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18.11.2011 VIHULA MANOR GOT THE GREEN KEY
18.11.2011 The Green Key, an international environmental label awarded to accommodation establishments following the principles of a sustainable economy, was handed over to Vihula Manor by the Tourism Development Centre of Enterprise Estonia today. There are now 20 Green Key accommodation establishments altogether in Estonia. The Green Key program is financed through EU Social Fund.
As Tarmo Mutso, the director of the Tourism Development Centre of Enterprise Estonia, has it, the Green Key increases the competiveness of Estonian accommodation establishments. “To have the Green Key, the accommodation establishments must contribute to the development of their products and services in a consistent manner and follow green principles in their daily activities,” says Tarmo Mutso.
To get the Green Key, establishments must also contribute to the advocacy of activities connected with nature and local cultural heritage, in addition to environmental sustainability. Tarmo Mutso remarked that Vihula Manor has been exemplary in many ways concerning this. “In Vihula, the Water Mill has been restored, which is one of the three functioning water mills in Estonia, and prevailingly domestic material, a big part of what comes from the manor’s own herb garden and ECO-farm, is used in the restaurant,” said Tarmo Mutso. As the director of the Tourism Development Centre of Enterprise Estonia said, one of the determinative circumstances for awarding Vihula Manor with the Green Key eco-label is that the biggest possible amount of nature-identical materials has been used for the restoration of buildings in Vihula.
Tarmo Mutso said that the Tourism Development Centre of Enterprise Estonia provides Estonian accommodation establishments multilateral support in making their products and services more environment-friendly. “The next Green Key Seminar will take place this week in Sagadi and Vihula where we shall give accommodation establishments practical advice, hand the Green Key over to Vihula and Sagadi Manor and renew the labels of other undertakings,” remarked Mutso.
According to Kadi Elmeste, the sales and marketing manager of Vihula Manor, the biggest manor hotel in Estonia, sustainable way of thinking is followed in every activity of Vihula Manor. “We use ground source heating and solar energy, we have diminished the consumption of water and electricity and we also ask our guests to behave in an environment-friendly way and suggest them active movement in nature for vacationing,” said Kadi Elmeste. In addition, proper gardening products are grown in the garden of Vihula Manor for the kitchen of the hotel’s restaurant and Eco-SPA, an eco-farm is run and an eco-spa is opened.
According to Kadi Elmeste, voluminous investments with total cost of 15 million euros have been undertaken during last four years in Vihula Manor complex. “Almost three quarters of the whole manor complex has been restored by today, the manor complex will be totally completed by spring,” said Elmeste. She added that the making of investments in such volume in the economic slump was a big challenge for the establishment, but on the other hand also critically necessary for the rise of competitiveness of both the enterprise’s and region’s tourism sector.
The Green Key is an international environmental label founded in Denmark the owning of what enables establishments providing accommodation services to demonstrate their environment-friendly attitude. In Estonia, the first Green Key label was given out in 2001. The issue of the Green Key label in Estonia is coordinated by the Tourism Development Centre of Enterprise Estonia.
About the Green Key: