There more than 12,600 hotel rooms in Gothenburg, and each year people spend about 5.2 million nights in hotels here – so it is obvious that the environmental efforts of hotels have a big influence on the climate and environment.

When you choose to stay in a hotel in Gothenburg you are also making a smart environmental choice. More than 90 per cent of hotels have an environmental diploma and have third-party certification such as the Nordic Swan, Green Key, Swedish Environmental Base and/or ISO 14001.

The requirements for these certification schemes differ, but one thing they all have in common is that they require the hotels to meet strict environmental and sustainability criteria. When you choose a Nordic Swan ecolabelled hotel, for example, you can be sure that the use of fossil energy sources is strictly regulated, that the amount of waste is measured and checked against specified limits, and that the use of chemical products (such as detergents) is limited. The hotels also undertake to give their staff regular training in key environmental areas. If a business breaks the ecolabelling rules it loses its ecolabel. Because ecolabelling is a valuable competitive advantage it provides an additional guarantee that hotels take their sustainability efforts very seriously.

The Scandic hotel chain is a good example of a company that is committed to sustainability. Between 1996 and 2013 the chain reduced its water consumption by 21 per cent, its energy consumption by 24 per cent and its carbon dioxide emissions by 65 per cent. Among other things, Scandic was the first to ask guests to “hang up your towels if you want to re-use them”. This has now become accepted practice in hotels worldwide.

Since 2011, the Swedish Exhibition Center and Gothia Towers' entire electricity consumption is covered by wind power. Optimisation of the property is ongoing with regard to ventilation, heating and cooling and the aim is to reduce the total energy consumption annually.

Often it is the combined effects of small measures that make a big difference. For example, as a consumer you can make a difference simply by choosing organic coffee (source: Swedish Society for Nature Conservation - SSNC). You can add to all the important green initiatives that hotels in Gothenburg are taking, and make a positive contribution to the environment. Simply by staying there and having a good night’s sleep.