Campuses rise to the climate change challenge – part one: Crans-Montana

Our Swiss and Spanish campuses are responding enthusiastically to the challenge of delivering a more sustainable world. In fact, there’s too much going on for just one article! So this week and next, we’ll be spotlighting each campus in turn, starting with Crans-Montana…

Just six years after the UN Sustainable Development Goals were introduced, governments and industry around the world are waking up to the reality of what they need to do to ensure we hit the targets set in 2016.

Like many other industries, hospitality has a significant role to play in helping achieve those goals. As a world-leading school serving the industry, we have already signaled our intent to keep sustainability at the top of the agenda by ensuring it is a key plank of all undergraduate and postgraduate courses. 

But it’s not just the faculty steering a path towards a more sustainable future. We are implementing practical solutions to cut waste on campus. In Crans-Montana, for example, we’ve installed KITRO food waste devices in both our main kitchen and that of our fine dining restaurant, Roots. The devices help to identify and monitor food waste electronically. By analyzing the captured data, we can make changes to menu design, stock control strategies and other factors that influence the amount of food wasted.

Getting students involved

Students at both Crans-Montana and Marbella campuses are also spearheading efforts to reduce the impact they, the school and their local communities have on the environment. 

At Crans-Montana, there is a well-established Green Club that aims to lead not only the student body and faculty but the entire local community to be more sustainable.

“If we want to lead by example on what innovation and sustainability in the hospitality industry means, it’s important we provide our audience with a platform where they can educate themselves and learn from professionals.”

Since its inception, Green Club has helped minimize the use of plastic across the campus and supplied every student with reusable takeaway boxes and cutlery for the school’s food and beverage outlets. It has also organized several events such as Sustainability Week and a Clean-Up Hike to help raise awareness and is collaborating with groups such as Oceanic Global to analyze and reduce the use of plastic in the school. (Valium)

“Students are now increasingly aware of sustainability issues,” says Green Club President Harinya Sreenivas. “Throughout my experience at Les Roches, the faculty has stressed the growing importance of sustainability, which has made many students interested in how it fits within the hospitality industry. That’s one of the reasons why the club has grown in recent years and has seen so much more active participation.”

In the longer term, the club hopes to interact more with the local community to work towards a more sustainable Crans-Montana and help nurture the future sustainability pioneers in the hospitality industry. 

Another initiative involving students at both campuses is ShiftIn’, an annual international event aimed at shifting innovations (hence: ShiftIn’) in the hospitality industry to create a more sustainable present and future. 

“If we want to lead by example on what innovation and sustainability in the hospitality industry means, it’s important we provide our audience with a platform where they can educate themselves and learn from professionals,” says Joceline Favre-Bulle, Director of Operations at Crans-Montana. “We believe sustainability and innovation starts with education, which is partially how ShiftIn’ came about.”

There will be more about this initiative in our next feature from Marbella, so look out for it!

Reaching out

One of our sustainability goals is to integrate more into the local community. In Crans-Montana, we have forged links with a number of local organizations, including the local electricity company, Oiken, with which we are working to install solar panels, provide charging stations for public use and replace meters so residents can obtain monthly bills. 

The campus is also working with Viva con Agua to organize a charity run for children – Run4Wash – that will raise money for drinking water projects; with the FDDM (Fondation pour le développement durable des régions de montagne) to increase biodiversity in the village of Bluche by planting bushes; and with Verbier-based change agency COOS to identify strategies to create a better food system and reduce waste.

Globally, we have partnered with Oceanic Global to aim for its Blue Standard by eliminating all single-use plastics; and also with SUNx Malta to reduce CO2 emissions by 55% before 2030. 

“Overall, we believe we are on the right track of our sustainability journey,” says Joceline. “We still have a long way to go to achieve all of our sustainable goals, but with hard work and dedication we will make the impossible possible.”

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