Shaping a sustainable future: Les Roches Marbella students excel at ShiftIn’ Powered by Spark

The following article was written by Les Roches Marbella’s Bachelor student Valentina Stefanini.

In May 2024, a team of students from Les Roches Marbella had the incredible opportunity to participate in the ShiftIn’ Powered by Spark challenge held at Les Roches Crans-Montana. This prestigious event brought together top hospitality students from Switzerland’s leading schools to present solutions for sustainability issues. The team representing the Spanish campus included Valentina Stefanini, Baxter Marcus, and Laura Csákvári, who embarked on this journey to demonstrate their innovative ideas.

At the heart of the competition, each group was tasked with addressing a specific sustainability challenge faced by a Fairmont hotel. The topics were very diverse: from waste management and energy saving to water conservation, guest communication, and creating sustainable and innovative dining experiences. The goal was to develop realistic strategies that improved the hotel’s sustainability footprint while maintaining its luxurious appeal.

The event hosted leading sustainability experts in the hospitality industry, providing invaluable insights and inspiration:

  • Vege’table: company that promotes Smart Food, healthy, ethical and sustainable food that is predominantly whole and 100% plant-based.
  • Javier Martin from Keenon Robotics: discussed emerging trends in mobile robotics and their applications in hospitality, emphasizing efficiency and guest experience enhancement.
  • Sènami Akié from Logitech: shared insights on achieving sustainability without compromising on technology, highlighting Logitech’s approach to eco-friendly innovations.
  • Salva Ferri from We Tangible Innovation: gave insights on how to navigate the innovation ecosystem, craft open innovation strategies, and leverage venture capital for entrepreneurial success in the hospitality sector.

Among the talented participants, the team led by Valentina Stefanini stood out with their solutions for The Savoy London. Debra Patterson, the Quality and Sustainability Director, contacted the team and asked them to come up with ideas to share with staff and clients and make them knowledgeable of the sustainability practices of the hotel.

Their project focused on 2 main points: making a new communication pillar of the company only for sustainability and creating a “Sustainability Awards Wall of Fame”. From 2 Walls Of Fame (one for Front Of the House and one for Back Of the House) to implementing a new Brand Pillar, the students highlighted The Savoy London as a leading hotel in the hospitality industry. These initiatives will make the employees more keen to participate in sustainability projects and trainings, and the guests will make the first step and ask for more information about the awards they see showcased.

Their approach and presentation skills won them Second Place in the competition., access to Oceanic Global’s Blue Standard Consultant Course and the opportunity to see their project come to life, collaborating closely with The Savoy London.

The success of Valentina, Baxter, and Laura is a testament to the quality of education and training provided at Les Roches Marbella. Their journey at ShiftIn’ Powered by Spark symbolizes the importance of sustainability in the hospitality industry and the vital role that young, innovative minds play in shaping a more sustainable future.

As students return to their studies, they bring with them not just the experience of competition and new friends from other Hospitality universities, but also a deeper understanding of real-world challenges and solutions in sustainability. Their achievements at the convention are just the beginning of their journey to becoming influential leaders in the global hospitality industry.

The ShiftIn’ Powered by Spark convention at Les Roches Crans-Montana was more than just a competition; it was a celebration of innovation, sustainability, and the collaborative spirit of the hospitality industry. The participation and success of Les Roches Marbella students highlight the potential of future leaders to drive meaningful change.