The first hotel chain powered entirely with energy from renewable sources is Sardinian. We talked to Libero Muntoni, head of communication and marketing at Delphina hotels & resorts.

When did your green conversion begin?

«Since the word go I would say. My father and his partner are builders, and when they decided to set up Delphina, 25 years ago, their starting point was that safeguarding nature was the key to a valid hospitality project: nature as a project was their slogan. So all the hotels have a low visual impact and are located in Mediterranean gardens, with local plants and vegetation allowed to grow spontaneously. Over time, we began introducing sustainable practices in our hotels, investing in the environment and taking part in initiatives to enhance the territory. This is a true internal protocol, which we decided to represent with a trademark created and registered by Delphina, “We are green”, to proclaim our commitment to the environment. The use of 100{f94e4705dd4b92c5eea9efac2f517841c0e94ef186bd3a34efec40b3a1787622} renewably sourced energy in all our hotels and in our head office in Palau is the latest step in this journey, and will be followed by many more.»

What benefits has this had for your business and Delphina’s reputation?

«In practice using energy produced exclusively from renewable sources costs us more than purchasing traditional electric power, but we believe in this project and want to make our contribution to the protection of the environment. People choosing Delphina are looking for a holiday in freedom, in contact with nature, they want authentic flavours, genuine experiences, to be captured by the culture and traditions of Sardinia. We come from the Gallura region, we love our land deeply and our guests perceive this, with positive effects for our brand reputation. And this makes us very happy.»

What impact does this approach have on your supply chain?

«The impact is excellent, not just in terms of supporting the economy but above all because we can offer our guests wonderful quality. Our meat comes from livestock reared on pastures in the Gallura area and our fish from local ports, and we also source fruit and vegetable from local producers. This means we follow the seasons and give our chefs genuine ingredients that enhance their cuisine. For a number of years, we have been looking for small producers across Sardinia to find gastronomic specialities and wines to offer our guests. Small companies, who may not be well-known, but who deserve greater recognition because they supply us with superior products. This also entails higher costs for us, but we believe the difference is perceived and appreciated by our guests.»

Do your hotel guests realise that in choosing you they’re helping the environment?

«We think so, indeed we’ve decided to involve the travel agencies we work with on this project. People wanting to vacation in northern Sardinia know that a Delphina holiday helps the environment and supports us in reducing carbon.»

Where does the electric power used in your hotels come from and what is the total amount of KW you use?

«Our clean energy comes from wind farm renewable sources, and is supplied by a consortium that certifies provenance with a Guarantee of Origin (GdO) and we use it for all our requirements at head office in Palau and in our hotels, depending on our needs. Last year, we consumed 6’376’803 kwh and based on the latest ISPRA report we can safely say that by using renewable energy we shall probably achieve 3,536 metric tons of carbon savings per year. We have a power-generation company in our group, but we don’t use it for our hotels and similarly we have not installed solar mirror arrays, because of the visual impact. Our hotels blend easily with the landscape, but we are looking into the installation of solar panels in positions with minimal visual/environmental impact so that we can be self-sufficient in meeting our energy needs».