Scandic has reached a sustainability milestone by recertifying its previously eco-labelled hotels according to the Nordic Swan Ecolabel’s new and tougher environmental requirements. More than 88 per cent of Scandic’s hotels are accredited, and the company continues to ensure that all its hotels are certified by the Nordic Swan Ecolabel.

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is the official environmental certification in the Nordic countries. It updates its requirements approximately every four years, and the most recent update in 2023 included higher environmental goals. To continue to be certified, Scandic’s ecolabeled hotels have undergone a rigorous recertification process where each hotel must meet all of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel’s new strict limit values for energy, water, waste and chemicals as well as organic food and beverages. To retain certification, eco-labelled hotels must undergo annual follow-ups and team member training.

“At Scandic, we’ve integrated sustainability as part of our strategy, so it’s natural for us to monitor our initiatives and demonstrate how they make a difference for our guests, team members and society. By cooperating with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel over the years, we’ve reduced our water consumption, eliminated harmful chemicals and single-use items, reduced food waste and increased the percentage of organic food we buy. And we’re incredibly proud of this progress. Recertifying our eco-labelled hotels is critical to guarantee that we can offer our guests services certified by the most challenging environmental labelling,” says Jens Mathiesen, CEO of Scandic Hotels Group.

Scandic initiated a long-term collaboration with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel in the 1990s to get help and guidance in reducing its environmental impact. This effort has paid off. Between 1996, when Scandic started its sustainability reporting, and 2022, the company reduced water use per guest night by 32 per cent, energy use per guest night by 31 per cent and CO₂e emissions per guest night by an impressive 65 per cent.* This is thanks to measures including installing water-efficient fixtures, switching to 100 per cent renewable energy for electricity, using energy-efficient lighting and implementing various technical solutions for energy and heat optimisation.

Several initiatives to create behavioural changes have also contributed to Scandic’s reduced impact. These include team member training, encouraging guests to make conscious choices like turning off the tap while brushing their teeth and introducing on-demand cleaning. Scandic also prioritises sustainability in its supplier procurement. TVs, beds, and cleaning and laundry products are environmentally certified today.

“We’re very pleased that a powerful player like Scandic is committed to meeting the new tougher requirements of the Nordic Swan Ecolabel and certifying all of its hotels in the Nordic countries. This is helping drive the green transition and making a difference, inspiring guests to adopt new habits and influencing other businesses since Scandic demands ecolabeled products. It’s creating what you could say is a ‘Swan effect’ in other industries that must comply with Scandic’s sustainability requirements,” says Anna Linusson, CEO of Miljömärkning Sverige AB.

To be certified by the Nordic Swan Ecolabel, a hotel must serve a certain percentage of organic food and beverages, purchase ecolabeled furniture and textiles, use only environmentally-friendly chemicals for cleaning, dishwashing and laundry, reduce water consumption, energy use and waste, and have clear, transparent environmental goals. 87 of Scandic’s hotels in Sweden, 30 in Denmark, 45 in Finland and 76 in Norway are ecolabeled, and all of these have now been recertified according to the Nordic Swan Ecolabel’s new requirements. In 2023, Scandic will also launch Nordic Swan Ecolabel certification at its hotels in Germany and Poland, which means that these hotels can start their journey toward environmental certification.

Scandic’s ambition is for all hotels operating under the Scandic brand to be certified by the Nordic Swan Ecolabel. At a minimum, all hotels must comply with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel limit values for energy consumption per square meter, unsorted waste, water consumption and eco-labelled chemicals for cleaning, laundry and washing dishes.

* Figures are based on development per guest night from when Scandic began sustainability reporting, back in 1996, up until 2022. This report includes all of the company’s hotels and refers to water and energy consumption, waste, and CO2e emissions.