A resort at the main summer location in Hungary is pioneering a unique sustainability initiative. Club Tihany Resort at Lake Balaton cut off the gas and banished bottles, and as the sales manager’s report shows: they didn’t stop there.
For the sake of sustainability
Mihály Tóth, the sales manager of the hotel, told FM Business how the greening of the complex is considered a key issue. As the effects of climate change and global warming are getting tangible, more and more hotels in Hungary are trying to move in a green direction to reduce their environmental impact. Club Tihany Resort tries to act in time and set an example for hotels to follow with environmentally friendly developments.
The nearly 1,500-bed hotel was built in 1985 using the most modern Austrian and Danish technology of the time, which still meets energy requirements even today.
“At the end of last year, we reduced our dependence on gas to a minimum, and we only use gas to heat the pools and hotel rooms and to operate some of the kitchen appliances, but in all three cases, we also use electricity, in an ever-increasing proportion. We put our first solar power plant into operation in 2012, which is capable of 131 kilowatts of power, and was completed in 2023 with a 200-kilowatt power park. Thus, the photovoltaic power plant serves most of the network,” – the manager pointed out.
The heating-cooling air conditioners at the facility are without exception based on a heat pump solution, which is considered the most modern technology at the moment. Electric car charging points were also installed in 2020, as more and more guests arrive with this type of vehicle.
Reducing food waste with a token system
Since they serve breakfast and dinner to 900 people daily, the amount of waste generated was extremely high. The management of Club Tihany Resort introduced a token system for children to reduce food waste and educate them as well.
“Buffet dining can be very wasteful, as the uneaten food remains on the guests’ plates in piles. We protect ourselves against this by giving tokens to those children who really put as much on their plate as they eat. The collected tokens can be used to get products in our hotel’s shop, but these items cannot be bought for money, so this is a kind of privilege for them,” – Mihály Tóth pointed out, adding that with the empty plate challenge, children also encourage parents not to waste.
To reduce further environmental impact, the resort buys all vegetables, meat, and bakery goods within a distance of 30 kilometres. Thus, the carbon footprint of the transport is negligible. In addition, their cooling capacity is also minimal, because they always order fresh food from their suppliers.
Waste is selected, and water is treasured
Mihály Tóth also drew attention to the fact that waste is collected selectively in the entire area of the hotel. Thanks to this and the pneumatic compression container, it is enough to take away municipal waste from the facility only once a week, thus reducing the environmental impact even further.
The manager also talked about how some of the green waste generated in the hotel’s huge park is recycled and the need for irrigation is reduced with mulching. Due to the nationwide water shortage in the summer, this issue is considered even more important, so the pools in the wellness section are filled with water from their own drilled well, and for the sprinkler system water is extracted from Lake Balaton with permission.
“What the guests shower with, what they drink from the tap, is all softened water. There is no water packaged in plastic at all in the hotel, even in our restaurants, filtered water treated with modern equipment is served in bottles to the guests’ tables,” – the manager said.
Mihály Tóth also emphasized that they exclusively use environmentally friendly cleaning products and operate their own laundry. Fresh textiles are delivered to the 160 wooden houses located on an area of 13 hectares by electric minicars, and the technical and maintenance staff also use only such vehicles – so these work processes have zero carbon footprint.
Photo: Club Tihany Resort