Nestled on the coast of Dassia, Corfu, Ikos Dassia is a stunning display of the marriage of nature and environmental stewardship. Having observed the widespread issues surrounding waste management in 2019 on Corfu island, the team at Ikos decided to step up and help devise a solution. In order for Ikos Dassia to positively contribute and mitigate against problems such as limited landfill availability, the team initiated the Ikos Green zero-waste programme. The goals of the zero-waste programme are three-fold; to find the best solution for reducing and recycling all materials produced, to manage and biodegrade organic waste and to train all staff to work to a zero-waste brief. From the offset of the scheme, 2019 saw all packaging materials reduced and recycled, as well as organic waste. Although the hotel didn’t open in 2020 due to the pandemic, in 2021 at Ikos Dassia opens enriched by proceeding pressing on with these goals, as well as reducing disposable plastics even further and enhancing circular economy initiatives.
- The hotel has been working hard with suppliers to reduce waste in products delivered and reduce single-use plastic and waste throughout hotel operations, with e.g. plastic bags banned, straws being replaced with on-demand paper ones or gardening bags being upcycled. Recycling bins with appropriate markings have been placed throughout the hotel and two state-of-the-art paper presses are placed within the resort to reduce volume and aid more efficient waste collection. This has enabled the effective recycling of all materials from glass, plastic, paper, cooking oils, bottle caps to clothing, nespresso capsules and cooking oil.
- To manage organic waste, two state-of-the-art mechanical digestion machines were introduced to convert organic waste into liquid, which is then processed by the biological treatment system of the machine. This advanced system of biodegradation of organic waste operates using microorganisms and oxygen and is based on the functions of the human body, imitating the stomach. A special area was designed with trained operators, who now manage up to 1.4 tonnes of organic waste collected daily from kitchens across the resort.
- Finally, all staff were trained on zero-waste procedures. Improvement was emphasised in the housekeeping, kitchen, warehouse and maintenance departments, which are critical in the management of the majority of the hotel’s waste. During the season, the results are recorded every week and the hotel customer feedback is surveyed as part of a special internship for young scientists.
Strategy & Purpose
The purpose of the zero-waste programme at Ikos Dassia is to lead the charge for the prevention and reduction in the environmental impact of the hospitality sector, with waste production being a key facet of the environmental footprint of a resort and someone’s holiday. The philosophy of zero waste is an ethical way of managing waste according to a model that guarantees that the hotel operates with a minimal footprint. Ensuring that all discarded waste is properly managed and practically nothing is taken to landfill is of paramount importance to the team at Ikos Dassia and Corfu island, where the landfills are full and the island struggling with finding solutions. By reducing, reusing and recycling materials that would otherwise be destined for the landfill, the hotel hopes to create a circular economy and prove hospitality services and the waste can be sustainable.
The specific strategy of zero-waste was implemented by hotel management to ensure visitors to Corfu were leaving the island as beautiful as when they found it. The team at Ikos recognise that this strategy is not only beneficial for the environment but also for the economy and the local community. The program is part of the overall sustainability program of the Ikos Green group and the ISO 14001, Green Key and Blue Flag certifications. Next steps include focusing on reducing food waste through AI technology and becoming completely plastic free back and front of house.