Us | Sustainability at the saratz

Sustainability at the saratz

Environmental sustainability at the Saratz Pontresina

«The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion
Paulo Coehlo

The Engadine is situated in a high valley in the heart of the Alps. Visitors past from all over the world have come to know and love this corner of Switzerland with its unspoilt and striking landscape. It is the incredibly beautiful and enchanting Alpine backdrop that makes the Engadine so irresistible.

At the Saratz, we are committed treating our environment respectfully and in harmony with nature. We believe in sustainable consumption and production. We use our energy resources responsibly and promote biodiversity. As an employer, we stand for equal opportunities and social cohesion.

Sustainable travel doesn't necessarily mean having to go without. Sustainable travel means greater awareness, enjoyment and depth. With this in mind, Switzerland is pursuing its own characteristic sustainability strategy: «Swisstainable».

We are proud to be a part of Switzerland Tourism's Swisstainable programme since 2021. Simply put, this means that we are committed to sustainable corporate management practices and are continuously evolving towards sustainability in our seminar, meeting and convention sector.

Environmental sustainability at the Saratz Pontresina
Environmental sustainability at the Saratz Pontresina

Saratz Heat Pump

The Saratz heats with geothermal energy!

 

There is sufficient energy inside the earth to sustain us on the surface – and it is both clean and kind to the environment.  For the Saratz, this was a compelling reason to install our own geothermal energy production system.

Committed to tradition

Since 2015, the Saratz has been contributing with its geothermal heat system towards maintaining the quality of air and life in the Engadine. Our valley has a longstanding tradition when it comes to renewable energy sources: boasting sunshine on 322 days a year, it is the "drying chamber" of the Alps and, at the same time, one of the most water-rich valleys.

Heating system – a short introduction

  • In order to exploit renewable energy, a borehole was sunk through granite rock to a depth of 1,350 metres (a Swiss first!) below the hotel garden.
  • The water present at this depth is heated naturally by geothermal energy to 40 degrees Celsius and a heat pump brings it into circulation. 
  • The Saratz uses the thus generated thermal energy to heat the indoor swimming pool and wellness area and part of the hotel complex. An oil-fired central heating system is available to cover peak demand.

This results in savings of around 80,000 litres of heating oil each year, which corresponds to a reduction of 210 tonnes of carbon emissions per year.

Other activities to protect the environment

We certainly aren't going to tell you that spending a holiday with us will reduce your ecological footprint. Because that would be nothing but marketing babble. What we will tell you is that nature is our energy source. And that we value nature and treat it with respect:

 

Other activities to protect the environment

Water

Water

  • Our hotel bathrooms are equipped with water-saving technology to reduce consumption.  
  • Toilet flushes are limited to 7 litres per flush.
  • Our garden is watered automatically at regular intervals – on rainy days, Mother Nature takes care of this.   
  • Our kitchen is equipped with chillers. They help cool food very quickly and thus dispense with the need for cooling with water.  
  • Chemical-free, eco-friendly and water-saving cleaning with dry steam cleaners.

Paper

Paper

  • We avoid unnecessary printing by opting for double-sided printing or electronic processing.  
  • Most delivery notes and invoices are now processed in electronic form only.
  • Our guests have access to a digital guest folder and an online library.
  • We use eco-friendly, environmentally certified paper for our printed matter.  
  • We are gradually switching to digital communication, both internally and externally. Our ultimate goal? Paperless communication.  

Mobility

Mobility

  • Discounted public transport and attractive luggage transport in cooperation with Rhaetian Railway RhB and Swiss Federal Railways SBB.
  • Free public transport ticket in summer (dog fare included) for bookings of 2 and more nights (Engadine Bus, Post Bus, RhB - from Maloja to Cinuos-chel and from Spinas to Alp Grüm)
  • We offer free transfers on arrival/at departure between the hotel and Pontresina railway station (08:00-21:00 hrs).
  • Our guests may use mountain bikes free of charge or rent e-bikes for a fee.
  • In winter we provide a free shuttle transport service to the Corviglia ski region.  
  • Eight electric vehicle charging stations are available to our guests (subject to a fee).

