travelers in particular are exemplary in Central Europe when it comes to conducting business in a sustainable manner. It is no accident that Pielach Valley in Lower Austria played host for the second time to the Sustainability Conference, one of the largest events on this subject. Steinschaler Dörfl had the privilege of being the hotel venue and is the very embodiment of sustainable tourism. And Steinschaler Dörfl is a partner of Convention Bureau Niederösterreich. As such, it is one of 43 businesses in the Lower Austrian tourist industry currently playing a pioneering role in sustainability.
For instance, Mondial in Baden is the first Austrian travel business to use the “Ecolabel for Package Holidays” created this year for the first time. The label is awarded to packages certified according to strict guidelines and contained in a catalogue called “Fair Travel in Austria”. It is issued only electronically for reasons of ecological sustainability. Mondial CEO Gregor Kadanka: “In creating our program, we conscientiously followed the recommendations of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management for eco-travel.” In another sustainable activity, Mondial Congress & Events concentrates on green event management. Organizing events in a way that shows an awareness of global climate problems is crucial right now. Gregor Kadanka: “A sustainable approach also helps to conserve resources and reduce costs.”
Therme Laa – Hotel & Spa has embraced a sustainable approach and is pursuing it resolutely. The hot springs complex and hotel have an elaborate waste management system. Energy efficiency is guaranteed with the use of electronically controlled light fixtures, bioenergy, and heat recovery equipment. Bioenergie Laa GmbH, a combination of six farmers who produce bioenergy with a wood chip plant, covers the complex’s total requirements for district heat. All restaurants use organic products from the region and have the food delivered in reusable packaging. Any meetings or conferences at Laa are without a doubt “extremely green”.
Saving through planning. Sustainability is practiced not just on land but on water too. Brandner Schiffahrt, another partner of Convention Bureau Niederösterreich, operates energy-saving boats. Food for onboard catering comes from the nearby area. The company dispenses with convenience products and throw-away tableware as a matter of principle.