Sustainable Hospitality of Santo Collection

Sustainability

Everything we do is rooted in the belief that style and sustainability are not incompatible – rather, Santo Collection has created places where our eco-conscious guests can feel good about their choices. As the first sustainably minded collection of hotels on Santorini, Santo Collection continues to operate on the principles of sustainable development that our mother company Metaxa Hospitality Group has been embracing since 1975.

Santo Collection is dedicated to making eco-conscious choices easy and effortless. From growing and using seasonal, locally sourced produce to home-grown organic botanicals, to supporting the local community and its precious eco-system and from the architecture and landscaping to waste and energy management, ethical choices inform every decision, big or small. The future of hospitality depends on taking care of our environment. At Santo Collection, this commitment to conscious luxury comes naturally.

We are passionate about the local people, environment, and communities in Santorini, and deeply honour, cherish, and celebrate our local culture and Greek hospitality in our hotels.Since it started operating 46 years ago, our Group has operated based on the principles of Sustainable Development. Year by year we improve our performance in relation to the most important Sustainable Development issues that are part of our strategy’s key pillars: sustainable hospitality, the environment, and people.

SUSTAINABLE HOSPITALITY

Year by year we improve our performance in relation to the most important Sustainable Development issues that are part of our strategy’s key pillars: sustainable hospitality, the environment, and people. This is a firm principle of our corporate governance, as it is more than a moral duty; it is also the main development tool based on which the sustainable hospitality product and the experiences we offer remain relevant, responding to your needs.

SUSTAINABLE OPERATION
Our procurement policy is designed, financed, and implemented based on our constantly expanding relationship with national and local producers and suppliers. With love and dedication to our country, we contribute to the strengthening of the local economy of Santorini and Greece, supporting local merchants and stores. Our preference for local products is the only path, as this ensures both contact between you and the products and traditions of our land, and contributes to the financial support of local communities, without burdening the atmosphere with harmful gas emissions from international transport.

PERSONAL DATA MANAGEMENT
Caring for our people is a key commitment at Santo Collection.
Thus, respect and protection of personal data, which are fundamental human rights, are fully in line with Santo Collection’s culture and philosophy.
In this light, safeguarding privacy and ensuring data security is a key concern of ours.

Additionally, given the volume and nature of the data we process, we address personal data protection issues responsibly and as of primary importance, faithfully implementing the Personal Data Protection Regulation. Thus, the processing of personal data is governed by the provisions of the legislation in force and the decisions of the competent authorities. Good practices have been created and adopted in the context of the Group’s policy, ensuring the protection of personal data and enhancing information security.

HEALTH & SAFETY
In response to the pandemic, we adopted a number of measures to ensure the health of our employees and visitors. Specifically, at Santo Collection we’ve implemented a specialized health and safety program, which ensured its uninterrupted operation in a completely safe environment. The program, titled ‘Committed to Caring’, is based on a targeted action plan, key points of which include:

  • Full implementation of the special health protocols based on the guidelines of the official authorities.
  • Collaboration with a medical team within Santo Collection.
  • Staff training by the University of Crete.
  • Health First from the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels – ‘CoVid Shield’ from ΤÜV AUSTRIA.

Food hygiene and safety
Following all the Hygiene, Food, and Safety standards, Santo Collection receives ISO 22000:2005 certification by TUV Austria Hellas, ensuring the safety and quality of the food and beverages provided in our restaurant services, through compliance with strict standards procedures.

FOR THE ENVIRONMENT

Climate change is already impacting the hospitality sector. Extreme weather conditions drive up business costs and reduce the number of visitors to certain destinations, while local and national environmental policies and sanctions are being introduced in cities and countries around the world.

ENERGY MANAGEMENT
Ιn order to reduce our energy consumption, we are implementing the following:

  • Installation of an energy recovery system from air conditioning and ventilation of internal common areas, aiming at heating or cooling water for use.
  • Replacement of electricity with liquid propane (gas) in all kitchens and main laundry facilities.
  • Gradual replacement of incandescent and economy light bulbs with LED light bulbs.
  • Installation of a modern Building Energy Management System (BEMS), which controls the most important operating parameters in order to optimize operations and have better control over energy consumption.
  • Adaptation of air conditioners (FCUs) to a temperature that ensures maximum comfort and optimal energy consumption.
  • Magnetic card in all suites and villas, ensuring that all electrical appliances (except radiators) are turned off when guests leave their rooms.
  • Installation of energy-efficient electrical equipment in all sectors, such as A +++ air-conditioning systems, refrigerators, computers, photocopy machines.
  • Established procedures for the maintenance and proper cleaning of all energy installations.

WATER MANAGEMENT

We consistently safeguard the precious resource of water following the below water management actions:

  • Use of licensed water boreholes.
  • Reverse osmosis and filtration units.
  • Automated watering of Santo Collection’s green areas at night, avoiding the morning sun, which results in about 30% water loss due to evaporation.
  • Implementation of drip irrigation systems.
  • Implementation of the ‘Wash on Demand’ policy regarding the hotel cleaning service. Guest towels are replaced only if they are left on the floor and sheets are washed if they are specifically labelled, thus helping to inform our guests regarding the need to reduce water consumption.
  • Checking and maintenance of water quality wherever used (certified according to ISO: 22000).
  • Swimming pool cleaning by hand or using swimming pool cleaning robots to avoid frequent replacement of fresh water.
  • Installation of automatic leakage and damage detection system to ensure optimum performance and optimum operation of all plumbing systems.
  • Training of personnel in water-saving techniques.

