Terme Sveti Martin is the first hotel in Croatia to carry the prestigious European ecolabel EU Ecolabel.
EU Ecolabel is a label that promotes environmental excellence, ie helps to identify products and services that have a reduced impact on the environment, from the initial stage of use of raw materials, through production to their use and final disposal.
This label focuses entirely on environmental sustainability and indicates that the company generates less waste and takes a careful approach to environmental protection. The criteria for obtaining it have been agreed by scientists, NGOs and stakeholders, and EU Ecolabel products and services are judged by independent experts to ensure that high standards of reduced environmental impact are achieved.
Terme Sveti Martin are pioneers of short supply chains and pioneers of sustainable tourism in Croatia, and this was a logical sequence of events, where we started with short supply chains, encouraging and developing the local economy by helping small farmers, he emphasizes. Igor Nekić, director of Terme Sveti Martin He adds:
"We recognized that tourism is one of the biggest polluters in the world and we simply decided that it was crucial, not only to support local producers, but to give the local community and destination a path of sustainable development. EU Ecolabel certification is just the crown of our many years of work and mission where we really try to reduce waste, water and electricity consumption as much as possible. All the actions we have taken are now recognized and certified. This is not the end, but just the continuation of our sustainable business, and the certificate is just another confirmation that we are going in the right direction."Said Nekic.
Eu Ecolabel is a project that has been underway at Terme Sveti Martin for several years. The preparation of the documentation and finalization was done in a period of two years, but the foundations for applying for this project were laid much earlier.
By obtaining the EU Ecolabel label, Terme Sveti Martin met 22 mandatory criteria in the field of general management, energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources, rational water consumption, reduction and management of waste and wastewater. The aim of the benchmark is to promote the use of renewable energy sources to save energy and water, reduce waste and improve the local environment.
They had to put aerators in hotel rooms to optimize water flow and thus reduce excessive water consumption. Each hotel room is equipped with sensors to optimize the optimal consumption of other energy sources such as electricity. Water quality and hardness measuring devices optimize the use of detergents when washing bed linen, and reward guests who save on towels and bed linen. They are also aware of the problems related to waste and have decided to sort waste, and they have also placed bins for sorting waste on each floor and in strategic places. They have abolished the use of disposable plastic items, so in the Hotel Terme Sveti Martin you will not find plastic coffee spoons, yogurt in disposable plastic cups or other foods packaged in plastic. They encourage local production, educate their employees and transfer knowledge to guests.
For the project itself, it was extremely important to have local family farms as business partners and to encourage local tourism, which Terme Sveti Martin has been doing for many years, from locally produced juices of family farm Hažić, homemade cheeses, eggs from family farms to their own biodynamic garden. In order to reduce the use of disposable items and re-engage the local manufacturer, Terme Sveti Martin has established a business cooperation with the House of Magic Grass from Paka and now staying in a hotel room every guest has the opportunity to enjoy fragrant, eco-certified cosmetics from a local manufacturer.
"We continue to live and promote sustainable development and tourism as a sustainable branch of the economy. In the future, we will make even greater efforts to contribute to the ecological preservation of Međimurje and the development of sustainable tourism. We certainly have to thank the company CROTEH, which was our partner in obtaining certificates that helped us a lot in the whole application process", Points out Nekić.
On the contrary, in Terme Sveti Martin they went a step further through a unique project in Croatia and beyond. Toplice Sveti Martin encourages its employees who have registered family farms to sell their products at market prices to the hotel. It is tourism.
"Over 70% of our buffet table is from local suppliers and family farms. So, for example, at our breakfast we do not have juices from sokomata, but we have juices from OPG Hažić, cheeses from OPG Krnjak, vegetables from OPG Zeleni Vrt, eggs and honey from OPG Medvede, etc.… these are all products from local suppliers, which we are developing tourism in Sveti Martin na Muri encouraged farmers, businessmen and family farms to expand and grow with us. So, for example, last year the owner of the family farm Vinković came to the meeting and asked: What to plant, what we will need and what quantities, so that I can immediately plan production and that crop is immediately placed on our guests' tables. And here we have a guarantee of quality, fresh and homemade food", States Nekić in the podcast Homo Turisticus, which you can listen to in full HERE
That they know and believe in what they are doing is clearly shown in the hotel restaurant. Namely, over the whole wall there are pictures / photos of local family farms, ie producers with whom they cooperate. These people (not professional actors) and producers are stars, both by name and surname. They also motivate guests to visit them, to see where the food they serve is made, and some have their own workshops or tastings for tourists, so the hotel has great content for guests, while the ground floor sells extra on the doorstep. Synergy is key, and on so many levels.
Local producers have signed an annual purchase of groceries, the hotel has a secure supply, within 24 hours, as well as fresh and quality groceries. In the end the guests know what one. Win-win for everyone. That is the definition of sustainable development.
In addition to the new EU Ecolabel label, Terme Sveti Martin is a proud holder of other certificates such as the ISO 50001: 2011 Certificate (which refers to increasing energy efficiency, reducing costs and improving energy performance), the "ZelEn" label (guarantee that electricity is benefits come from renewable energy sources which contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions), Sustainable Hotel Certificate by UPUHH, Quality Management System Certificate (ISO 9001), Environment (ISO 14001), and Information Security (ISO 27001) as well as Halal Certificate (which guarantees that products and services intended for guests of the Islamic faith meet the requirements of the Islamic faith).
Međimurje as one of the first thermal rivieras in continental Croatia
Today, tourists at the European level are mostly looking for active holidays and services provided by health tourism, which includes wellness, said the Minister of Tourism and Sports. Nikolina Brnjac and congratulated Terme Sveti Martin on this important step in the development of sustainable business and sustainable destinations
"Global and European market research has clearly shown that tourists are no longer looking for mass, but sustainable and environmentally conscious tourist destinations that will provide them with authentic experiences tailored to individuals.. I believe that through the planned investments, by the end of 2025, by which time the investments envisaged by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan must be completed, we will achieve that Terme Sveti Martin will be the first among many hotels to bear the EU Ecolabel label, and Međimurje the first thermal rivieras in continental Croatia", Concluded Brnjac.
The EU Ecolabel is awarded or approved by the Ministry of the Economy and Sustainable Development to sustainable products and services that encourage innovation and contribute to the EU's 2050 climate neutrality goal and the circular economy.
See more about the EU Ecolabel HERE