Recycling and Waste Disposal

Recycling and Waste Disposal

  • Seasonal employee training sessions ensure that waste is always properly sorted and delivered to the appropriate disposal points.  
  • In purchasing, we aim to avoid unnecessary packaging, cut transport distances or work with purchasing cooperatives.
  • Instead of plastic bottles, guests can fill their own reusable water bottles at the fountain in our reception area. Guests may also purchase a Saratz SIGG bottle and at the same time support the MortAlive glacier protection project.  
  • We aim to avoid single-serving packaging and plastic utensils at the breakfast buffet as much as possible and instead use alternative, environmentally friendly products.
  • Packed lunches are provided in convenient, BPA-free lunch boxes made of cellulose or in a handmade beeswax cloth from Stampa in the neighbouring Bregeglia Valley.  

Food Waste

Food Waste

  • We believe that the systematic use of leftovers and waste management are effective tools for reducing food waste. Targeted planning when purchasing and designing menus help to prevent food waste in upstream processes.
  • We work primarily with regional and seasonal producers. Wherever possible, the products and produce we use, such as herbs and tea from Bio Raselli or eggs from Zuoz, are sourced from local suppliers who deliver them to us personally.
  • Adapted and moderate portions and offering second helpings are effective ways to reduce food waste.
  • We also participate in the "Too good to go" programme, which further strengthens our commitment to reducing excessive food waste.

Purchasing

Purchasing

  • We focus on working with local partners and purchasing cooperatives with other hotels in Pontresina to keep transport distances as short as possible.
  • Wherever possible, we opt to have goods transported to the Engadine by rail.  
  • In the 35,000-square-metre Saratz Park, we cultivate fresh herbs and vegetables which are used in our menus and at the hotel bar.  
  • Our wine list has a strong focus on regional wines from the renowned Bündner Herrschaft winegrowing region and other Swiss wines.  
  • Mini bars are stocked exclusively with Swiss soft drinks.
  • Reduced ecological footprint thanks to our vegetarian restaurant Giodi Vegetarian and Co.

Hotel rooms

Hotel rooms

  • We provide hand soap and shower soap in environmentally friendly large bottles (bottles and caps 100% are recyclable) with a dosage system.
  • All mini bars are stocked with Swiss soft drinks in glass bottles.  
  • Towels and bed linen are only changed on request out of consideration for the environment.
  • We provide guests with a carafe of mountain-fresh spring water in their room.
  • Our washing machines are equipped with a dosing system and run mainly during the night.

Resource Efficiency

Resource Efficiency

  • To conserve energy and resources during the off-season while still ensuring a high-quality stay, the Hotel Saratz transforms into the "Hotel S" concept in November: a pared-back service that includes all the essentials at an extremely attractive special rate.

Staff

Staff

  • We promote fair working conditions with regard to working hours, health and safety and training opportunities.
  • We raise awareness among our staff for environmental protection. An environmental officer regularly monitors the measures implemented in-house.  
  • We provide opportunities for further education and regular staff training.

Communication

Communication

  • We use digital platforms and the Beekeeper messenger tool for internal and external team communications.
  • We actively promote an internal sustainability strategy and regularly raise awareness. among our employees for environmental protection and the responsible use of resources.

Electricity

Electricity

  • 90% of our light sources have already been replaced with LED lamps.
  • Staff are instructed to switch off computers and printers when they are not in use (e.g. at the end of the workday).
  • We save electricity by installing motion detectors in the hotel corridors and on staircases.

MortAlive

MortAlive

The Morteratsch Glacier near Pontresina covers the greatest surface area of any glacier in the Bernina Range. It is also affected by the global glacier decline. By harnessing innovative technologies, the MortAlive project is working to counteract the glacier melt. With every carafe of tap water or purchased SIGG drinking bottle, the Saratz donates part of the proceeds to the MortAlive glacier protection project.