For the 20 years that the company has existed, Hotels VIVA has been convinced that a hotel chain's number one asset is the excellent service it delivers to its guests and partners. Our commitment, professionalism and services has increased year upon year, thanks to the team of incredible men and women who have made the chain's success possible year after year.
This journey leads to only one destination: excellence. This may be a concept that is somewhat intangible, but when we see our guests smiling, the satisfaction of all VIVA's staff and partners, the positive reviews on recommendation sites, and the number of guests who keep coming back year after year, we can't help but think: we must be doing something right!
And so, at Hotels VIVA, we are continuing on that journey towards excellence, now in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility. Our aim is to connect the company with its environment, people and their needs. Hotels VIVA hosts dozens of sportspeople and sports clubs, and the Es Convent Foundation, which promotes cultural and charitable events, giving over a building for use as a soup kitchen in collaboration with Caritas, rooms to house people at risk of exclusion, as well as facilities for other non-profit organisations including Projecte Home, AECC, the Campaner Foundation and many others. Thus demonstrating our ongoing commitment to the common good, and forming part of a community oriented initiative that helps hundreds of people.
Hotels VIVA's Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives are increasing all the time, and in 2019 the focus is on excellence.
Goodbye plastic; hello products that can be easily recycled! Paper, cardboard, sugar cane and corn starch are welcome here. As of 2019, Hotels VIVA is getting rid of plastic. 100% of plastic cups and 90% of plastic straws are being replaced by paper versions. Cutlery and single-use crockery is being reduced to a minimum and plastic is being replaced by degradable materials such as sugar cane and corn starch.
But Hotels VIVA is not stopping there. Because all the cellulose used on our premises is being replaced by cellulose that contains no chemical additives, from certified forests. The ecolabel mark certifies that new gels and bath, cleaning and personal care products are environmentally friendly. We are also concerned about the energy we use to heat water and premises, which is why we have installed biomass stations that respect the environment, are clean and without waste, whilst reducing diesel consumption and therefore greenhouse gas emissions.
For 2019, Hotels VIVA has workshops and activities scheduled on recycling and sustainability for kids. We will also be encouraging them to take part in tending to our beautiful kitchen garden. And we support beach cleaning and waste collection… Helping the environment and setting an example takes effort every day.
Quality control and certificates are powerful tools that enable companies to quantify the impact of their work, as well as measure and define strategies for improvement. At Hotels VIVA we are proud of the certificates that have been awarded to us because they represent our daily the effort and commitment towards our clients. And to the environment. By way of an example, the EMAS certificate is currently the most prestigious environmental recognition an organisation can obtain in the European Union. And at Hotels VIVA, we have been awarded it. Likewise, we have the ISO 9001:2015 certification which recognises our environmental quality management system. We have also been awarded the ISO 14001. A triple recognition.
Beyond this, we are also proud to display our SICTED certificate - this national seal accredits and recognises our methodology aimed at improving quality as a tourist destination. And not forgetting the ecotourism mark awarded by Alcudia City Council which at local level recognises our good environmental practices.
Our focus on the working environment is also noteworthy. Surveys of all kinds are conducted throughout the year, with training and advice days being held by partner organisations such as Projecte Home, which brings its experience in fighting against drugs and addiction. Continuous training among staff is encouraged, including opportunities for them to improve their language skills in a very convenient way using an app that keeps them constantly updated.
We ended the last few months of 2018 with a certificate that brings us particular satisfaction: the SGS Hospitality Experience for Corporate Social Responsibility. SGS is a world leader in inspection, verification, testing and certification. With more than 97,000 employees and a network of more than 2600 offices and laboratories worldwide, it is recognised as the global benchmark for quality and integrity.
This certificate demonstrates our commitment to implementing equality and integration policies that are based on the World Tourism Organization's principles of responsible tourism.
Hotels VIVA is the first hotel chain in the world to receive this certificate. And, furthermore, we have done so with the highest possible score - the Platinum badge - for all our establishments. This recognises our extremely high level of commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility and our journey towards excellence.
That same commitment to excellence can be found in the gastronomy on offer at Hotels VIVA. Feeding so many guests so well demands an exceptional commitment to quality and professionalism. Our current themed restaurants: Italian, Mexican and Mediterranean will be joined in 2019 by an Asian restaurant, with international fusion Mizu (water in Japanese) as a tribute to the turquoise sea that surrounds us. Our Predi Son Jaumell country hotel is home to the cuisine of Michelin-star chef Andreu Genestra and his earthy flavours that are so packed with personality. Excellent flavours.
For all these reasons, we held an official reception at the FITUR International Tourism Fair in Madrid, with an official reception for Balearic Islands' recipients of the SGS Hospitality Experience certificate.
Our path is set out in front of us. And there is no turning back. In 2019, we will be putting our Plan for Growth and Investment into action, with eight million euros' worth of improvements. This demonstrates our commitment to the common good, to society, to the environment, to our guests, to our staff and suppliers, and to Mallorca as a whole. Our aim is to keep growing and to find more, and better, ways of building sustainable tourism and a better future.
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