RECYCLING

At Santo Collection, we implement an integrated recycling program, which has always been an integral part of its environmental policy. More specifically paper, glass, metal and used cooking oils – biofuels are being collected each year and their recycling is carried out collectively next year.

BIODIVERSITY

At Santo Collection, we sustainably manage our outdoor spaces. As a rule, endemic plants are in outdoor spaces, while a constant effort is made to increase the variety of species and the number of plants, beneficial insects, and microorganisms’ endemic to the local ecosystem.

To create a sustainable future, sustainable management includes environmental, social, and economic factors, while it also incorporates the goals of international sustainable development programs. The principles of sustainable landscape management are summarized below:

  • Protection, maintenance, and restoration: with the aim of adopting the natural rhythms and processes of the local ecosystem, without exerting pressure on plant capital for the sake of high growth rates.
  • Use of native and indigenous plant varieties (Hibiscus, vineyards, pears, quince, olives, tamarisk trees, cypress, bananas, apple tree, figs, prickly pears, carobs, date palm, almond trees, pine cones, aloe, Laurel, rosemary, mint, thyme, lavender, myrtles, marjoram, honeysuckle, oregano, valerian): this reduces the need for constant care and, as a result, reduces energy consumption, as endemic species adapt to the local climate and geology. This supports populations of endemic birds, insects, and other animals that have evolved in the past, promoting a self-controlled and healthy community of organisms.
  • Soil health: the goal is to increase the population of soil microorganisms and improve all parameters that demonstrate measurable soil health. The principles of Council Regulation 834/07 and Commission Regulation 889/08 of the EU on organic production are implemented meticulously.
  • Prevention of damage to the ecosystem: use of the principle has been designed with nature playing the primary role.
  • Responsible water management: reduction of water consumption without jeopardizing the state of green areas, while plants are selected for low water consumption. Water consumption is measured continuously, and thorough checks are carried out on water use in all outdoor areas.
  • Pest, disease, and weed management, based on the principles of EU Regulations Nos 834/07 & 889/08 on organic production: population growth of useful organisms is predicted. The protocols and decision-making files on all interventions are stored. Visitors are notified of the application of preventive or therapeutic spray coatings with approved active substances.
  • Low content plant nutrition: acceptable slow growth rates of plant capital, with selection of approved nutritional compositions, aiming at minimizing the distance from which they originate. Soil minerals are incorporated into soil. Green fertilization is applied to individual areas of Santo Collection’s land where olives and vineyards are cultivated.

SUSTAINABLE HOTEL FARMING

At Santo Collection, we have implemented a 360º approach incorporating issues related to energy, own food production, sustainable man-made landscape management, training, and communication.

FOR THE PEOPLE

Our people are the most essential factor for us to be able to provide the highest quality services of authentic Greek hospitality. Our goal is to create the conditions that ensure a healthy and stable working environment.

EMPLOYEES

We have been steadily investing in the following initiatives:

  • Voluntary benefits: free transportation, free meals, wedding gift, childbirth gift, special rates for friends and family, establishment of the ‘Employee of the month’ and ‘Employee of the year’ awards with additional benefits.
  • Health program: includes maintaining safe facilities, complying with strict standards, regular preventive checks and ongoing training of personnel on safety issues to prevent and avoid potential accidents and to correctly deal with emergencies that may endanger the health and welfare of staff and visitors.
  • Career Days: these take place in November and February, and in 2020 they were held online due to the pandemic.
  • Training seminars: these take place throughout the year.

Hiring locally

We contribute directly to local communities through our strategy of attracting employees from local communities in the areas in which we operate, through equitable staffing procedures.

SOCIAL CONTRIBUTION

We stand by the local communities in which we operate, supporting those who need us the most. Thus, we take initiatives and support actions that promote social solidarity, culture, sports, volunteering, and education.

We also actively participate in volunteer initiatives, such as: beach and underwater sea cleaning actions in cooperation with environmental organizations such as Dive in Action.

LOCAL SUPPLIERS

We support the local communities in which we operate by choosing to collaborate with local suppliers for both the construction and renovation of Santo Collection, and the purchase of products, supporting the economies of Greece, and promoting Greek gastronomy.

BUILDING SUSTAINABLE SUPPLIES

At Santo Collection, we believe that progress and prosperity provide a more reliable future through Sustainable Development. This is the time for a people-centered action to change. This is the time that we all come together to build a world we would be proud to bequeath to future generations. Since our establishment in 1975, we have been standing together with society to co-create, use, and enhance new values with our local communities and customers. Embracing a more sustainable future in the Hospitality Industry is our goal and responsibility.

FOR A BETTER TOMORROW

At Santo Collection we remain true to our vision and do our utmost every day implementing Sustainability across all our activities. Constant contribution to Sustainable Development is our key priority for the years to come.